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Environmental Clerk of Works (ECoW) Foundation Course

IEMA-Approved, online foundation programme for those already working as Environmental Clerks of Works (ECoW) within Scotland, or similar roles across the UK.



The ECoW role is fundamental to the construction industry, providing advice and guidance on best practice in a variety of environmental issues on site.

This Masters level programme provides a general overview of all areas in which an Environmental Clerk of Works will be required to operate. 

Topics include: the end-to-end construction process; water management and pollution control; waste and resource management (land contamination, waste, sustainability); auditing skills and project management.

The programme has been developed in collaboration with industry bodies including SEPA and can be used as recognised CPD.  It can also be used as credit towards various Masters programmes.


On completion of the course and successful submission of a final assessment, candidates will be awarded 20 credits at SCQF Level 11.  The course is approved by IEMA and we work closely with them to ensure the course is high quality and relevant to industry professionals.

Partnership with RSK

This course is designed and delivered in collaboration with the global engineering and environmental consultancy firm, RSK. 
















Course Content

The course content is designed to be as interactive as possible with workshops forming the foundation of the course, with sessions on:

  • Construction site context: focusing on contractual process, competing pressures and environmental management, including the importance of the planning system and planning consents.

  • Personal skills: effective communication, auditing skills and mental health first aid and resilience.

Technical knowledge:

  • Hydrology, water management and pollution control - this session will look at the consenting requirements and good practice and where to find supporting information.

  • Ecology: an overview of protected species and associated survey requirements and mitigation strategies.

  • Archaeology and landscape architecture: an overview of requirements typically found on construction projects.

  • Waste and resource management: this session will focus on the use of materials and whether they are fit for purpose and when waste legislation applies.  This session will also focus on contaminated land and disposal routes, including duty of care requirements.


Course outline is as follows:

Introduction to the Environmental Clerk of Works role
Understanding Construction Industry Contracts and Processes
Foundations of Water Management: 1. Overview of Legislative Framework
Foundations of Water Management: 2. Good Practice and Spill Response
Foundations of Water Management: 3. Planning and Pollution Incidents
Auditing and Reporting as an Environmental Clerk of Works
Ecology for ECoWs
Emerging Risks in the ECoW Environment 
Waste Management
Materials Management
Mental Health, Resilience and Communication
Review of content, presentations and discussion 

The course content will also be accessible online for a limited time after the course has been delivered, allowing participants to revisit the learning materials in order to consolidate their learning.

Course format - online

The course is a combination of self-paced study and live sessions.  These live online sessions typically take place on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for the duration of the course from 10am-12pm UK time.  A full timetable is available on request by contacting  Typically the course comprises approximately 20 hours of contact time plus self-study.

Course format - face to face

The course is delivered over five days on an intensive basis, at our campus in Hamilton, Lanarkshire - easily accessible from all over Scotland, with accommodation nearby.  In-person sessions are held with both academics and industry professionals, and are supported by additional online learning.  There are roughly seven hours of study per day Monday-Thursday, with a final presentation and review on the Friday morning.  Refreshments are provided and parking is available.  


Delegates are assigned a case study at the start of the course and will use this to generate and submit a portfolio of short pieces of work over the duration of the course.  Delegates will also be asked to make a short presentation summarising their case study and findings, at the end of the course.


This course may be available on a part funded basis to some delegates through the Upskilling Fund.  If eligible, a subsidy of £1000 towards the course fee will be applied; individuals will be required to pay the £500 balance.  Further details, including regarding eligibility, are available under Funding Support.

If you have any questions, please contact us at


At the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Confidently apply critical understanding of the development of environmental protection and sustainability
  • Confidently interpret legislative documentation
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of control measures in relation to environmental impacts
  • Identify issues in a range of project settings
  • Communicate effectively in a variety of professional settings and environments
  • Work independently to create programmes of management for environmental issues



Delegates should have a basic understanding of environmental constraints associated with the construction industry.  Course participants may already be working as an ECoW or similar, or hold a relevant first degree and have industry experience.



This course is for those providing any onsite environmental auditing and compliance services.

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