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Key points

Background

Ground Forum was initiated in 1993 by David Sherwood (then chairman of the Federation of Piling Specialists) and Cameron Craig (then administrator of the Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists), who recognised the need to provide an opportunity for the chairmen of the ground-related bodies to meet on a regular basis.

A second, equally important, objective was for the geotechnical fraternity to have a voice within the construction industry. This was achieved early on with Ground Forum becoming a member of the Construction Industry Council - a grouping of more than 50 construction organisations which has considerable influence within the industry and at government level.

Although Ground Forum is the smallest organisation in the CIC, it is involved in all its areas of activity and has built up a considerable influence and credibility. Jan Hellings, the chairman of AGS, chairs CIC's Sustainability working party.

Main aims

To provide a central forum for communication between all the members and enhance the profile of the ground engineering industry.

To vigorously promote: best practice throughout the industry continuous advancement and training through CPD active dialogue between members

the value of geotechnics and engineering geology in building, civil engineering works and mining and quarrying Remit and initiatives

Publicise annual meetings calendar for all GF member organisations Enhance Ground Forum's role within CIC

Use IT to promote awareness and improve communications among the geotechnical community.

Efforts are focused on establishing a website with links to members' websites and other relevant sites. This will house the proposed Ground Forum register of Specialists and Advisers Facilitate and co-ordinate active participation of all member bodies in securing the long-term future of ground related MSc courses (see Talking Point this issue)

Support the initiatives of Ground Forum members in various fields including: conditions of contract, site investigation best practice, safety, SARTOR, CPD, waste issues, contaminated land, driller registration and plant safety

Identification of adviser/ specialist status of senior ground engineering professionals and promotion of their role in good geotechnics Promote and facilitate ground related training

Identify and monitor proposed European directives that impinge on ground engineering practices in the UK.

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