Audit Compliance for BDA Members

October 10, 2022

At the British Drilling Association (BDA) Annual General Meeting AGM, held in April 2022, the BDA formally adopted changes to its Rules and Constitution. These changes had been in consultation with the BDA Management Committee, Sub-committees and Membership for some 18 months –

Of these proposed changes, the most significant was to assert the membership requirement regarding audits:

The newly worded rule is as follows:

“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.”

Presently, only 10% of contracting members follow this rule [Rule 2.2.1], with a further 30% only partially complying by achieving less than 60% based on the BDA’s knowledge of the number of Lead Drillers employed.

The BDA is therefore reaching out to all members, through telephone contact, email and letter to remind business owners and leaders of their obligation to engage with the BDA Audit, in order to retain BDA membership.

The rule [Rule 2.4.1] will apply to all BDA members from the beginning of 2024, the BDA sincerely hope that all existing members recognise the benefit and purpose of the rule change and will renew their memberships for 2024.

As this rule [Rule 2.4.1] was introduced at the AGM, the BDA recognises that it may take a while for some businesses to comply with the new membership rule. For this reason, we are giving members until the end of 2023 to work towards full compliance.

BDA Audit facts:

  • The BDA determines the BDA Audit content, through the Audit Steering Group – an entirely voluntary Group comprised of the Chairs of BDA Sub-committees
  • The BDA Audit is based on legislation, Regulations and Standards. It is not based on subjective or biased opinions
  • The BDA Audit is not run for profit – it is currently subsidised by membership fees
  • The BDA subcontracts the management and administration of the Audit to Equipe, after a competitive tender process
  • An Audit report is issued after completion of every audit and there is a transparent appeals process
  • Since July 2021 over 250 drillers, employed by over 35 drilling companies, have successfully achieved a BDA Audit
  • The BDA encourages written feedback on the audit and will implement changes to the audit whenever appropriate

Questions regarding the audit compliance should be directed, in the first instance, to Joel Stevens,

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