The Association is governed by a board of trustees who are partly elected on a regional basis, and partly elected on a national basis. Click on the organisation chart below to see how the constituent parts of IWA fit together.
There are a number of national committees, each reporting to the board of trustees. For each committee there is an agreed , with areas of delegated responsibility. The current national committees are:
Waterway Recovery Group
Remuneration Committee (decides remuneration for senior employees)
Awards Panel (produces recommendations for national awards from nominations received)
The members of these committees are appointed by trustees, usually by approving recommendations from the committees themselves following advertisement for members. Appointments are usually for three-year terms. Some committees have sub-committees or working groups. The main ones are Events Committee and Canalway Cavalcade Committee, which are both sub-committees of Marketing Committee, and Investment Working Group, which is a sub-committee of Finance Committee.
For historical reasons, the Waterway Recovery Group committee is known as the 'WRG Board', and there is a wider 'WRG Committee' of active WRG organisers and volunteers (not shown on the chart above). WRG maintains a distinct image with its own logo, with the 'WRG Board' delegated by trustees to run WRG's operations, financed from within IWA's budget, with the support of staff at Head Office (see below). WRG also has regional groups, which operate similarly to IWA branches, but without any fixed rules or byelaws.
The Association has one subsidiary company, Essex Waterways Ltd, which manages the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation in Essex. This company is run by a board of directors appointed by IWA's trustees, but otherwise operates independently of IWA (hence the dotted line on the chart). Essex Waterways Ltd staff details are listed on the Essex Waterways contact page.
Geographically, IWA is divided into eight regions, with the membership in each of these regions electing their own region chairman, who consist of the eight regionally elected trustees. Within each of these regions are between three and six branches (plus any groups, which have similar activities to branches but are not formally constituted as such). The operations of regions and branches are covered by byelaws formulated by trustees.
The Association employs a chief executive, appointed by trustees, who heads a staff, mostly based at the Association's Head Office at Chesham. The chief executive has responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Association, and the staff undertake work in running the Association's administration, including the collection of membership subscriptions, general enquiries, running the web site, e-mail arrangements, receiving and banking income, making payments for expenditure throughout IWA and Essex Waterways Ltd, arranging insurance for IWA corporate members, running the mail order shop, and providing support to all parts of the Association including WRG. Much of the Association's campaign work at a national level is undertaken from Head Office, once policy is set by trustees and relevant committees (mostly Navigation Committee). The team at Head Office also look after the Restoration Hub and publication of Waterways magazine and other IWA publications and promotional material and lead on membership recruitment for IWA. The Finance Manager at Head Office is also the Association's Company Secretary.