Joining CoST

There are two ways to join CoST, either as a CoST member or as a CoST affiliate member.

Membership

CoST membership is aimed at those committed to improving transparency and accountability in public infrastructure and see CoST as central to that reform effort.

Applications to join CoST as a member are open through competitive cycles and these cycles will be announced here and via CoST news when open. The competitive process allocates a set number of positions to any government (sub or national), megaproject or procuring entity with a determination to promote lasting impact in infrastructure transparency. More information about the 2019 competitive process can be found here.

Details of this membership type are as follows:

Membership status is open to any national or sub-national part of government and its partners in private sector and civil society, and to individual procuring entities and megaprojects.

  • Members commit to adopting the full CoST approach including multi-stakeholder working, disclosure, assurance and social accountability.
  • The CoST Board monitors the performance of members and continued membership demonstrates that the CoST Board is satisfied that the performance of the member is adequate.
  • Members are subject to the CoST performance monitoring procedures. A continued failure to perform can result in membership being revoked.

Further details on membership, including a member’s rights and responsibilities, support they can receive from CoST IS and the steps to take to make an application are outlined in the Joining CoST Guidance Note.

Affiliate membership

CoST affiliate membership is aimed at those committed to improving transparency and accountability in public infrastructure and see CoST as a source of tools and an approach that can support that reform effort.

Applications for CoST affiliate membership are separate to the CoST competitive process and are accepted on a rolling basis.

Details of this membership type are as follows:

  • Affiliate membership is open to any national or sub-national part of government and to individual procuring entities and megaprojects.
    Affiliate members adopt and adapt those aspects of the CoST approach that they consider most useful and appropriate in their circumstances.
  • The CoST Board does monitor the progress of members in this category and continued membership does not imply that CoST endorses or approves of their reform effort.
  • Affiliate members publish progress reports and through this mechanism are accountable to their stakeholders.
  • Affiliate members are not subject to the CoST performance procedures. However, the CoST Board reserves the right to periodically review if affiliate members are meeting their responsibilities. A failure to meet responsibilities, or to respond to Board requests for information, can result in affiliate membership being revoked.

Further details on affiliate membership, including an affiliate member’s rights and responsibilities, support they can receive from CoST IS and the steps to take to make an application are outlined in the Joining CoST Guidance Note.

Moving between membership categories

It is possible to move between member and affiliate categories in both directions and at the discretion of the CoST Board. A member might consider that reforms have been institutionalised to a point where some elements of the full CoST approach are no longer necessary. In such circumstances, switching to become an affiliate member would enable them to continue benefiting from an association with CoST, but in a way that had fewer responsibilities and therefore constituted a ‘lighter touch’ relationship. Alternatively, an affiliate could be the starting point for a reform effort that needs to build support and gain momentum before switching to become a member once they are in place and there is appetite for a more substantial effort based on the full CoST approach. Affiliate members would make this transition during the CoST competitive cycle when positions for membership are open.

There is no hierarchy between categories of membership but different options, and prospective members must decide which option is most relevant in their circumstances.

Using CoST tools and resources

In addition to the two membership types, anyone can use the freely available range of tools and resources from our website at any time without joining CoST, to aide their efforts to improve transparency and accountability in public and public/private infrastructure investment.

What are the application steps?

During a competitive cycle members can find an ‘engagement process’ with CoST useful ahead of making an application, and then when ready an application comprises three items: A letter of application, an implementation plan and a budget and finance plan. Affiliate members applying to CoST on a rolling basis are encouraged to enter into engagement and apply via a letter of application.  Further details of the engagement process and the application documents are outlined in the Joining CoST Guidance Note.