Our governance

Details of our meetings, our relationship with Defra, funding arrangements, appointments procedure and code of conduct for members.

Although ACRE is a UK-wide advisory body, Defra takes the lead in monitoring its activities and provides the secretariat.


We meet about 3 times a year. We aim to publish the agenda for each meeting shortly beforehand.

Our next meeting will be on Monday 9 January 2017 in London, and will be open to members of the public to attend as observers. Members of the public who wish to attend need to registry by e-mailing acre.secretariat@defra.gsi.gov.uk.

Agenda for next meeting: 9 January 2017 (PDF, 72.6KB, 1 page)

Minutes of last meeting: 23 March 2016 (PDF, 48KB, 11 pages)

Previous ACRE minutes can be found on the National Archives website.

Terms of membership

Ministers in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) appoint the committee members for ACRE, together with ministers in the devolved administrations. Appointments are made in accordance with the requirements of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Specifications for new members are agreed between the chair and Defra in order to meet the future challenges facing the committee and in order to fill any gaps in the committee’s expertise.

Members are appointed for 3- or 4-year terms. A member can serve on ACRE for up to 10 years, as long as they are reappointed by ministers. If a new chair is appointed who has previously been a member, they are eligible to begin a new 10-year term.

Committee members do not receive any direct remuneration for their services, although reasonable travel and subsistence expenses can be reimbursed.

Members’ biographies and register of interests

As part of our commitment to transparency we publish a register of our members’ interests and members’ biographies.

Professor Rosemary Hails has been re-appointed as the Chair to the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment by Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food George Eustice. The appointment has been made in accordance with the code issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments and will run from 1 September 2016 until 31 August 2019. Professor Rosemary Hails has not declared any political activity in the past five years.

We are in the process of updating this document to include changes reported by ACRE members:

ACRE biographies and register of interests (PDF, 418KB, 21 pages)

ACRE framework agreement

This framework document outlines our:

  • relationship with Defra
  • relationship with devolved administrations and other government bodies
  • funding arrangements
  • appointments procedure
  • code of conduct for members

It also contains our terms of reference.

ACRE framework agreement (PDF, 123KB, 10 pages)