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Environmental Clerk of Works (EnvCoW) Foundation Course

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


This Masters level programme provides a general overview of all areas in which an Environmental Clerk of Works will be required to operate.  The ECoW role is fundamental to the construction industry, providing advice and guidance on best practices in a variety of environmental issues on site.

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.



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



This course is equivalent to 20 credits at SCQF Level 11. It is approved by IEMA and we work closely with them to ensure the course is high quality and relevant to industry professionals.


Industry Partnerships - Naturally Compliant

UWS believes that meaningful, practice-informed learning should be at the heart of everything we do. 

This course is delivered in collaboration with Naturally Compliant, who provide environmental consultancy resource to the construction sector. Working closely with Director, Simon Knott, our EnvCoW course participants will benefit from his wealth of on-site experience and industry expertise as he guides learners through the latest legislation for environmental compliance.


 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 

  • 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.


Learning outcomes

At the end of this course delegates 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.


Delivery - 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 to 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.



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 individuals through the Upskilling Fund.  If you are eligible for part-funding, a fee of £500 is payable, instead of the full course fee of £1,500.  Further details, including regarding eligibility, are available under Funding Support.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

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