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BDA eNewsletter | Issue: November 2021
Introduction from our Chair - Richard Fielden

With this being the last newsletter of the year, there not typically being a December issue, I thought I would take the opportunity to highlight some of the British Drilling Association’s (BDA) achievements of the past year.
The changes made to the BDA Audit were one of the most notable successes. Underpinning everything the BDA stands for, in addition to continuing to ensure safety, this year a number of additional questions were added to assess the competence of a drilling crew’s compliance with drilling-specific standards. This shift has seen already a 25% growth in uptake of the audit and proves that the BDA is on track to achieving its ambition of over 300 audits in its first full year of operation of its new format.
This year also saw a continuation of BDA webinars, established originally to provide continuity during lockdown, the figures speak for themselves with record attendee numbers, the result of excellent topics and speakers, and though not a replacement for face-to-face events, their success has ensured that they will continue to play a role in future. In fact, the first is scheduled for 19 January 2022, with Jonathan Gammon presenting “Instrumentation and Monitoring: A Critical Link in Ground Engineering”.
The BDA recently contributed £2,600 to Ground Forum’s mentoring initiative, and the scheme is already making an impact, directly engaging with presently underrepresented groups within the construction sector. Greater diversity and inclusivity are important for the future of the drilling industry and wider geotechnical industry, not only because the sector should reflect society in general, but currently under-represented groups are a valuable resource to help address the ever-present skills shortage.
During 2021 the BDA published its Rotary Drilling Manual, which has been incredibly well received and was shortlisted for a Ground Engineering Award. Whilst we didn’t win, we attended the Awards with Stephen Tomlinson, primary author of the manual and Joel Stevens, BDA General Manager elect, in anticipation of a win for our entry into the Health & Safety category. Sadly, we were pipped at the post by FPS, but it was an excellent evening which celebrated the best of the industry. I was proud to be selected to present an award and you can see the winners and those shortlisted here:
Twelve candidates from 5 BDA member companies joined the BDA SAP Apprenticeship Scheme 2021/22, which is an excellent result and continues to progress with the second week of classroom course work due to take place w/c 6 December 2021.
These are just some of the highlights, as there are too many too list here. However, with a new General Manager – Joel Stevens – joining the BDA in January 2022, the BDA is in the best place possible to achieve even more during 2022.
BDA Awards 2021 – Deadline Extension

The deadline for submissions for the BDA Awards 2021 has been extended to 30 November 2021, so you still have a few days to submit your entries!
With categories including, Lifetime Achievement Award, Driller of the Year, Excellence Award and Safety Award up for grabs, don’t miss this great opportunity to celebrate your company’s and individual’s achievements of the last 12 months.
We might not have the budget for a TV celebrity to host our awards, however, the BDA Awards are a great place to promote your business and highlight the innovations, collaborations and safety contributions that your staff have been involved in this year.
Head over to the BDA website and complete your entry here:
BDA Introduces Carbon Reduction Policy Strategy

The BDA will be developing and establish a Carbon Reduction Policy, which will demonstrate the Association’s and its memberships actions in reducing its carbon emissions, as well making a statement about its aims, targets, and activities in support of this goal.
Establishing a Carbon Reduction Policy will be the first step the BDA makes and defines its commitment to tackling proactively this important environmental issue.
Over the coming months the BDA will be looking to engage with members and the wider construction industry to develop this Policy document.
For more details of what the BDA is looking to achieve see visit the BDA Website here:
Working Party on Minimum Content for Driller’s Log

The BDA has set up a working party to look at establishing a Minimum Content for a Driller’s Log, to ensure that information of drilling progress relevant to the interpretation of strength and other data used in design and construction is captured.
It is intended that the means for achieving this will:
  • augment the facilities for drillers that the companies of many Members have already made to enable them to record their drilling, and
  • advise on how this should be presented to capture relevant information of drilling progress.
The establishment of the working party follows the recent BDA Webinar presentation, delivered by Mike de Freitas, in which he highlighted the need by designers and contractors for a record of the driller’s experience whilst progressing a hole.
Details of the working party’s task as well as the questions it is inviting those engaged in ground investigation to answer, are presented in a detailed explanation on the BDA website here:
BDA Appoints New General Manager 

The BDA is delighted to be welcoming Joel Stevens, as the Association’s new General Manager, who will officially take up the position on 17 January 2022.
Joel takes over the role from John Grainger, who kindly stepped into this role on an interim basis and will be stepping down at the end of January, to allow a full-time manager to provide BDA with the support and attention that this constantly evolving role demands.
Joel joins the BDA through his own company Adaptive Management Consultants Limited, which works with both the private and not-for-profit sector, including membership organisations. In his new role, Joel will be tasked with the full responsibility for the management of the association, along with the running of the growing BDA Audit scheme. He will also be making regular contact with all members, eliciting feedback, and ensuring that the BDA is responsive to the challenges the drilling sector faces now and in the future.
For more details about this topic, visit:
BDA Chair at the GSHPA AGM 

Read a precis of the presentation, delivered by BDA Chair, Richard Fielden, to attendees at the Ground Source Heat Pump Association (GSHPA) AGM, Conference and Charity Dinner, which was held 22 October 2021 in North Yorkshire.
As well as explaining who the BDA is, what it stands for and the many aims and activities it is involved with, Richard took the opportunity to highlight the BDA Audit, and its vital role in ensuring competency and adherence to standards and legislation within the drilling sector.
Richard also explained why “Membership of the BDA means more than a pre-qualification tick box”, detailing the many benefits that membership of the BDA brings to all in the sector.
Read a full precis of Richard’s presentation here:
Ground Forum Undergraduate Mentoring Scheme Open for Applications

The Ground Forum Undergraduate Mentoring Scheme (GFUMP), which the BDA is supporting, is now open for applications, from both Mentees and Mentors.
The future of our industry depends on a regular flow of young and enthusiastic people choosing drilling as their career option and the GFUMP, is a great initiative, established with the objective of addressing these issues.
For more information about this initiative and how to apply, visit:
BDA Events 2022

BDA Webinar – 19 January 2022
Make a note now for the first BDA webinar of 2022, taking place 19 January 2022, at 1pm, which will cover the popular topic of “Instrumentation and Monitoring: A Critical Link in Ground Engineering”.
To be presented by Jonathan R A Gammon, Non-Executive Director / Advisor Geotechnical Observations Limited and the Leader of the AGS’s Instrumentation & Monitoring Working Group, the webinar will be both engaging and educational.
An outline of the webinar’s content will be made available shortly on the BDA website:

BDA Seminar – April 2022
The return of face-to-face BDA seminars is planned to start in April 2022, with the first event being held at The Lighthouse, Glasgow. Entitled “Drilling in Support of a Net Zero Scotland by 2045”.  Planning is currently underway, and more information will be made available in early 2022, with presenters and full agenda.
BDA Football Tournament – 12 June 2022
Always a popular event in the BDA calendar, the BDA Football Tournament will take place again next year and is scheduled for 12 June 2022, at Goals Leeds. Details and how to register will follow at the start of 2022.
Safety Alerts Update

With safety always a priority, don’t forget to take a look at the published safety alerts on the BDA website, below are examples of alerts published over the past months:

September 2021 - Counterweight Head Injury
Counterweight-head-injury-–-Alert-updated-following-48-hour-investigation.pdf (

August 2021 - Anti-Vaccination and Anti-Mask Posters

July 2021 – Angle Grinder Chainsaw Disks
Angle-grinder-chainsaw-discs.pdf (
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.
Copyright © 2021 British Drilling Association, All rights reserved.

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