UAG Terms of Reference

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The AA’s Utility Arboriculture Group

Terms of Reference Version 6 – April 2015

 

Purpose

The purpose of the Utility Arboriculture Group (UAG) is to champion the development and maintenance of a safe and sustainable utility arboriculture industry through the establishment of unified and nationally recognised tree care and safety standards accepted by all stakeholders.

The purpose of the Utility Arboriculture Group (UAG) is to champion the development and maintenance of a safe and sustainable utility arboriculture industry through the establishment of unified and nationally recognised tree care and safety standards accepted by all stakeholders.

Scope

Arboricultural works for the distribution of all utility services including electricity distribution, telecommunications, gas and water services, highways, rail, water and other transportation networks.

Structure

The UAG is a sub group of the Arboricultural Association’s Professional Committee (PC). It has various grades of membership: Virtual Utility Member, Full Utility Member and UAG Member.

Virtual Utility Members: anyone can become a Virtual Member by supplying an email address to the membership officer via uag@trees.org.uk.

Full Utility Members: any AA member at Corporate, Fellow, Professional, Technician, Associate, or Ordinary grade can apply to be a Full Utility Member by paying a supplement to their AA Membership fee. The supplement is currently £9 per year or part year.

UAG Members: any Full Utility Member may nominate themselves for election to become a UAG Member. At least one Core Member must be a member of PC and must report UAG matters to PC regularly. The process of the election of UAG Member nominees is shown following.

UAG Membership and Democracy
  1. The UAG consists of between 4 and 12 Members assigned to represent specialist areas as follows:
    4 Utility Arboriculture Contractors
    4 Utility companies who employ Utility Arboriculture Contractors
    1 Consultant to the UA industry
    1 Training and Certification provider to the UA industry
    1 Supplier to the UA industry
      Arboricultural Association (staff, Trustee or committee member)
    1 Plus co-opted UAG Members as appropriate
    12  
  2. UAG representatives are generally expected to serve a three-year term after which they must retire or seek re-election.
  3. Self-nominations are invited in September/October each year or earlier if a mid-year resignation leaves a specialist area underrepresented in the view of the UAG.
  4. When nominations exceed vacancies voting papers will be circulated by email to all Full Utility Members who may vote for their preferred nominee(s). Full Utility Members will, as far as possible, choose nominees suited to the specialist area in which the vacancy exists.
  5. To stand as a nominee to represent a company (i.e. Utility Arb Contractor, Utility Company, Supplier to UA Industry) AA membership should be held at Corporate rather than individual level. Equally, if seeking to represent a Consultancy firm or a college or training business, corporate membership would also be required. If the nominee seeks to represent themselves on the UAG as an independent consultant or training specialist, individual membership is sufficient.
  6. The result of the vote will be presented to the Professional Committee which will normally approve the election results subject to at least one member of the UAG being a member of the PC.
  7. UAG members are expected to attend four UAG meetings per year and contribute the time and effort between meetings necessary to achieve the UAG’s objectives within agreed timescales.
  8. The UAG may propose co-option of as many members as is necessary to effect any business of the group (e.g. providing specialist knowledge, skills, advice or opinion). [Co-options are determined by the UAG chair, or in absence of an elected chair by core group vote. Co-opted members have normal voting rights and are considered full members of the group. They hold office until the next UAG election.]
  9. Retiring members may stand for re-election immediately.

The UAG will meet quarterly. At its first meeting following the UAG elections it will elect a Chair-person from its number. The Chair will stand for a three year term, unless choosing to retire before that time. UAG Members are not paid for their service to the group, meet their own expenses and may be required to host venues for meetings.

Communication

Formal comment made by the UAG is made via the PC or the CEO.

The UAG communicates at various levels:

  1. To Full Utility Members. This is by email and includes safety bulletins, minutes of UAG meetings, notifications of UAG vacancies with an invitation for self-nomination and details of consultations on which the UAG is considering making comment with an invitation to make views known for a combined UAG response.
  2. To Virtual Members. This is by email and includes safety bulletins and other industry relevant notifications.
  3. To AA members. This is through the ARB Magazine and AA eNews (the UAG is responsible for supplying material a minimum of six weeks in advance of distribution dates).
  4. To the world. This is by through the UAG section of the AA’s website and by press releases and other announcements.