In this page
a) This document sets out the terms and conditions applied by the Welsh Government for Registered Woodland Planners (RWPs) to plan, prepare and submit a Woodland Plan through Welsh Government Woodland Planning schemes.
b) An applicant to Welsh Government’s Woodland Planning schemes must use a RWP to plan, prepare and submit a Woodland Plan to access funding. RWPs play a critical role in the delivery of Woodland Planning schemes in partnership with the applicant, their authorised agent, the Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Woodland Programme team and the Welsh Government.
c) This document seeks to ensure that Woodland Plans are produced to high professional standards, reflected in the requirements for RWP registration and that performances which fall short of this are dealt with in a manner that protects these standards.
d) These Terms and Conditions will be reviewed as required. The Welsh Government confirms its policy of ongoing consultation on the implementation of these Terms and Conditions.
Please see Annex I for a full list of definitions relevant to this document.
2. Register of Woodland Planners
a) The Welsh Government will maintain a Register (“the Register”) of RWPs and the businesses they work for. Only RWPs will be eligible to prepare and submit Woodland Plans on behalf of applicants for Welsh Government Woodland Planning schemes, unless expressly stated otherwise in the relevant scheme documents.
b) The Register will list the details of the RWP including the geographical area the RWP works in, whether the individual is a Welsh speaker and a short summary of the type of work the individual specialises in.
c) The Register will be published on the Welsh Government website for members of the public to source a RWP. Therefore, Registered Businesses and individual RWPs information provided when applying to be on the Register will be made public. The Register of Woodland Planners: privacy notice is available.
d) In order for a business to be included on the Register, it must:
- employ at least one eligible RWP
- confirm that a RWP will sign off every Woodland Plan produced, and
- provide a central contact in the business for Welsh Government
e) Inclusion of a business or individuals on the Register needs to be made using separate applications.
f) All Registered Businesses require a Customer Reference Number (CRN) from Rural Payments Wales (RPW).
g) If you register as part of multiple businesses, you must ensure you have considered conflicts of interest, and that your Customer Reference Number (CRN) and Professional Indemnity Insurance meets the conditions of the businesses.
i) If you move to another forestry business, retire or no longer practice forestry, you must inform Welsh Government who will update the Register and the WPR.
3. Register eligibility to become a RWP
a) An Associate or Professional Member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) or a similar professional body, such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).
b) In exceptional circumstances if an individual is not a Member of a Chartered Institute but is able to evidence producing UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) compliant Woodland Plans within the last 5 years they may be eligible.
c) If the RWP holds an associate membership of a Chartered Institute or equivalent, they can remain on the Register with that status for up to 10 years from joining the Register, after which time they must either obtain full professional membership or they may be removed from the Register, unless a RWP can evidence producing UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) compliant woodland plans for Welsh holdings within the last 5 years.
d) The individual and/or business must hold a valid certificate of Professional Indemnity Insurance with a minimum insured value of £500,000 and must ensure they hold adequate insurance to indemnify the work being undertaken. A current Professional Indemnity Insurance policy to the value of the amount specified above must be held for the duration of registration.
e) A RWP must maintain a good record of submitting fully completed Woodland Plans that meet the standards set out in Section 4. Woodland Plans need to be submitted to RPW and consistently meet deadlines set by the Welsh Government or NRW.
f) NRW and the Welsh Government will arrange mandatory training days for RWPs with a minimum 8 weeks’ notice. To remain on the Register, a RWP must attend all training sessions unless there is a compelling reason for non-attendance.
g) Once on the Register a RWP is expected to complete a minimum of one Welsh Government Woodland Plan annually or provide an explanation to Welsh Government of why this has not been possible, this can be checked via the WPR. Welsh Government will undertake this assessment annually.
h) A RWP must not provide false or misleading information or declarations, or withhold essential information which may lead to an approval being granted or a grant being paid inappropriately by the Welsh Government.
i) A RWP must treat the Welsh Government and NRW staff, applicants and members of the public with courtesy, politeness and respect and act in accordance with their professional body’s code of conduct.
4. Standards and policies
a) A RWP is expected to provide an applicant with a service and Woodland Plan which demonstrates expertise, care and diligence in meeting the following Forestry Standards and Policies:
- Institute of Chartered Foresters Code of Conduct, Professional Values and Rules for professional conduct and practice
- The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors - Rules of Conduct for Members and Firms
- The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management - Code of Professional Conduct (‘the Code’)
- UK Forestry Standard (UKFS)
- Welsh Government Woodland Planning schemes guidance
b) At the time of preparing a Woodland Plan for approval, a RWP must be satisfied that, where applicable, any work undertaken meets, or continues to meet, the requirements of the particular scheme and the UKFS, and that all documentation has been prepared with proper care and diligence, with due regard to the requirements of the scheme.
c) If the RWP fails to comply with the relevant scheme rules or UKFS without valid explanation or provides incorrect or insufficient advice or information for approval of the Woodland Plan, the Welsh Government will not accept any responsibility if that Woodland Plan is rejected, nor fund any further work required to ensure the Woodland Plan is accepted.
5. Updating the register, warnings and penalties
Annually the Welsh Government will review whether individuals on the Register still meet the eligibility requirements.
b) The NRW Woodland Programme team will be required to provide written evidence to the Steering Group of RWPs which fail to meet the Standards and Policies of the Register.
c) If the Steering Group consider any of the eligibility criteria have not been met, the RWP and/or business will be advised in writing and given an opportunity to respond within a one-month period and afforded the opportunity of a meeting with the Steering Group to discuss the issue.
d) Following consideration of any representation made by the RWP and/or Business, the Steering Group will determine whether to remove the planner or business from the Register for up to 2 years.
e) In circumstances where the RWP is removed from the Register, all Woodland Plans being developed at the time of suspension must be transferred to another RWP in the business or sent back to the Welsh Government who will reallocate to another RWP.
f) The applicant(s) will be informed of any sanctions imposed on a RWP or Registered Business by the Welsh Government.
g) Where a business appears on the Register with multiple RWPs, the business shall be responsible for compliance with these Terms and Conditions and may be removed from the Register if the RWPs in the business do not comply with them.
6. General provisions
a). RWPs and Registered Businesses will be expected to comply with all reasonable requirements relating to the proper completion and return of forms and documents and shall furnish, without undue delay, any information appropriate to the relevant Welsh Government Woodland Planning scheme sought from time to time by the Welsh Government, including access to records held by a RWP or their employer.
b) NRW and Welsh Government will be expected to comply with all reasonable requirements for appropriate information relevant to the Welsh Government Woodland Planning schemes.
c) As part of the compilation of a Woodland Plan, a RWP is responsible for obtaining all necessary licences and associated documents and required consents.
d) RWPs and Registered Businesses will be expected to operate in line with the Standards and Policies for the Register, including the use of all IT facilities, new administrative systems and on-line systems, as may be required by the Welsh Government.
e) It is a condition of registration that all grant-aided activities shall be conducted in compliance with the laws of England and Wales relating, inter alia, to tax and employment. A declaration of compliance in this regard may be required from a RWP or Registered Business.
f) The Welsh Government reserves the right to delete, replace or amend these Terms and Conditions and will inform RWPs at the earliest opportunity. The UKFS applicable to Welsh Government Woodland Planning schemes may also be amended from time to time. All Registered Business and where relevant individual RWPs will be notified in writing prior to any deletions, replacements or amendments taking effect and provided with reasonable notice of such changes. It is the responsibility of the Registered Business to share any changes they are notified of with their RWPs.
g) The rights and remedies set out in this document shall not prejudice any rights or remedies available to the various parties at common law.
h) Either party may terminate a registration under these Terms and Conditions by written notice. The Welsh Government will inform a Registered Business and/or RWP in writing in the event of their registration being terminated without their consent.
i) The Welsh Government may terminate a registration under these Terms and Conditions immediately in the event of a Registered Business, RWP or their employer becoming insolvent or if insolvency, receivership or bankruptcy proceedings are commenced by, or against, the Registered Business, RWP or their employer, or if an administrator is appointed, or if the Registered Business or RWP assigns this agreement or any rights under this agreement without the prior written consent of Welsh Government.
j) Where a RWP transfers employment from one business to another, a new application must be made by the business to which the RWP has transferred.
7. Data disclosure
Sharing Personal Data
The information you provide will be used to:
- publish the Register of Registered Businesses and individual RWPs (including names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses)
- be added to the WPR
- confirm with the Institute of Chartered Foresters or other recognised professional bodies that the RWP is a member of the professional body
- for ongoing correspondence such as invitations to training and events, updates on woodland policy and schemes
- enable the Welsh Government (or its agents) to deliver training, process Woodland Plans, administer woodland schemes and check standards are maintained by Registered Businesses and RWPs
- allow partner organisations to fulfil their legal duties. We may need to share personal information with regulatory authorities, such as HM Revenue and Customs, Local Authorities, Health and Safety Executive and the Police in order to assess eligibility
The Publication and Disclosure of Information
The information will be managed and used by the Welsh Government in accordance with its obligations and duties under the following legislation:
- Freedom of Information Act 2000
- Environmental Information Regulations 2004
- Data Protection Act 2018
- General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)
Your information, including your personal information, may be the subject of a request by another member of the public. When responding to such requests, the Welsh Government may be required to release information, including your personal information, to fulfil its obligations under the above legislation.
We will keep personal information contained in files in line with our retention policy.
Under the data protection legislation, you have the right:
- to access the personal data the Welsh Government holds on you
- to require us to rectify inaccuracies in that data
- to (in certain circumstances) object to or restrict processing
- for (in certain circumstances) your data to be ‘erased’
- to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who is the independent regulator for data protection
For further details about the information the Welsh Government holds and its use, or if you want to exercise your rights under the GDPR, please see contact details below:
Data Protection Officer
The contact details for the Information Commissioner’s Office are:
2nd Floor, Churchill House
Telephone: 0330 414 6421
Annex I: definitions
‘Applicant’ means the person or entity so named in a Welsh Government Woodland Planning scheme expression of interest or application.
‘Approval’ means the approval of the Woodland Plan following validation and verification checks by the Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
‘Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Woodland Programme team’ are the team based in NRW who verify woodland plans in compliance with the UK Forestry Standard (UKFS), scheme rules and value for money rules.
‘RegisteredBusiness’ means the business which has applied to be on the Register and which employs the RWP(s).
‘Registered Woodland Planner (RWP)’ means an individual who provides forestry services and has been accepted onto the Register of Woodland Planners (referred to as the Register) thereby agreeing to adhere to the terms and conditions set out in this document.
‘Rural Payments Wales (RPW)’ is a branch of the Welsh Government which manages the Welsh Government Woodland Planning schemes.
‘Standards and Policies’ means all those standards listed in Section 4.
‘Steering Group’ is a group which will consist of representatives from the Welsh Government and the Chartered bodies to oversee and review the Register of Woodland Planners.
‘The Register of Woodland Planners’ means the Welsh Government website list of all Registered Woodland Planners. Referred to as “The Register”.
‘UK Forestry Standard (UKFS)’ is a reference standard for sustainable forest management in the United Kingdom.
‘Welsh Government’ has the same meaning given by section 4 of the Wales Act 2014. The Welsh Government Rural Payments Wales (RPW) manage the Woodland schemes and the Welsh Government Forest Policy team provide the forestry policy for the schemes.
‘Woodland Plan Register (WPR)’ is a central hub for the Woodland Planning schemes, created to facilitate the woodland planning process for all parties during the verification process. Further information can be found at the following link: Woodland Plan Register | GOV.WALES
‘Woodland Plans’ means all the documentation relating to the Welsh Government Woodland Planning schemes.