The BDA Independent Audit

The Audit satisfies British and European Standards (BS 22475-2 and 3), the ICE UK Specification for Ground investigation and Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM) with regard to the need to prove the on-going annual competency of drilling operatives.

The BDA independent Audit delivers a 3rd party assessment of drilling operatives and their equipment to confirm that they are safe and competent to carry out their work.

The BDA is a non profit organisation and Audit fees purely cover the cost of the half day on-site assessment and any admin fees.


The are two card types Blue for Lead Drillers and Yellow for Drilling Support Operatives. 

Every member of a drilling crew should hold their own valid BDA Audit Card.

A Blue Card holder may only carry out the drilling techniques specified on the Audit Card i.e. Rotary, Cable Percussive.

Whilst the Audit checks the individuals Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) Land Drilling Card, it is always recommended that these cards are also checked when the drilling crew come on site. Click here for CSCS card types

All drilling crew must hold an NVQ Level 2, Land Drilling – Lead Driller or Drilling Support Operative qualification to pass the Audit. It is not sufficient to be just registered for an NVQ.

The benefits include recognition of competence for drilling operatives and for employers it satisfies tender specifications and provides third party evidence of their employees’ capabilities and safety. Clients who, under CDM, need to prove the competence of a drilling workforce simply need to put the criteria for the Audit in their specification.

Audit Details

The Audit looks in depth at the individual’s current competence, their rig and equipment. Legislative requirements feature heavily. It is available for all members of a drill crew, whether Lead Driller or Drilling Support Operative and in all drilling disciplines.

Other Audit requirements include:

  • Emergency First Aid at Work certificate (Lead Drillers only).
  • Adherence to both LOLER and PUWER regulations for the drilling rig and accessories, along with inspection of all drilling tools,
  • Appropriate method statements and risk assessments

Audits are carried out by highly experienced assessors from the drilling industry and take half a day. Should non conformances be identified, the individual and employer have to close these out within a set time period not exceeding 28 days from the audit date before an Audit card is issued. Failure to comply will result in withdrawal of the card and loss of Audited status.

The BDA Audit has been fully reviewed in 2015 and is now periodically assessed to ensure it meets the ever changing needs and standards of our industry.

The Audit is available to BDA members, at the reduced rate of £390 (+vat), and to non-members, at the sole discretion of the BDA, for £750 (+vat) . Its annual renewal provides ongoing proof of current competence.

By passing the Audit your name will appear on the BDA’s website page of Audited drillers, however, this does not confer any BDA membership rights.

BDA Audited drillers will receive a free copy of GeoDrilling magazine, get discounted fees for BDA events