Awards and Achievements

The BDA Awards have been running since 2014, providing an opportunity for BDA members to celebrate the achievements of the drilling sector, in terms of innovation and safety, as well as recognising those new to the sector and those that have contributed to the industry over many years.

The BDA Awards celebrate the outstanding individuals, projects and initiatives that define the excellence of the drilling sector.

BDA Awards

The BDA Awards have been running since 2014, providing an opportunity for BDA members to celebrate the achievements of the drilling sector, in terms of innovation and safety, as well as recognising those new to the sector and those that have contributed to the industry over many years.

Awards are presented at the combined BDA Awards & Dinner Dance (usually held in November) and celebrate the outstanding individuals, projects and initiatives that define the excellence of the drilling sector.

Awards Winners (2014 – 2022):

Lifetime Achievement Award

David Lewins & John Grainger – 2022
Ivor Reilly & Paul Mellon – 2021
Stan Dronsfield & Alan Pardoe – 2020
David Airey & David Allan – 2019
Steve Tomlinson – 2018
John Smith – 2017
William Hill – 2017
Peter Redford 2016
Keith Peacock 2015
Hamish Simpson 2015
William Branston 2014

Lead Driller Award

Brian Gee – 2022
Jake Marshall – 2021
Brett Hawes – 2020
Hugh Ferry – 2019
Chris Jones – 2018
Lee Donachie – 2017
William Hill – 2017
Daniel Perret – 2016

Industry Excellence / Innovation Award

WJ UK – 2022 – Electric Drilling Rig
SOCOTEC – 2021 – Drilling Wizzard
Atkins (with Morgan Sindall and BGS) – 2020 – Dig to Share project, which encourages the sharing of information via BGS data base on digital borehole)
Atkins (with WSP and Raeburn Drilling & Geotechnical) – 2019 – AMJVA9 Site Team and Data Collection Tool
WJ UK – 2019 – Pumping Test Concrete (Thames Tideway Tunnel)
Raeburn Drilling & Geotechnical – 2018 – A96/A9 Dualling Schemes
Aspin Group – 2017 – Aquarius Road2Rail Drill Rig
Bam Ritchies – 2016 – Chantry Lane Chalk Mine Remediation
WJ Groundwater – 2015 –  Adaptation of a Marini “Baby Giraffa” Drilling Rig
Raeburn Drilling & Geotechnical – 2015 – Caithness Moray Shetland (CMS) HVDC Connection
Soilmec – 2014 – SM-5 Drilling Rig

Safety Initiative / Improvement Award

Raeburn Drilling & Geotechnical – 2022 – Mental Health Awareness Initiative
AECOM – 2021 – AECOM DOSIWiG – Ground Investigation Guidance Series
SOCOTEC – 2020 – Coping with COVID initiative
SOCOTEC – 2019 – Work Front Safety Board
SOCOTEC – 2018 – Drill Rig Induction
ESG (SOCOTEC) – 2017 – Cable Percussion Rig Anti Whip-Check Bar
Raeburn Drilling & Geotechnical – 2016 – 100% on an Achilles Verify Audit on Safety, Health, Environment & Quality practices
Soil Engineering Geoservices Limited – 2015 – On-Line Safety Reporting and Mobile Phone ‘Safety App’
Soil Engineering Geoservices Limited – 2014 – Manual Handling and Safety Awareness Training

Apprentice of the Year Award

Jon Morgan – 2022 – Alun Griffiths Contractors

Ian Slater – 2020 – BAM Ritchies

Dean Eley – 2017 – BAM Ritchies

Craig Mullarkey – 2016 –  Raeburn Drilling and Geotechnical Ltd

Frase Dellet – 2015 – Raeburn Drilling and Geotechnical Ltd

Ricky Backshall – 2014 –  ESG (SOCOTEC)


The list below is a snapshot of the many landmarks and achievements that the British Drilling Association is rightly proud of, and serve as an encouragement to existing and future members to seek for further improvements in the industry:


BDA kick starts its sustainability programme with webinar “Carbon Challenges for Members”; BDA organises its first annual conference “Education, training and tackling the skills shortage in drilling”; BDA Social Events Continue (football and golf); BDA Audit updated and improved to include aspects of data quality; BDA produces training video on Standard Penetration Test (SPT); BDA supports Scottish Rail’s “Safe Hands” campaign; “Why Audit” video produced to explain its benefits to members and non-members; Land Drilling New Entrant Scheme 2023/24 Launched; BDA Chair Paul McMann joins GE’s mental health round table discussion; New member benefits added – discounts on industry related publications / insurance discounts; BDA Exhibits at Geotechnica 2023; BDA Chair, Paul McMann, presents at GE Sustainability Conference 2023 – September 2023; BDA explores Ex-Offenders / Ex-Military as an option to address the skills shortages; BDA Chair, Paul McMann, presents at GE Smart Geotechnics 2023 – October 2023; BDA issues guidance on Safe Loading & Unloading of Vehicles; BDA Wire Rope Safety video commissioned; BDA participates in Coal Authority / HSE Workshop series. BDA publishes updated/new Guidance documents – Thorough Examinations, steel wire ropes, lifting accessories and certification; Sample Labels Guidance; Driller’s Daily Report; Hydraulic User Inspection Guide; Audit Handbook.


Formulation of ‘Sustainability Working Towards Net Zero’ Group; British Drilling Association Audit Steering Group established – comprising Chairs of all committees, audit team & The Mineral Products Qualifications Council (MPQC); New General Manager (Joel Stevens) appointed; Prison Education Scheme created – a programme designed to engage with rehabilitated offenders to provide them a pathway to a career in drilling; First British Drilling Association Audit awarded for Geothermal Drilling; Chair of British Drilling Association presents at Ground Engineering Smart Geotechnics Conference; Chair of British Drilling Association presents at Contamination & Geotech Expo 2022; BDA Social events (football and golf) relaunched after a 2-year break, due to COVID-19 restrictions; Programme of Member discounts benefits established with organisations (Dell, CHAS and First Insurance Solutions).


Introduced a Digital Election Process for BDA elections; BDA Audit scheme accredited by Mineral Products Qualifications Council MPQC, ensuring it is run and administered in line with ISO 19011;  New Rotary Drilling Manual published and FREE to all; BSI documents distributor agreement signed with BDA; BDA SAP Apprenticeship Scheme 2021/22 – Group 10, with largest number of Apprentices to date (12 in total); Online series of webinars delivered; Online series of webinars continued to be delivered.


Level 3 Diploma qualification in Advanced Land Drilling launched in association with MP Awards; Online series of webinars introduced, on a variety of topics; New BDA website launched; BS 5930_2015+A1_2020 went live on the BSI system; Re-launch and rebrand of the BDA Audit.


8th Series BDA Technical Seminars – What are the Risks of Rising Complacency about Geotechnics?; 70th Land Drilling Apprentice taken on; New Level 3 NVQ developed. Initiated work on a non-drilling NVQ for Geotechnical Operatives so they can get CSCS cards. 2019; Common Data Errors Guidance published.


7th Series BDA Technical Seminars – Solutions for the Future of the Geotechnical Industry; Drillers 5-a-Side Football Tournament launched; Cable Percussion rig manual published.


Highest number of members (since 2004) – standing at 133; Record number of audited members – standing at 224; “Quality Matters” Road Show – delivered across the UK; 6th Series BDA Technical Seminars – Best Practice in Linear Infrastructure Projects.


BDA 40th Anniversary; Guidance Cable Percussion; 5th Series BDA Technical Seminars – Health & Well Being.


Health & Safety Manual (Revised); 4th Series BDA Technical Seminars – Digital Data.


EN16228 Drill Rig Safety developed with help BDA (replaces En791); 3rd Series BDA Technical Seminars – Innovation.


2nd Series BDA Technical Seminars – Safety.


Hazardous Gases document with Coal Authority / Health & Safety Executive; BS5930 A2 amendment co-ordinated/facilitated by BDA; 1st Series BDA Technical Seminars – Quality.


4th Geodrilling Show. Developed Sector Scheme for Geothermal Drilling.


BDA launched new website launched; Developed Sector Scheme for Ground Investigation.


Guidance, Contaminated Land revision; 3rd Geodrilling Show.


BDA Apprenticeship Scheme; Guidance, Dynamic Sampling.


2nd Geodrilling Show.


BDA Audit launched; Guidance, Cable Percussion; 1st Geodrilling Show.


BDA Joined the NSCC.


BDA Health & Safety Manual launched.


BDA website launched; CSCS Land Drilling card created.


National Vocational Qualifications, Land Drilling, for drill crews.


Guidance Notes, Protection of Persons from Rotating Parts.


Directory of Ground Investigation Contractors created.


EN 791, Drill Rig Safety developed with BDA’s help.


Guidance Notes, Safe Drilling Contaminated Land.


Drilling Technology Open Learning Course launched.


Code of Safe Drilling Practice Seminars – Safety.


BDA endorsed Training School.


BDA Driller Accreditation; First Competence Award scheme.


BS 4019, Part 2 developed and became ISO Standard.

Looking to the future, many more initiatives are in progress and the BDA is continuously evolving to truly represent the entire drilling sector. Your contribution to these initiatives would be extremely useful and if you are not already, why not join the BDA now.

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