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.


We were delighted to receive recently a fantastic plaudit from Sam Fish for the mentoring support he has received from our Dr Andy Goodwin.  Highlights from the plaudit included:

“…I couldn’t rate Andy highly enough…. as an ICE Reviewer for many years, his understanding of the chartered professional review process is excellent and very helpful to his mentees…. my progression as an engineer is a direct result of his coaching and ability to draw the best out of me.”

The full plaudit may be read here.  Andy was hugely appreciative of the comments from Sam, and is looking forward to continuing to support his other mentees in the same vein.  Feel free to contact us without any obligation if you or your graduates require any mentoring support.


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 are delighted to announce that in recent months we have taken on numerous new mentees.  Based from as far afield as Romania to our locale in the East Midlands, they all share a drive to achieve professional qualification with the ICE and want to work with our Dr Andy Goodwin.  Andy is a very experienced ICE reviewer and is working with them as they follow Career Appraisal or Approved Mentor Supported routes to membership.

Welcome to Mihail, Victor, John, Richard and Rory – no surnames or companies for confidentiality, but you all know who you are!


At the pile design course last month, lunch was taken in the ‘heritage room’ of The Hub in Clay Cross.  This quirky room that celebrates local history combined well with the “cream tea lunch” to give everyone a welcome break from the rigours of the course!

Feedback from the course was excellent – 100% of responses rated it excellent to good, with most in the excellent category.  This backed up with the news that we can already look forward to welcoming some delegates back for other courses this year!