CLAiRE Code of Practice (DoWCoP)


The CLAiRE Code of Practice (CoP) sets out good practice for the development industry to use when:

  1. Assessing on a site specific basis whether excavated materials are classified as waste or not; and
  2. Determining on a site specific basis when treated excavated waste can cease to be waste for a particular use.


It describes an auditable system to demonstrate that this CoP has been adhered to. The good practice, promoted within DoWCoP, has three basic steps:

  1. Ensuring that an adequate Materials Management Plan (MMP) is in place, covering the use of materials on a specific site;
  2. Ensuring that the MMP is based on an appropriate risk assessment, that underpins the Remediation Strategy or Design Statement, concluding that the objectives of preventing harm to human health and pollution of the environment will be met if materials are used in the proposed manner; and
  3. Ensuring that materials are actually treated and used as set out in the MMP and that this is subsequently demonstrated in a Verification Report.

Principles for Use of materials as Non-Waste

Materials are only considered to be waste if they are discarded, intended to be discarded or required to be discarded by the holder. Once discarded, they remain a waste until fully recovered. This remains the case even when the holder of the waste changes and the subsequent holder has a use for it.

There is no single factor that can be used to determine if something is a waste or when it ceases to be waste. However in the context of excavated materials used on sites undergoing development the following factors are considered to be of particular relevance:

  1. Protection of human health and the environment;
  2. Suitability for use;
  3. Certainty of use;
  4. Quantity of material.

In order to demonstrate these four factors a Materials Management Plan is produced which helps to ensure that the above matters are considered and a correct determination is made in relation to the nature of the materials.

CLAiRE Code of Practice DoWCoP Scenarios

Three typical scenarios and processes of re-use are covered within the DoWCoP:

  • Use on Site of Origin: Materials reused, treated or untreated, but must be within a single identifiable site;
  • Drect Transfer: Reuse of clean, naturally occuring soil and materials, transferred directly from one site to another without the need fo treatment;
  • Cluster: The remdiation and development of multiple close-proximity sites using a shared teratment facility ppoistioned on one of those sites;

Fixed Treatment Facilities can also form part of the DoWCoP process. These are a permenant facility which can accept wastes from a varoierty of producers and is controlled and operated under environmental permitting.

Materials Management Plan (MMP)

The Materials Management Plan should set out the objectives relating to the use of the materials and should accompany a Remediation Strategy or Design Statement, which has been derived using an appropriate risk assessment. It should bring together all the relevant information to demonstrate that all four key factors will be met and include a tracking system and contingency arrangements. ESP have comprehensive experience at colleating and preparing MMPs.

Qualified Person (QP)

A Qualified Person must review the evidence relating to the proposed use of materials on a specific site and if satisfied, will sign a Declaration and submit it to Cl:AiRE and the EA/NRW. A copy of the declaration is also immediately supplied to the person commissioning the excavation. The Declaration serves as a notification to the EA/NRW that a site is to be developed using the DoWCoP Code of Practice. The copy sent to the person commissioning the Qualified Person serves as a reminder that the Materials Management Plan must be followed and that a Verification Report has to be completed. In order to act as a Qualified Person an individual must possess certain attributes which are fully outlined in the CLAiRE Code of Practice DoWCoP and a formal qualification and registration is required. ESP have a number of regsitered QPs in house.

Verification Report

During/on completion of the works a Verification Report must be produced which provides an audit trail to show that materials and wastes have gone to the correct destination. The Report needs to show how the use of materials links with the objectives defined in the Remediation Strategy or Design Statement such that they have been furthered or fully met.

The Verification Report is not part of the Materials Management Plan and is often prepared anyway as part of existing site requirements  and the Verification Report must document any changes that may have been made to the Materials Management Plan i.e. what alterations to the project have been formally made and/or contingency arrangements have been implemented.

Examples of recent ESP experience:

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