November 3, 2021
The British Drilling Association’s (BDA) Chair, Richard Fielden, presented recently at the Ground Source Heat Pump Association’s (GSHPA) AGM, Conference and Charity Dinner.
The event, which was held 22 October 2021, in North Yorkshire, gave Richard the opportunity to present the topic ‘Drilling into the detail – Raising standards in the quality of ground source boreholes’, providing attendees with an introduction to the aims and focus of the BDA.
Richard began his presentation with an insight into how other countries legislate, train, enforce and monitor well drilling and groundwater abstraction, pointing out that the UK is far behind some countries. For Example – Poland and Israel require any wells to be designed by a qualified hydrogeologist, who is required to monitor site activities and take full responsibility for water quality, water abstraction rates, discharge and so on.
This led into a discussion about the BDA and in particular the BDA’s mission and how it looks to bring the highest levels of standards to the UK drilling sector, as well as brief overview of the Association, including numbers of member companies and individual drillers. The BDA’s many areas of activity were outlined, including what BDA sub-committees exist and their individual remits. The BDA’s voice in the sector, such as its representation on Ground Forum, GSHPA, British Standards, and wider geotechnical media, was explained and how it uses these outlets to influence and provide guidance. From the BDA’s many publications, through to its apprenticeship schemes, the BDA Audit and the creation and ongoing review of qualifications for drilling and geotechnical staff, Richard explained how the BDA is shaping the drilling industry and evolving as it changes.
Of course, much of the presentation was devoted to the cornerstone of the BDA – the BDA Audit – and Richard went into considerable detail about how it combines three essential elements; Nationally recognised safety card (CSCS); National Skill Qualification (NVQ L2); and industry verified & audited regularly (BDA), before explaining how it is assessed, how often and the importance of its third-party accreditation by MPQC. Richard also explained how the BDA Audit has been thoroughly overhauled during the last 12-months and what specifically had been improved – specifically how it had been brough into line with the many standards and legislation, such as BS EN 16228 and PUWER 1998. Some of the data surrounding the BDA Audit was highlighted, including as the number of non-GI Audits.
Richard concluded the presentation by explaining why the GSHPA should adopt the BDA Audit as an industry standard and some of the evidence why “Membership of the BDA means more than a pre-qualification tick box”.