1 Welcome to AECoW

Scope of Strategy

1.1 AECoW was established in 2009 as both a qualifying body and a unifying voice for Environmental Clerks of Works.  The Association seeks to improve professional environmental standards within the construction industry, whilst raising awareness amongst decision and policy makers.

The organisation has engaged with, and influenced, a wide range of stakeholders, while implementing a series of training and conference events.  The Association has three main aims to benefit the environment and construction projects;

    • For the EnvCoW role to become standard practice on construction and engineering projects where risks to the environment exist;
    • To define, and promote, the role of EnvCoWs through the establishment of good practice and knowledge sharing;
    • Encourage engineers to think like environmentalists and environmentalists to think like engineers.

1.2 To deliver the above aims, we have identified key priorities and associated objectives in Action Plans which are outlined in Section 2and Appendix 1.

1.3 In this Strategy, AECoW seeks to bring structure to the organisation’s operations and sets our strategic priorities for the period 2022 – 2025.  Our priorities have been informed by ongoing consultation with members and stakeholders.

2 Our Priorities

2.1 The AECoW Management Committee has established 3 priorities for the Association during the period 2022 – 2025, each discussed below.

Priority 1:  Defining & Promoting the EnvCoW Role

2.2 AECoW’s foremost priority will continue to be the promotion of the EnvCoW role, and the value it brings to construction projects. We will:

    • Engage with the environmental and construction stakeholders, and their media, to promote the EnvCoW role and the opportunities / benefits it presents to developers, contractors and individual members;
    • Engage with policy and decision makers, including local government Planning Departments, to define the EnvCoW role and highlight the value they can provide in the planning and development process to support the aims and objectives of regulators;
    • Engage with NGOs and wider stakeholders involved in the planning and development process, highlighting the potential solutions offered by the EnvCoW role;
    • Further develop the Supporting Organisations Framework.

Priority 2:  Developing Quality, & Training in the EnvCoW Role

2.3 Since AECoW’s inception, the EnvCoW role has developed extensively.  EnvCoWs now operate throughout the UK, supporting a wide range of construction projects.  AECoW will continue to influence the development of the role and its potential to improve environmental protection on construction and development projects.  We will:

    • Work with environmental and construction stakeholders, including other professional bodies to support development of quality standards and identify training needs;
    • Partner with training providers to deliver training needs across the UK;
    • Further develop, and promote, qualifying criteria for AECoW membership, including the value of peer-review membership;
    • Work with policy and decision makers to identify fair and efficient procurement routes for EnvCoWs; and highlight the critical role of construction contracts in achieving environmental outcomes;
    • Develop, influence and/or publish appropriate good practice guidelines for practising EnvCoWs and policy makers;
    • Deliver a topical annual conference.

Priority 3:  Providing a Forum for the EnvCoW Community

2.4 AECoW has learned since 2009 that the EnvCoW experience can often be isolating.  We know that our members seek opportunities to meet with other EnvCoWs to share experiences and learn from others’ approaches.  We will:

    • Further develop Members support group;
    • Publish a regular newsletter that shares relevant news from across the industry;
    • Connect our members with relevant events and organisations.

Delivering our Priorities

2.5 The Action Plans in Appendix 1set out the objectives, activities and initiatives we will undertake to deliver our priorities.  Actions Plans will be flexible, but include clear objectives against which to measure our progress.

2.6 Responsibility for each Priority Area will be held by a member of our Management Committee with support from Association members.  Progress against our Action Plans will be discussed and challenged at each meeting of the Management Committee and regular updates will be provided to our membership and funders.

3 Governance and Operations

3.1 We have a membership spread across the length and breadth of the UK, allowing us to act on behalf of EnvCoWs at a national scale.

3.2 The following section describes our governance structure.

Our Team

Management Committee

3.3 AECoW’s Management Committee is the executive arm of the organisation.  Drawn directly from the membership, the Management Committee is responsible for the development and delivery of our priorities.

3.4 The Management Committee reports directly to the Association’s Chairperson and the Chairperson reports to the Directors.  The administrative and financial function of AECoW is managed by the Chairperson.

3.5 All Management Committee roles are voluntary and are for three year terms. New members will be co-opted on to the Management Committee by invite between terms.

3.6 Management Committee position terms will be staggered to manage succession planning.

3.7 The Management Committee also acts as the organisations membership panel, acting together to determine the outcome of membership applications.  Applications are considered to be successful when a majority of Management Committee members support the application.

3.7 To date, the Management Committee has grown organically, recruiting new members as expressions of interest are raised.  However, as the organisation has grown, we propose to implement a more formal approach to the recruitment of Management Committee members.  Over the course of this strategy period, the Management Committee will:

3.8 Determine an appropriate size for the Management Committee and recruit directly from the membership where necessary;

    • Define and publish the roles and responsibilities of Management Committee members;
    • Determine suitable periods of service, ensuring a rolling, but sustainable, Management Committee membership allows new ideas to develop;
    • Develop a plan for attracting new candidates from across the UK to Management Committee roles;
    • Develop a Terms of Reference;
    • Introduce Annual General Meetings;
    • Abide by the Management Committee’s Terms of Engagement.

3.9 During this Strategy cycle 22 – 25, a recruitment plan will be developed to recruit the following named positions onto the Management Committee: Secretary and Membership Secretary.

4 Delivering our Priorities

Action Planning

4.1 Action Plans, relating to our priorities, are provided in Appendix 1:

    • Defining, and promoting, the EnvCoW Role;
    • Developing Quality and Training in the EnvCoW Role;
    • Providing a Forum for the EnvCoW Community.

4.2 The Action Plans sets out a series of discrete, targeted activities which, when combined, aim to deliver the priorities set in Section 2.  Each action is clearly defined and is allocated to a named member of the Management Committee.  Delivery timescales are also provided, allowing actions to be prioritised and monitored as outlined in the Governance and Operations in Section 3.

Responsibilities

4.3 The Management Committee holds ultimate responsibility for the delivery of the Strategy.  Each Action Plan is allocated to a named member of the Committee who will take overall responsibility.  The named committee member will develop actions, delegate tasks to other members and report on progress at Management Committee meetings.

4.4 The Chair will have responsibility for holding Committee members to account on the delivery of their actions.  This will mainly through the use of progress update forms, which should be sent to the Chair approximately 1 week in advance of Strategy meetings.

Accountability

4.5 Strategy progress will be a standing item on the bi-monthly Management Committee agenda.

4.6 Minutes are kept for each meeting, which primarily include actions and notes.

Review and Monitoring

4.7 The Action Plans are flexible documents.  It is envisaged that the Action Plans will be subject to review each year, allowing for revision if necessary, during the lifetime of the strategy.  However, where necessary, individual actions will be amended or revised at Management Committee meeting.

4.8 Upon expiry of the strategy, a thorough review of its efficacy will be undertaken, with a view to informing the Strategy for 2025+.

Appendix 1