Category Archives: foundations


Our courses over the next two months are varied, ranging from geotechnics to Professional Review preparations.  The upcoming courses include:

  • Geotechnical Engineering for Geologists on 11 April; £335 for 1.5 days of learning in a ‘long day’
  • Theory and Practice of Lime and Cement Stabilisation on 30 April NEW COURSE
  • Slope Stability Design to EC7 on 2 May
  • The ICE Professional Review – two half day preparation courses on 14 May, £150 each or £250 for both
  • Retaining Walls – Principles and Practice on 16 May
  • Report Writing for Engineers (includes pre-course work and personal feedback), £335
  • Commercial and Contractual Awareness on 24 May (ideal for graduates pursuing professional qualification)

All these courses are running in Chesterfield and cost £250 + VAT per delegate unless stated.  Discounts are available for group bookings or delegates attending more than one course.  Please call or email us to reserve your place on a course.



We are very pleased to announce that we have a new course running in Chesterfield on 30 April 2019,  entitled ‘Theory and Practice of Lime and Cement Stabilisation’.  This ‘Level 3’ course is aimed at engineers and geologists with experience of earthworks wanting to expand their understanding and skills to include soil stabilisation.

The course will be delivered by one of our consultants, Dr Paul Beetham.  Paul has extensive experience of soil stabilisation working both for specialist contractors and as a consultant.  He has a professional doctorate in soil stabilisation and is an ICE appointed Panel Expert advising HS2 on soil stabilisation.

More details of the course can be found here. Just call or email us to make a booking!


We have had the pleasure over the last few weeks of running a bespoke version of our ‘Fundamentals of Geotechnical Engineering’ course in Burton-on-Trent for GRM Development Solutions.  It has been split into three half-day sessions and run for a group of 10 engineering geologists and environmental scientists.

Feedback from the course has been very good to date, with just one session to go.  Comments to date include “Excellent course – very nicely delivered” and “Pitched well for a varied knowledge group”.

If you feel your organisation would benefit from a short course or series of half-day courses, then just call us to discuss your requirements and see how we could help you.


In November 2018 we had great pleasure delivering a lecture on the importance of good site investigation to over 100 Level 3 students of civil engineering at Nottingham Trent University. Feedback from the lecture was very good, with extended discussions afterwards with some very keen students.   We hope to be invited back again next year!




The main focus in this period is on commercial, management and geotechnical skills, and on assisting graduates to prepare for the ICE’s Professional Review session in the Spring.  The upcoming courses include:

  • Fundamentals of Geotechnical Design to Eurocode 7 on 5 February
  • Essentials of Project Management on 7 February
  • Slope Stability – Principles and Practice on 12 February
  • The ICE Professional Review – Preparing for the Interview on 19 February and 5 March; £335 each for a maximum of 4 delegates
  • Interpreting SI Data – Ground Modelling and Design Parameters on 28 February
  • Commercial and Contractual Awareness on 7 March
  • Two half day CDM Regulations 2015 courses on 12 March; £150 each or attend both for £250
  • Earthworks – Principles and Practice on 14 March
  • Geotechnical Engineering for Geologists on 19 March; £335 for 1.5 days of learning in a ‘long day’
  • Theory and Practice of Lime and Cement Stabilisation on 26 March

All these courses are running in Chesterfield and cost £250 + VAT per delegate unless stated.  Discounts are available for group bookings or delegates attending more than one course.  Please call or email us to reserve your place on a course.



As regular readers know, we have a regular section on CPD in our newsletters, with links to follow-up information.  They are useful for anyone but those in this post are especially useful for graduates pursuing professional registration with the ICE with the Spring 2019 session imminent:

Leadership in HSW – One of the sub-attributes that must be demonstrated to be successful at a Chartered Professional Review with the ICE relates to leading continuous improvement in health, safety and welfare.  Examples should be drawn from your own experience, but it is a good idea to keep up to date with what others are doing.  A good reference point is the Considerate Constructors Best Practice Hub which may be found here.

Quality Management – Quality management is more than quality assurance or quality control, as discussed in an article on total quality management published on the Designing Buildings Wiki in December 2018.  It is worth a read – just follow this link.

Managing Diversity – Diversity should come up at every professional review, whether it be for IEng or CEng.  It is always good to read around this topic before your review, and to relate what you read to what you see at work.  There are numerous articles and books on the subject. but one that is worth reading was published in 2013.  It particularly relates to the public sector.  It can be downloaded from here.

If you want to see other CPD ideas, you can look back at previous newsletters by following this link.


With the application window for the Spring 2019 Professional Review session with the ICE now closed, we wish all candidates every success.  By this stage you will be in the final stages of your preparations, which will include revision and refresher reading as well as preparing for your interview.

As a long-standing reviewer for the ICE, our Dr Andy Goodwin provides his 6 top tips to help you prepare below:

  • Read your draft Professional Report again and again, and get others to read it too (they will read what it actually says…)
  • Ensure your report addresses all of the required attributes in a well-balanced way; try marking in the margins of a draft which attribute each paragraph relates too and tally them up
  • Practice your presentation, to yourself and others, to ensure when under pressure you stay within the time limit
  • Read through your quarterly reports and other records of your experience, to refresh your memory and identify good examples of how you have achieved each sub-attribute
  • Revise your knowledge and understanding of all things civils related
  • Practice your interview skills

As you prepare you may find some gaps in your understanding, or feel you are in need of some refresher training.  If so, we offer a wide range of courses may assist you.  Our top recommendations are:

  • The ICE Professional Review – Preparing for the Interview on 19 February and 5 March; each course is strictly limited to a maximum of 4 delegates, to maximise your learning opportunities
  • Essentials of Project Management on 7 February
  • Commercial and Contractual Awareness on 7 March
  • Two half-day courses on the CDM Regulations 2015 on 12 March

If any of these courses are of interest then please contact us for details or to make a booking.  Equally, if you want to know what other courses may assist you then feel free to contact us.


We are delighted to issue our new course calendar for 2019.  The new calendar can be downloaded from here in a list format, or from here in a year to view format.  Notable features of the calendar are:

  • The calendar is based on a new course list
  • All courses have been refreshed for 2019.
  • The technical courses are now offered at three levels: introductory (for those new to a topic); principles and practice (for those wanting to develop their understanding further); and practitioner courses (for those wanting to consolidate and extend their skills).
  • Several new courses have been introduced, including Level 3 courses on lime and cement stabilisation, and on interpreting SI data.

We have also widened our delivery locations to include Chester as well as our base in Chesterfield.

If you are interested in any of the courses, just email us for more information or call to discuss your requirements.   As ever, discounts are available for group bookings or delegates attending more than one course.

Remember too that all courses can be run bespoke for your company if there are sufficient numbers – just call us to see what we could do for you.



We have a selection of upcoming courses in late October and November, including:

All these courses are running in Chesterfield.   Discounts are available for group bookings or delegates attending more than one course.  Please call or email us to reserve your place on a course.



As regular readers know, we have a section on CPD in most of our newsletters, with links to follow-up information.  As a new idea, we are going to start to capture also some broad news items that affect the industry and ourselves.  We found the following news snippets and links useful and we hope you agree.

British Standards and Brexit  – This is a common topic on our courses so the recent statement from BSI that they will continue as a member of ISO, IEC, CEN and CENELEC is likely to be of interest to many.  They went on to state “UK stakeholders have overwhelmingly expressed their support for the UK to remain committed to the adoption of international and European standards as the national standard, used as today.”  More information on what this means can be found by using this link, and their February 2018 standards position statement can be read here.

Planning Update – The revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has recently been updated and on 1 October 2018 new Regulations will come into force regarding pre-commencement conditions.  A Quick Guide on the changes has been prepared by Lithos Consulting, who we thank for their permission to circulate their guide.

BIM Update – The first two international standards relating to the organization of information about construction works are to published in late 2018.  They are BS EN ISO 19650–1 (concepts and principles) and BS EN ISO 19650-2 (information management in delivery).  These standards will supersede BS 1192 (principles) and PAS 1192 part 2 (capital/delivery phase) respectively. An update that should help answer some of the questions on the UK transition can be found here.

Health Safety and Welfare – Though industry magazines regularly carry HSW news, we find it useful to keep an eye too on the latest HSE press releases.  There were numerous construction related posts just in July and August, which highlight that we as an industry need to keep emphasising and focusing on HSW throughout a project.

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