Evidence Advisory Committee (EAC) terms of reference

Terms of Reference agreed: November 2023
Next review date: September 2024


The Evidence Advisory Committee (EAC) is a committee established by the Board whose principal role is to advise the Board and provide independent advice, challenge and review to the Knowledge and Evidence Department, its strategic direction, and wider NRW evidence functions.


EAC advises the NRW Board on approved NRW evidence programmes and their operational delivery, especially on the balance of strategic and operational focussed evidence.

EAC will help to strengthen understanding in the wider research community and evidence users in government of NRW evidence processes and priorities. It also aims to ensure the adherence across NRW to the principles and guidelines laid down in central government guidance on obtaining and using scientific advice and related codes of practice.

EAC will aim to address all evidence approaches used at NRW and all academic disciplines that are required to provide evidence for  decision-making.

EAC will scrutinise and provide assurance to the Board on performance towards the Corporate Plan Wellbeing Objectives as relevant to EAC. 


The EAC is authorised and required by the Board to:

  • promote, stimulate and encourage the embedding of evidence processes, quality assurance, and delivery;
  • act as a sounding board for strategic and operational evidence identified or being delivered by NRW;
  • provide oversight and scrutiny of all relevant reports for Data and Information business transformation;
  • highlight new approaches to delivering evidence and innovation for NRW;
  • recommend to the Board the balance of the evidence portfolio between operational and policy, reactive and futures, for future resource allocation;
  • report to the NRW Board on the quality and fitness of evidence process and delivery in NRW;
  • champion at Board level the use of futures studies in NRW, including technology and innovation foresight.

EAC may make public statements, if necessary, once the NRW Board has accepted their advice. Internal communications may be used to support or promote the principles of evidence use in policy and operational decision making, highlight areas of interest, task and finish groups, and key outcomes from each meeting.


EAC will aim to meet three times per year, typically to include January and June to assist the programming and budgetary cycle.


EAC will be chaired by Professor Steve Ormerod.

Membership will comprise a second NRW Board member and about ten independent external members with an understanding of the Welsh context, judged by the EAC Chair and NRW leads to offer a diverse range of appropriate expertise, e.g. interdisciplinary evidence approaches (including behavioural insights), SMNR, research impact, analytical approaches, operational research, technology innovation, and science communications.

The terms of the independent external members is three years. Second terms are permissible upon mutual agreement between members and the EAC Chair. In exceptional circumstances, a third term may be permissible. Independent members’ appointment can be terminated with immediate effect by NRW or the independent members at any time, if made in writing.

Last updated