Terms of Reference

UKNEST Terms of Reference - August 2016


The organisation is UK Naval Engineering Science & Technology (UKNEST). It is an Unincorporated Association (hereinafter called a Forum) within the characteristics defined by HMRC CTM 41305.


Thriving through great people and superior technology.


To provide a forum for the UK’s professional naval engineering, science and technology community for addressing issues of common concern, fostering specific professional development needs, and giving a focal point for interaction with, and influencing the wider Government and industrial community.


  • Provide a forum where representative individuals can meet on an equal professional basis to discuss matters of interest or concern to the UKNEST community.
  • Influence training, education and professional development organizations with strategic advice on the needs of the UKNEST community.
  • Provide a representative focus for influencing Government/industry initiatives that will impact the UKNEST community.
  • Communicate the value and special interests of the UKNEST community to appropriate professional and public audiences.
  • Strengthen the collegiate spirit within the UKNEST community reflecting the shared interests between individuals and organizations.


Member organisations operate within an agreed Corporate Compliance Policy.

Membership of UKNEST is open to public and private organisations with substantial interests in the naval engineering, science and technology intellectual base, and significant UK professional assets.

Membership provides a place on the UKNEST Programme Board for a single representative.

Representatives will speak on behalf of their companies and will not seek to influence the actions of UKNEST or other Member organization for their self-interests.

Membership of UKNEST is on a one organization, one Representative basis, except where the Programme Board approves multiple membership for an organization whose structure suggests that more than one Representative might be appropriate. In this circumstance multiple membership fees would be payable.

Additional staff to support specific initiatives, particularly within Working Groups projects, is welcome but the Member only has “one vote” at the Programme Board.

UKNEST is maintained on a not-for-profit basis with annual membership fees set at a level to permit execution of the Forum’s activity. Members fund the full cost of their own participation at meetings etc.

The current list of Members can be found under Member Organisations

Committees & Officers

Operating Model

The Forum delivers through a number of Working Groups that address specific areas of interest. The Working Groups draw their representation from across the Members and are led by nominated leads (or joint-leads).The Forum operates under a P3M approach against a rolling Campaign Plan through an agenda that is set by a separate Coordinating Group whose members are co-opted by the Chair and/or nominated through the Members.

UKNEST has adopted the Portfolio, Programme, Project Management (P3M) approach, tailored where appropriate, to manage the overall Campaign Plan. Each Working Group operates to Plans, with clearly identify financial commitments, that are approved and monitored by the Programme Board.

The administration of UKNEST is undertaken by the Secretariat and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST).

The day-to-day functioning of the Forum is facilitated through the Working Groups Leaders and the Executive Coordinator.

In addition to the principal UKNEST Forum, there is an ad hoc, organic organization (FutureNEST) that has evolved through the graduate trainees within the Members. FutureNEST provides additional resources for the development of specific initiatives in support of the Working Groups. Each Member organization will normally provide between 1 and 3 graduate representatives.

Programme Board

The activities of UKNEST will be directed by a Programme Board consisting of a single representative from each Member with an independent Chair. Additional co-opted representatives (from Members) may be invited to join the Programme Board at the discretion of the permanent members.

The Programme Board will meet tri-annually.

The role of the Programme Board will include the following activities:

  • Setting membership fees, budgets and approving expenditure of UKNEST funds.
  • Selecting the topics for development by individual Working Groups
  • Appointing Working Group leads
  • Receiving Working Group reports and advising on future agenda
  • Directing the future development of UKNEST including its role within wider Government initiatives in the marine/maritime domain.
  • Seeking and approving additional Members
  • Agreeing any changes to the Terms of Reference

Whilst the majority of decisions are expected to be reached through consensus, in the event that a vote is required, each Member representative will have a single vote. In the event of equality of votes, the Chair will have a casting vote.

No Member Representative will receive direct remuneration from any contract or financial arrangement entered into by UKNEST unless approved by the Programme Board.

The Programme Board has the authority to approve expenditure by the Working Groups, Executive Coordinator and FutureNEST (including Travel & Subsistence) subject to Paragraph 7.

The business of the Programme Board will be recorded in published minutes.

Coordinating Group

The Coordinating Group will consist of Working Group chairs and other representatives co-opted from the UKNEST Member organizations. The Group will be Chaired by the UKNEST Chair.

The primary role of the Coordinating Group will be to set the agenda for each Programme Board meeting.

The Coordinating Board will meet tri-annually before each Programme Board.

The business of the Coordinating Group will be recorded in published minutes.


UK NEST will be Chaired by a single representative, drawn from the NEST sector. The position of Chair is unremunerated but related expenses are reimbursed.

The Chair will normally serve a minimum 5 Programme Board meetings with a minimum overlap period of 6 months. Longer appointments may be considered by mutual agreement between the Chair and the Programme Board.

The Chair will provide focus for the Programme Board and Coordinating Group.   Through their network of contacts within the Naval sector, it is expected that the Chair will provide a primary point of contact with National initiatives and areas of concern.

The Chair will represent the interests of the Members on appropriate National Bodies, such as the Marine Industries Leadership Council (MILC).

The Chair will be nominated by the Coordinating Group and ratified by the Programme Board (Majority vote if necessary) with a minimum representation of 75% of the Members.


The Secretariat function for UKNEST will be provided by the Institute of Marine Engineers, Science and Technology.

The role of Secretariat will include the following activities:

  • Recording and publishing minutes for Programme Board and Coordinating Group meetings.
  • Coordinating the organisation of Programme Board meetings with the host Member, including circulation of pre-meeting information to Members.
  • Organising Coordinating Meetings
  • Managing the finances of UKNEST that will include collecting annual fees and the payment of any expenditure. (See 7. Finance)
  • Contracting on behalf of UKNEST with third party suppliers.
  • Employing the UKNEST Executive Coordinator.

Executive Coordinator

The Executive Coordinator will be responsible for:

  • Providing a part-time coordinating function to enable effective functioning of the UKNEST Forum, Working Groups and FutureNEST.
  • Coordinating written responses to Government Green Papers.
  • Representing UKNEST on National bodies such as MILC Working Groups.
  • Chairing Sub-Committees as required to support Working Group business.
  • Organising UKNEST events (e.g. Careers Days).
  • Managing the UKNEST website.
  • Provision of ad hoc support as required by the Chair and Working Group leads.

The Executive Coordinator will be subject to competitive recruitment with final selection through the Programme Board or nominated Selection Committee.

The Executive Coordinator will be employed under the extant Terms and Conditions of the Institute of Marine Engineers, Science and Technology.

Working Group Chair

Working Group Chairs are responsible for setting the agenda and encouraging membership for their Group to meet the objectives set by the Programme Board.


UKNEST is funded by annual subscription that is invoiced through the Secretariat who holds and administers the account. The subscription is subject to annual review by the Programme Board.

At no time can the Programme Board authorise financial commitments that would exceed the UKNEST funds held by the Secretariat at the time of entering into the commitment.

Representatives may have delegated responsibility for specific budgets associated with initiatives within their control (such as those managed by Working Group Chairs). The budget limits will be set by the Programme Board and the day-to-day running of the financial accounts will be undertaken by the Secretariat.


In the event that the Programme Board agrees by a simple majority vote to dissolve the UKNEST Forum, for whatever reason, any remaining funds will be equally distributed amongst those subscribing Members that exist at the time.