UAG Terms of Reference

The AA’s Utility Arboriculture Group

Terms of Reference Version 10 – March 2019

Purpose & Scope

Utility arboriculture can be defined as the management of trees and vegetation in proximity to utility networks; these networks include electricity distribution, telecommunications, gas, water, rail and highways. Therefore, the purpose of utility arboriculture is to professionally manage trees and vegetation in proximity to utility networks to ensure a safe and uninterrupted service to customers.

The purpose of the Utility Arboriculture Group (UAG) is to innovate, influence and promote the safe, efficient and sustainable management of vegetation by and on behalf of the UK utility sector through effective and sustainable vegetation management programs. The UAG shall provide professional representation and advocacy on behalf of its members.

The UAG will serve the wider public in line with the charitable aims and adopted strategy of the Arboricultural Association, by developing, and maintaining links with the Arboricultural Association’s membership, arboricultural businesses and other relevant organisations, i.e. LANTRA, RHS, ISA, ENA, EAC and more.

Main Aims

  • To Promote collaboration and communication between utilities and related groups
  • To champion consistent best practice in sustainable vegetation management, and to communicate the latest innovations to UAG members, utilities and related groups
  • To be recognised as the reference body for UAG members, utilities and related groups, providing guidance and advice on matters relating to safety, environment, policy, regulation, innovation and education
  • Supporting the Arboricultural Association in delivering its strategic objectives


The UAG group is a sub-group of the Arboricultural Association’s Professional Committee (PC).

Managing Committee: the core working group shall include the Chair, Vice Chair, up to 10 elected members and up to 4 co-opted members, all of whom shall be representatives of the following:

  • Utility companies, who employ utility arboriculture contractors
  • Utility arboriculture contractors
  • Governmental regulators (unspecified)
  • Consultants to the utility arboriculture industry
  • Suppliers to the utility arboriculture industry
  • Training & certification providers to utility arboriculture industry
  • Arboricultural Association CEO or Technical Officer
  • Arboricultural Association administration support (non-voting)

UAG Group Membership and Democracy

  1. Elected members of the Managing Committee are generally expected to serve a three-year term of office, after which they must retire or seek re-election. Retiring members may stand for re-election immediately.
  2. Self-nominations for vacancies in the Managing Committee are invited by head office in July each year.
  3. Arboricultural Association membership must be held at Corporate rather than Individual level to stand as a nominee representing a commercial business or organisation. If the nominee seeks to represent themselves Individual membership of the Arboricultural Association is sufficient.
  4. When nominations exceed vacancies, voting papers will be circulated by email to all Managing Committee members who may vote for their preferred nominee(s). Managing Committee members will, as far as possible, be encouraged to choose nominees suited to the specialist area in which the vacancy exists. Voting shall take place in September.
  5. The result of the vote will be presented to the Professional Committee for approval. New Managing Committee members will then be notified and their term of office will start on the first Monday in November.
  6. A member of the UAG (not necessarily the Chair) will be co-opted onto the Professional Committee (PC) and shall, on most occasions, be required to attend the committee meetings in order to report the activities of the group, seek ratification of decisions and receive instructions and advice. UAG shall provide a written report to the Chair of the Professional Committee at least two weeks in advance of the Professional Committee meeting.
  7. UAG Managing Committee 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. If UAG Managing Committee members fail to fulfil these expectations they may, in the absence of accepted mitigating circumstances, be asked to leave the Managing Committee. This shall be at the discretion of the Managing Committee Chair, the Chair of PC and the CEO of the Arboricultural Association.
  8. The UAG Managing Committee may propose up to 4 co-opted committee members to effect any business of the group (e.g. providing specialist knowledge, skills, advice or opinion). Co-options are determined by vote by the UAG Managing Committee and once voted upon, shall be presented to the Professional Committee for approval. Co-opted members have normal voting rights and are considered full members of the Managing Committee, but will not be eligible to stand as Chair or Voice Chair of the Managing Committee. Co-opted Managing Committee members shall hold office until the first Monday in November following their appointment.
  9. The Chair and Vice Chair of the Managing Committee will each stand for a three year term unless choosing to retire before that time and may serve a maximum of two (2) consecutive terms. At its first meeting following retirement of either the Chair or Vice Chair the Managing Committee will elect a new Chair or Vice Chair from its elected membership, reporting the election to the CEO of the Arboricultural Association and Chair of the Professional Committee.
  10. UAG Managing Committee members, co-opted Managing Committee members and working group members are not paid for their service to the group and may be asked to host venues for meetings.


Formal comment made by the UAG Managing Committee is made via the Chair of Professional Committee and/or the Arboricultural Association CEO and/or. the Arboricultural Association Marketing Manager.

The UAG communicates at various levels:

  1. To and between Managing Committee members. By email and includes safety bulletins, minutes of UAG meetings, notifications of UAG vacancies with an invitation for self-nomination when terms of office are due to end and details of consultations on which the UAG has either been tasked to make comment on, or has sought and received authority to comment on by the Professional Committee, Chair of Professional Committee, CEO or Board of Directors/Trustees of the Arboricultural Association.
  2. To Network. By email and includes minutes of UAG meetings, other relevant actions and information and notifications of UAG vacancies with an invitation for self-nomination.
  3. To Professional Committee & Arboricultural Association HQ. An appointed representative from the UAG group shall, on at least one occasion per year, be required to attend meetings of the Professional Committee to report on the activities of the group. Minutes of the UAG Managing Committee meetings shall be sent to the Chair of the Professional Committee and the CEO of the Arboricultural Association for distribution. UAG shall provide a written report to the Chair of the Professional Committee at least two weeks in advance of the Professional Committee meetings.
  4. To AA members. Through the ARB Magazine (via the Editor & AA HQ staff) and AA eNews (Via AA Marketing Team) (the UAG is responsible for supplying material a minimum of six weeks in advance of distribution dates)
  5. To the world. Via the UAG section of the Arboricultural Association’s website and by press releases and other announcements, all of which should be approved, prior to release, by the Marketing Manager and/or Arboricultural Association CEO and/or Chair of professional Committee.