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BDA eNewsletter | Issue: May 2022
Introduction from our Chair - Paul McMann

I am just one month into my tenure as Chair of the British Drilling Association (BDA), and whilst I have always played an active part in its activities, to see them from the Chair’s position gives me a slightly different perspective. One area I would like to look at is increasing member engagement –the BDA is OUR industry trade body and we - the BDA - must listen to the needs of BDA members if we are to react, respond and champion the issues that impact us daily.
With the aforementioned in mind, via MS Teams, I would like to establish a regular ‘open-forum’ type meeting, where BDA members can join and discuss some of the challenges pertinent to them now, which I appreciate will vary from company to company, according to their size, industry focus and services on offer. I hope the meetings will help forge closer links with members, to not only provide an update on the Association’s activities and shape their direction in a more responsive manner.
The first ‘group’ call is planned for Wednesday 15th June at 18:00, and all BDA members are welcome to join. I really would welcome you all as it is a good opportunity to voice your opinion and see if the association can increase the support it provides.
Drop me a line ( if you would like to be included.
I would also like to emphasise the importance of member engagement with the BDA’s sub-committees too, as it is only through participation that we can deliver “projects” to meet your requirements, in addition to the concerns and challenges. From time to time we also issue surveys, but also seek feedback via emails and phone calls, so please give them some time.
As you can see in this issue, there is much going on within the BDA. For example, we have our first BDA Audit awarded for closed loop geothermal installation, which is great news!
And don’t forget the annual BDA Golf Day, which is always popular so don’t delay signing up be ‘fore’ it sells out!
A Note from our General Manager, Joel Stevens

The results of the recent BDA member survey are in and whilst we will be publishing a more in-depth breakdown of feedback over the next few months, together with any action points, I thought I would share a few snippets. Perhaps the headline note is that almost overwhelmingly membership found ‘Health & Safety Guidance’ and Technical Proficiency Standards topped the list of what is important to members, with more than 85% saying this was important or very important. Of course, other issues also featured highly and probably no surprise is addressing the ongoing skills shortage.
The BDA website is also due for a refresh, the marketing sub-committee is currently working on this project. A priority will be a much more intuitive member search function, as well as a number of visual changes on various pages – including an updated homepage carousel image, with BDA member photographs being displayed.
I was pleased to attend the recent, and my first, BDA AGM (more about this later on), which gave me the opportunity to meet members face to face, as well as get a feel for the BDA’s plans going forward and its overall character. One thing stood out – the dedication and passion that people have for the drilling sector!
As I am sure you are all aware, next month is the much-anticipated BDA Five-a-Side Football Tournament and I am really looking forward to it. There are still a few team places available, so why not dust off your boots and take part?
Planning for the BDA Golf Tournament is well underway, there are currently nine teams (of four) signed up, with only one team place remaining, so if you’d like to participate, please drop me an email –  The Golf Tournament is a great event for networking and is a popular social event in the BDA calendar.
To close, I would add that there are some interesting discussions on-going about new member benefits, so keep an eye out for an update, but I would add, are there any thoughts on benefits you would like the BDA to explore? Please drop me a line with your thoughts, on
Revised BS 1377-2 Published

The British Drilling Association (BDA) would like to make its members and wider drilling sector aware that a revised BS 1377-2:2022 “Methods of test for soils for civil engineering purposes - Classification tests and determination of geotechnical properties” is available and now also includes references and complementary/non-contradictory commentary on the tests in the international series of standards.
The main change to the standard is that BS 1377-2:2022 consolidates all the tests that were previously found in BS 1377 parts 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 into one document. Therefore, the new version includes classification tests (from Part 2); compaction-related tests (from Part 4); compressibility, permeability, and durability tests (from Part 5); consolidation and permeability tests in hydraulic cells and with pore pressure measurement (from Part 6); shear strength tests – total strength (from Part 7); and shear strength tests – effective strength (from Part 8).
To learn more or to purchase the revised standard visit:
First BDA Audit for Geothermal Drilling Awarded

The BDA is pleased to announce that it has awarded its first BDA Audit, specifically for a closed loop geothermal installation.
The award was handed to Simon Spires, Lead Driller for Geo Drill Limited, with the Audit being undertaken at Comberton College near Cambridge at the end of April and completed by BDA Auditor Lee Allardyce.
This is tremendous news for the BDA Audit scheme, which has been adapted specifically to include geothermal drilling aspects and brings a level of demonstratable quality to a growing sector of the drilling industry.

To read more about this landmark see the full article here:
News from the BDA AGM

At the recent BDA AGM, held 27 April 2022, several changes were announced relating to those sitting on the various British Drilling Association (BDA) committees.
Although already announced, Paul McMann was formally appointed as Chair of the BDA.
On the main management committee, those stepping down were Natalie Bews, Jon Christie, Andrew Stevenson and John Grainger, to be replaced by Tom Walton (Soil Engineering), David Bradley (BAM Ritchies), and Neil Breach (Fugro).
The BDA also welcomed Mark Toye, who is currently active on the management committee and is Chair of the Technical & Standards sub-committee, as its new Vice Chair.
To read about changes to the sub committees visit:
BDA at GE Transport Geotechnics Conference

Chair of the BDA’s marketing sub-committee, Richard Fielden, recently attended GE Transport Geotechnics conference (19 May), to represent the Association and answer questions from those  interested in its work.
GE Transport Geotechnics 2022 brought together clients, contractors and consultants to examine key innovative projects and best practice in the development and maintenance of transport assets, and also provided the ideal opportunity to network with like-minded people in the geotechnical sector, tier 1 contractors and client organisations.
It was good to hear progress reports from major infrastructure projects with a large geotechnical input, such as HS2, East West Rail, and Trans Pennine Rail. Paul Roberts from AECOM, in addressing how the UK can meet the infrastructure challenges, noted the precipitous drop off in the number of Geology and Engineering Geology graduates and how vital these skills are in building and maintaining transport infrastructure. It would seem skills and labour shortages, as well as cost increases are shared headaches.
Another presentation was from Paul Coney, Global Lead for Transport Geotechnics for Jacobs, who explained how the Lower Thames Crossing project would be a 'carbon pathfinder', placing stringent carbon requirements on contractors and providing financial levers for contractors to reduce carbon emissions below the low carbon baseline. Joe Landers of Arup reiterated the low carbon theme, in his presentation on the use of remote data in the Transpennine Rail Upgrade project.
The event was extremely well attended, reflecting the vibrant state of the sector and the pipeline of future work, and it was good to put forward the BDA’s perspective on industry challenges too!
BDA Membership Category for Client Organisations

The BDA has created a unique ‘Client’ membership category, a category the BDA defines as ‘an organisation engaged in procuring or specifying ground drilling services (or equipment) but not contracting to supply such services or directly employing sub-contracted drillers’.
Extending membership to include clients, as well as the wider geotechnical industry, the BDA is able to engage fully with those sectors impacting drilling operations, helping it not only promote the BDA’s ethos to safety and standards, but through its third-party accredited BDA Audit, demonstrate this commitment through process and measurement.
Whilst a client member does not have voting rights and cannot be elected to the BDA Management Committee, they can still request to sit on any of the BDA’s sub-committees as a co-opted member, where they feel their unique perspective and industry knowledge can be put to good use in driving standards even higher.
For more information about the ‘Client’ membership category, please contact Joel Stevens, BDA General Manager:
BDA Member Discount on CHAS Membership

A reminder that the BDA now partners with CHAS, the UK’s leading provider of risk prevention, compliance and supply chain management services to clients and contractors. Discounts on CHAS accreditation for new and renewing members have been negotiated.
CHAS is an authority and trusted advisor on health and safety compliance, responsible for setting industry benchmarks and providing the new Common Assessment Standards with the aims:
  • To standardise and simplify health and safety assessment for contractors
  • To support organisations in efficiently managing their supply chains
  • To deliver a full suite of supply chain management tools.
To take advantage of your discount, please contact:
To read more about the BDA’s partnership with CHAS, visit:
BDA Golf Day 2022 - Date Announced

Book now for the 2022 BDA Golf Day, which is taking place on 14 September.
This year the event is being held at the Coxmoor Golf Club, Sutton-in-Ashfield, a magnificent heathland course located close to Nottingham.
The BDA Golf Day gives you the chance to compete for various awards including 'Mining', 'Eddie Burke' & 'Les Nichol' trophies + two nearest the pin and longest drive prizes.
The event is open to BDA members and non-members. For more information and booking details, visit:
Spotlight on BDA Member Benefits…

Legal, Tax & Counselling Helpline
As a BDA member you are entitled to FREE access to the Personal & Commercial Legal, Tax & Counselling Helpline, provided by HMCA (through ARAG plc). To learn more and take advantage of the benefit see:

25% Discount on HMCA Medical Plans
The BDA offers its members a 25% Discount on HMCA Medical plans. The benefit is available to all membership categories, and the discount is a tremendous saving.
To learn more and take advantage of the benefit, visit:
BDA Dinner Dance - Save the Date - 12 November 2022

The BDA Annual Dinner Dance will be held 12 November 2022 at the Hilton Hotel, Gateshead, please save the date.
And what an evening the BDA has lined up with comedian, broadcaster, and charismatic raconteur Alfie Moore booked as its after dinner speaker.
More information and details how to register for tickets, will be announced soon.
Member Discounts on Ground Engineering Magazine (GE) Events

Just a reminder, the BDA is supporting many Ground Engineering (GE) events this year and through your BDA membership you qualify for discounts off the published price of those you attend. The next events being supported include:
  • GE Transport Geotechnics - 19 May 2022
  • GE Piling & Foundations Conference - 29 June 2022
  • GE Awards 2021 - 6 September 2022
The events are perfect for anyone involved in the ground engineering sector, providing excellent opportunities to network, as well as learn from others in the sector.
Take advantage of the available discounts – visit GE website, events section -
If you experience difficulties securing your discount, please contact:
External Events – Supported by the BDA – Claim your Member Discounts!

15% Discount – GE Piling & Foundations Conference – 29 June 2022
The BDA is pleased to be supporting Ground Engineering’s (GE) – ‘Piling & Foundations Conference 2022’, taking place 29 June 2022, at Etc St Paul's, London and a 15% discount off the delegate ticket price has been secured for BDA members looking to attend.
GE Piling & Foundations is the only conference designed to focus on piling and foundations across sectors. With a focus on technology, innovation and decarbonisation, this conference will delve into the biggest challenges facing the construction industry.
To find out more about the event, with links to register visit:
Geotechnica 2022 – 6-7 July 2022
The BDA is pleased to be supporting Geotechnica 2022, the UK’s Largest FREE to attend Geotechnical Conference and Exhibition being held 6-7 July 2022 at the Warwickshire Event Centre, Warwickshire.
Bringing together all areas of the geotechnical industry, from suppliers and manufacturers through contractors to clients, Geotechnica 2022 looks set to be bigger than ever.

To find out more visit:
£150 Discount on Table Bookings – GE Awards – 6 September 2022
The BDA is pleased to be supporting the Ground Engineering Awards 2022, which will be held 6 September 2022, at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.
The GE Awards brings together the leaders in the industry to celebrate achievements in terms of projects, people and businesses between January 2021 and March 2022 and the shortlist has been announced.
To see the shortlist or book tickets, visit:
Contamination & Geotech Expo – 14-15 September 2022
The BDA is supporting Contamination & Geotech Expo 2022, which is being held 14 – 15 September at the NEX in Birmingham.
With the theme “Contaminated land, Air and Water”, the event will cover all aspects of remediation, with information and interviews from a range of keynote speakers.
To register your intertest in attending or exhibiting at the event, please visit:
£150 Discount – CN Specialist Awards – 22 September 2022
The BDA is pleased to support the Construction News (CN) Specialists Awards and has negotiated a discount of £150 on table packages for all BDA members.
The Awards will take place 22 September 2022, at The Brewery, London, with 21 categories available for entry this year.
For more information, visit:

Brownfield Awards 2022 – 13 October 2022
The BDA is pleased to be supporting the Brownfield Awards 2022, which are being held 13 October, at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London Tower Bridge, London.
The Awards, now in their 18th year, bring the brownfield community together to celebrate the excellent work undertaken by organisations and project partnerships, through the use of innovative techniques, awareness of sustainability, engagement of stakeholders and demonstration of best practice.
For more information about the awards or to enter, visit: 

London Build 2022 - 16-17 November 2022
The BDA is pleased to support London Build 2022, which this year is being held 16-17 November 2022 at Olympia, London.
London Build is an award-winning show and is widely viewed as one of the best exhibitions in the world. It features: 27,500+ quality visitors, 500+ speakers across 6 conference theatres, with a 50% representation of female speakers, 220+ CPD sessions, 100's of exhibitors and exclusive free-to-attend networking events including ‘Meet the Buyer’ sessions, ‘Women in Construction’ and ‘Diversity in Construction’, the ‘Festival of Construction’, celebrity guests and much more!
For more information visit:
Safety Alerts Update

With safety always a priority, don’t forget to take a look at the recent safety alerts, published on the BDA website. Some of the more recent are here:
And finally...
If you would like to see any topics addressed in future BDA newsletters, please don’t hesitate to let the team know –
And if you haven’t already, please follow the BDA on LinkedIn – British Drilling Association and Twitter - @britishdrilling – and don’t forget to tag the BDA into your posts, if you tag the BDA we will share / like them.
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