Working with ALERC
ALERC’s national co-ordinator and directors are the leading source of information and advice regarding the LERC sector in the UK. Drawing on knowledge and expertise from years of working with LERCs, and from industry expertise within its directorate and wider afield, ALERC is able to support the delivery of environmental data projects, commercial contracts or longer term initiatives.
Involving ALERC in environmental data projects ensures important information and local context are included.
ALERC provides insight and expertise in the following areas:
West of England Nature Partnership Environmental Data Review
This was a project in the Bristol region to “identify the best means to deliver users’ needs for environmental data by reviewing the current system and conducting an appraisal of possible alternative governance and funding models going forwards”. The need came from the fact that the model for environmental data management and supply has been the same for a number of years in the region and required a review to confirm it was optimal. ALERC was subcontracted for its extensive knowledge of a large range of business and governance models for local environmental data and was able to draw in evidence on how this is achieved in various parts of the country. The result was to produce advice on best practise in the West of England (Bristol) region, backed up by evidence. Key to this was communicating with ALERC member LERCs to uncover innovative ways in which data is collected and managed and communicating that to local stakeholders in the Bristol region.
CEDaR Biodiversity Data Health Check
This project arose because the Centre for Environmental Data and Recording (CEDaR), the environmental records centre for Northern Ireland, had reached a point in its development where it needed to reflect, assess the quality of its database and plan steps for improvement going forwards. CEDaR commissioned ALERC to conduct a “health check” on their data. The project gathered stakeholder views and experiences and combined them with analysis of CEDaR’s databases. As the task had an open brief, ALERC used its experience of similar previous projects to plan full stakeholder engagement and efficient data analysis in order to complete a successful project. The result was a document that described the experiences of CEDaR stakeholders, found strengths and weaknesses in CEDaR’s data and provided recommendations for improving it.
ALERC National Coordinator support has assisted a number of LERCs in achieving accreditation. A small investment (typically around five days of ANC time) can dramatically reduce the amount of effort LERCs need to be ready for their assessment. This is because the ALERC National Coordinator is able to support members working towards accreditation in a number of ways:
- Advice and guidane
- Ideal for those organisations who think they are well on the way to being accredited but need assurance that what they are preparing is appropriate.
- Submission preparation
- Whilst a lot of accreditation work can only be completed by LERCs and their staff (e.g. documenting procedures), much of it can also be completed by a third party. ALERC National Coordinator time has been successfully employed to do this at a number of LERCs who needed to augment their own staff time in order to complete their submissions in a timely manner.