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 sought, and continues to seek, improvement in professional standards within the industry while raising awareness amongst decision and policy makers.
1.2 – Since its inception, AECoW’s membership has grown to almost 100 environmental and construction professionals. The organisation has engaged with, and influenced, a wide range of stakeholders, while implementing a series of training and conference events. Today, the mission and vision created by the Association’s first Management Committee hold true;
‘Our vision is for the ECoW role to become standard practice on construction and engineering projects where significant risks to the environment exist.’
‘Our mission is to develop and promote the role of Environmental Clerks of Works through the establishment of good practice and knowledge sharing for the benefit of the environment.’
1.3 – AECoW’s first Strategy seeks to bring structure to the organisation’s operations and sets our strategic priorities for the period 2018 – 2021. Our priorities have been informed by ongoing consultation with members and stakeholders.
2 – Our Priorities
2.1 – The AECoW Management Committee has established 4 priorities for the Association during the period 2018 – 2021, each discussed below.
Priority 1: Promoting the ECoW Role
2.2 – AECoW’s foremost priority will continue to be the promotion of the ECoW role, and the value it brings to construction projects. We will:
- Engage with the environmental and construction industries, and their media, to promote the ECoW role and the opportunities it presents to businesses and individuals;
- Engage with policy and decision makers, including local government Planning Departments, highlighting the valuable role ECoWs can play in the planning and development process;
- Engage with NGOs and wider stakeholders involved in the planning and development process, highlighting the potential solutions offered by the ECoW role.
Priority 2: Developing Quality in the ECoW Role
2.3 Since AECoW’s inception, the ECoW role has developed extensively. ECoWs 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 members and partners, including other professional bodies, to identify and develop appropriate quality standards in ECoW;
- Develop awareness of the value of AECoW peer-review membership;
- Work with policy and decision makers to identify fair and efficient procurement routes for ECoWs;
- Promote quality standards within our membership and the wider environmental and construction industries;
- Develop, influence and/or publish appropriate good practice guidelines for practising ECoWs and decision makers.
Priority 3: Delivering Training and Skills Development
2.4 – In recent years, AECoW has developed and delivered a number of training and skills development event. Over the course of the period 2018 – 2021, we will continue to develop our training and skills development offer. We will:
- Identify and work with others to identify training needs within the ECoW community;
- Partner with training providers to deliver a range of practical and theoretical training courses across the UK;
- Compliment the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management’s emerging ‘Accredited Ecological Clerk of Works’ project, particularly in relation to other environmental disciplines;
- Deliver a topical annual conference;
- Seek opportunities to deliver training at wider environmental and construction industry events and conferences.
Priority 4: Providing a Forum for the ECoW Community
2.5 – AECoW has learned since 2009 that the ECoW experience can often be isolating. We know that our members seek opportunities to meet with other ECoWs to share experiences and learn from others’ approaches. We will
- Develop and support local networks of members via support group meetings;
- Publish a regular newsletter that shares relevant news from across the industry;
- Connect our members with relevant events and organisations;
- Maintain a social and professional media presence.
Delivering our Priorities
2.6 – The Action Plans in Appendix 1 set out the activities and initiatives we will undertake to deliver our priorities. Actions Plans will be flexible, but include clear targets against which to measure our progress.
2.7 – 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 – Our Structure and Governance
3.1 – AECoW currently enjoys the support of approximately 100 members. We have an active and engaged membership, spread across the length and breadth of the UK, allowing us to act on behalf of ECoWs at a national scale.
3.2 – The following section describes our governance structure and set out our approach to succession planning. In Appendix 1, we have presented an Action Plan for ‘Structure and Governance’, ensuring we have a mechanism for succession planning.
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 organisation’s Chairperson. The administrative and financial function of AECoW is managed by a secretary, with support from the Chairperson.
3.5 – 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.
3.6 – All Management Committee roles are voluntary.
3.7 – To date, the Management Committee has grown organically, recruiting new members as expressions of interest are raised. However, as the organisation grows, 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:
- 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.
4 – Delivering our Projects
4.1 – Action Plans, relating to our priorities, are provided in Appendix 1:
- Promoting the ECoW Role;
- Developing Quality in the ECoW Role;
- Delivering Training and Skills Development;
- Providing a Forum for the ECoW Community.
4.2 – Each Action Plan 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.
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 – Strategy progress will be a standing item on the bi-monthly Management Committee agenda.
Review and Monitoring
4.5 – This Strategy relates to the period 2018 - 2021. It is envisaged that the Strategy will be subject to review each year, allowing for revision if necessary.
4.6 – The Action Plans are flexible documents. Actions will be determined on an annual basis, allowing ongoing development and progress to be made during the lifetime of the strategy. However, where necessary, individual actions will be amended or revised at Management Committee meeting.
4.7 – Upon expiry of the strategy, a thorough review of its efficacy will be undertaken, with a view to informing the Strategy for 2021+.