January 10, 2019

The following Euro Codes BS EN 22475 series documents titled “Geotechnical Investigation and Testing – Sampling Methods and Groundwater Measurements” are under full review. The CEN working group to review these documents in Europe is ISO/TC 182/WG 4 which is Chaired by Germany and links to UK via BSI and committee B/526/3, who have two technical experts present on Working Group ISO/TC 182/WG 4.

BS EN ISO 22475-1: Part 1: Technical Principles for Execution – First produced in 2006, 5 years review 2011 and now full review in 2016 which is in progress. Presently document has been reviewed and issued by BSI on 01 November 2018 for comments with close of comments on the 25 December 2018. The BDA has promoted awareness concerning the document availability for comment and has co-ordinated comments received. The major change is the inclusion of Sonic drilling although further amendments are needed to better reflect this technique. The other developments centre on the modernisation of present approaches.

BS 22475:2: Part2: Qualification Criteria for Enterprises and Personnel & BS 22475:3: Part 3: Conformity Assessment of Enterprises and Personnel by Third Parties – Documents where only adapted by UK in 2011 when first issued and these documents where included/referenced in British Standards and Specification however they have not supported by all clients and consultants (even though they refer to them in their standards and specifications). However, present CEN working ISO/TC 182/WG 4 is proposing to adopted both documents with certain changes being developed in CEN working group and expect to be issued for comment some time during 2019/2020.

The UK is well position when 22475 Parts 2 & 3 comes into existence due to initiatives taken by UK associations in developing;

  • Registration of Engineering Professional (ROGEP)
  • NVQ in Land Drilling and third party audits i.e. the British Drilling Association (BDA) Audit

Both these require initial assessment for qualification by an independent third party & regular time period review by the third party to maintain qualification. Both are now established in UK and the numbers of qualified and conforming personnel are increasing and organisations have been established to gives third party assessment. However, as stated earlier a significant number of client and consultant organisation need to give significantly greater support and policing to increase numbers and compliance.

The documents are focused on increasing standards, quality and safety from start to finish and not adding another cost. Significant numbers of organisations are informing clients that they self-certifying personnel as have certification ISO 9001 and undertake internal audits etc., however this is not acceptable in the same way as not self-certifying First Aid Courses, Fit for Work Medicals, etc which would not be acceptable.

The main content of these document will be same for all countries with annexes as a guidance to be adopted by each country and as stated above UK is in a very good place as it already has systems in place however the percentage compliance is very low, approximately only 25%, and major clients and consultants are just giving lip service and not enforcing. Projects overrun in time and cost from recent and past studies indicate that 25% is down to ground conditions; surely compliance with these procedures would go some way to potentially reducing this percentage and increasing the standing of our sector in overall construction process.

Author:  John Grainger, Marketing Chair, British Drilling Association

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