Environmental Clerk of Works (ECoW)

The on-site resource to help you achieve good practice and environmental compliance

Site Environmental Consultants are the foundation of Naturally Compliant Ltd., whether your requirements are contractual or policy driven, we can provide the on-site expertise you need to achieve environmental compliance through roles as Environmental or Ecological Clerk of Works and Environmental Advisors/Managers. Here’s how those roles work:

Environmental Clerk of Works

The on-site role of an Environmental Clerk of Works (ECoW or EnvCoW) is to monitor, report and advise on compliance to project documentation and environmental legislation; in essence, they’re there to bridge the gap between the environmental documentation and its implementation on the ground. The remit of an Environmental Clerk of Works may be wide depending on a sites environmental sensitives, as a guide an ECoW will often monitor pollution of watercourses, land and air, site waste practices and the protection of protected and notables species and habitats.

They will support clients by:

  • Visiting site regularly
  • Auditing works liaising with site management and appropriate staff
  • Daily, weekly or monthly reporting as required
  • Carrying out pre and post-construction surveys
  • Providing toolbox talks
  • Carry out watch and briefs
  • Review and audit of site documentation and RAMS
  • Attend site meetings
  • Attend emergency situations and advise on response
  • Liaise with statutory bodies and assist in achieving consents and licences or reporting requirements

Furthermore, there are also two types of ECoW, ‘Advisory’ and ‘Auditing’,  the applicability of which are project dependent and will be determined by the consenting body. The Association of Environmental and Ecological Clerk of Works identifies two slightly different roles as such:

Advisory ECoW

Advisory ECoW operate with developers or contractors to provide ongoing proactive advice and support. They monitor compliance, which allows potential issues to be identified and remedied before they become noncompliance. They also help site staff and clients understand the risks and consequences of non-compliance, giving regulators, developers and contractors extra comfort that issues will quickly be resolved.

Auditing ECoW 

Auditing ECoW monitor compliance with legislation and/or project documentation — they don’t provide proactive support. The role normally includes routine visits to the site, reviewing conditions and environmental reports and monitoring compliance with legislation and required mitigation measures. They report any non-compliance to the developer or statutory body, depending on contract requirements.

If you are looking for an ‘Ecological Clerk of Works’ only, see our dedicated page here.

More information on ECoWs and their role can be found in The Association of Environmental and Ecological Clerks of Works  (AEECoW) ‘Good Practice Guidelines for Planning Authorities‘.