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BDA eNewsletter | Issue: October 2022
Introduction from our Chair – Paul McMann

The last month has seen the UK plunged into political turmoil, with new Prime Ministers and Chancellors, the pound in freefall, and many fiscal U-turns. Even as I write this introduction, I cannot say it’s all over and this is troubling.

With all the political turmoil, and threats of spending cuts, this typically means a tightening on spending and many large infrastructure projects placed on the back burner. I do hope this is not the case. We saw back in the 2008 financial crisis that construction was core to us building our way out of trouble and I hope that is considered here, before the government’s red pen is scrawled through the project list. We will have to wait and see.
But coming back to the BDA, we’re delighted to have recently welcomed National Highways to the British Drilling Association (BDA) as a client member, and I hope they are just the first of many high profile ‘clients’ that we add to our growing membership.
The professionalism of BDA members is growing almost exponentially and playing a major part is the BDA Audit. As detailed below, having the BDA Audit will be a membership requirement by the end of 2023, which should demonstrate just how serious the drilling sector is with regards to safety, quality, and standards.
To close, it was great to see so many entries being submitted to this year’s BDA Awards – the highest number of entries since the Awards began! The quality of entries highlights just how fresh, innovative, and dynamic the drilling sector and its people are, and I’m really looking forward to revealing the winners at the BDA Dinner Dance & Awards next month - good luck to those that have been shortlisted!
BDA Welcomes National Highways – New Client Member

The BDA is pleased to welcome National Highways as a member of the Association.
National Highways joins the BDA under the ‘Client’ member category, a category created specifically to widen the reach of the BDA, to forge better relations with its customers and to help it better represent the drilling sector.
Adding National Highways is a great endorsement for the aims and goals of the BDA, as well as its willingness to work with the BDA membership and the wider construction sector to raise ever higher standards.
Catherine McGrath, Ground Investigation Framework Manager for National Highways, said: “Becoming a member of the BDA is a welcome move for National Highways, who are keen to support the Ground Investigation industry. It’s essential we work together to raise best practice, lessons learnt, and encourage collaboration.”
Audit Compliance Requirement for BDA Members

At the BDA Annual General Meeting, held in April 2022, the BDA formally adopted changes to its Rules and Constitution, specifically to Rule 2.4.1. Specifically, the change was to assert the membership requirement regarding audits:
“Rule 2.4.1 
The BDA believes that the annual auditing of Lead Drillers is the most effective way to achieve our mission to raise standards and improve health & safety. Contractor Members, or any Member who operates drilling machinery, must commit to the auditing of Lead Drillers in the drilling discipline in which they are predominantly engaged, if one exists, using the BDA Audit or other nationally recognised, externally verified, independently accredited auditing service. A minimum compliance of 60% of employed Lead Drillers must be achieved within each calendar year to retain membership, and intention to achieve 100% compliance must be demonstrated. Membership is based upon engaging with and participating in the Audit. Members who do not demonstrate this will have their membership revoked.”

The BDA is therefore reaching out to all members to engage with the BDA Audit, in order to retain BDA membership.
For more details about when the new rule will be enforced, as well as details about the Audit and how you can work towards compliance visit:
BDA Audit Success Stories

The BDA believes in the value of its Audit, but don’t just take its word for it - member companies recognise its many benefits and are happy to talk about it.
The BDA has published an article, which pulls together some of the thoughts of drilling companies such as BAM Ritchies and WJ UK that have undergone the BDA Audit and are reaping its benefits.
The article also explains why these companies value the Audit and what some of the real-world deliverables it brings to their work. The article can be read here:
BDA Sustainability Working Group Established 

The BDA has established a sustainability working group, to help facilitate the drilling sector in its efforts to achieve Net Zero Carbon.
Being chaired by Nick Reichelt of Structural Soils, a member of the BDA, the new working group will hold its first meeting early November and will bring together all sector stakeholders including clients, consultants, contractors, and suppliers necessary to understand where we are now and what steps our membership can take on the path towards Net Zero.
With sustainability, the environment, and climate change collectively the biggest issue the drilling sector faces outside the day-to-day challenges that the construction industry has to confront, the working group will offer guidance and bring initiatives that help facilitate all members, and hopefully the entire drilling sector, in its efforts towards achieving Net Zero Carbon.

Regular working group updates will be included in this newsletter, and on the BDA website.
Land Drilling New Entrant Training Scheme 2022/23

There are places remaining on the BDA’s 18-month Land Drilling Specialist Applied-Skills Programme, aimed at any driller beginning their career and looking to work through to the award of the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Land Drilling, level 2, as a Lead Driller.
The scheme is open to all land drilling sectors and industry enterprises and is fully endorsed by CITB, forming part of its Specialist Applied-Skills Programme for the specialist occupations known as SAPs. It is supported by the Enabling Specialist Provision commissioned fund, alongside the availability of short duration and qualification grants to eligible employers too.
For more information, including details about the training, the NVQ assessment, costs, grants and eligibility, please contact the BDA’s General Manager -
BDA Webinar Announced for November

The next FREE BDA webinar is planned for 16 November 2022, at 1pm, and will discuss the interesting topic of “What does the AGS Data Format have to do with drilling?”.
The webinar, being held via Teams, will be delivered by Adam Lumber of Structural Soils, and will look at explaining what is AGS data, before moving on to why does AGS data matter and how does it relate to drilling, sampling, testing?
For more information, including sign-up details, please visit:
“Navigating LOLER” – BDA Article Published

The BDA, together with the Association of Geotechnical & Geoenvironmental Specialists (AGS), have examined the complex subject of LOLER, the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and published a guidance article to support their work.
Specifically, the organisations have looked at its application to drilling machines and the supporting article, which offers guidance, can be found here:
CHAS Update on Common Assessment Standard

CHAS the UK’s Leading Provider of Risk Prevention, Compliance and Supply Chain Management Services for Clients and Contractors, has updated its Common Assessment Standard.
The Common Assessment Standard is an accreditation designed to standardise the prequalification process, helping both clients and contractors improve supply chain efficiency, reduce supply chain risks, and find reliable business opportunities.
To learn more about CHAS’s update, and BDA-negotiated to discounts for CHAS accreditation both new and renewals, visit:
BDA Awards 2022 - Shortlist Announced!

The BDA is pleased to announce that the shortlist for its 2022 Annual Awards has been released, with a record number of entries being submitted.
The Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals and companies within the drilling industry, and to be shortlisted alone is a great achievement.
The standard and quantity of entries was incredibly high, and it was a difficult task to select the overall winners!
To view the shortlist, please visit:
Good luck to all those who have been shortlisted.
BDA Awards & Dinner Dance – Last Call for Bookings

Have you booked your place yet for the 2022 BDA Dinner Dance and Awards?
Being held 12 November 2022, at The Hilton Newcastle Gateshead, the evening will begin at 6:30pm, with reception drinks, followed by 7:30pm sit-down for a three-course meal, coffee, and several bottles of wine per table, entertainment will also feature.
The event will be hosted by comedian, broadcaster, and charismatic raconteur Alfie Moore and will include a charity raffle, which this year is in aid of NE Youth, with lots of luxurious gifts up for grabs and a silent auction running during the event, so dig deep, as it’s all in aid of charity.
Tickets for the event cost £100 individually, or a table of ten can be booked for £1000. To book, please contact: – but be quick, as limited spaces remain.
BDA Awards & Dinner Dance Sponsors

The BDA would like to thank the companies that have kindly agreed to sponsor the 2022 BDA Awards and Dinner Dance to date, including:
  • Casagrande UK, Headline Sponsor
  • John Lawrie Tubulars, Menu Sponsor
  • JKS Boyles, Band Sponsor
The BDA would also like to thank members who have donated raffle prizes, your generosity is very much appreciated!
External Events – Supported by the BDA – Member Discounts Available!

BDA Supports London Build 2022 – 16 & 17 November 2022
The BDA is pleased to be supporting London Build 2022, which is being held 16 – 17 November at Olympia, London, and is one of the must-attend construction events of the year.
FREE to attend, the event offers the chance to meet and do business with London's contractors, architects, specifiers, developers, local councils, housing associations, house builders, engineers, suppliers and construction professionals.
To register for free tickets, visit:
NCE Tunnelling Festival 2022 - 7 December 2022
The BDA is pleased to be supporting New Civil Engineer’s (NCE) Tunnelling Festival 2022, which is being held 7 December 2022, at the Leonardo Royal London Tower Bridge.
As part of the BDA’s support agreement a 15% discount (off ticket price) has been negotiated for BDA members wishing to attend the main conference and £150 discount off table booking (for ten people) for the Awards element.
To qualify for your discounts, please quote:
•        CONFERENCE15 - for individual ticket bookings for the Conference (daytime)
•        TABLE150 - for discount off table bookings at the Awards (evening event)
If you experience difficulties securing your discount, please contact:
For more information about the event, 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!
Copyright © 2022 British Drilling Association, All rights reserved.

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