Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Self-certification is sheer folly

NCE received an avalanche of letters following its extensive coverage of the Heathrow Express trial last week.

Under the conditions underground how can it be possible for any contractor to honestly police his own work and honestly self-certificate? And once the work gets behind schedule for the contractor to be unexpectedly called on, for example, to 'open a couple of new faces', means that all the available time will have to be devoted solely to that end.

It has always appeared to me that for a client to enter into a tunnelling contract without 'the Engineer' to provide, among his other traditional duties, continuity of design and independent continuous inspection of the works, would be nothing less than sheer folly.

I spent the last 20 years of my life working for 'the client' and in all those years we never considered entering a contract for underground works without the Engineer function.

There may be clients who may be ill advised or naive, or who have the odd £100M to spare, but if they think that the contractor can or will truly police the quality of his own work (unless and where it suits him) and honestly 'self-certificate' tunnelling works then they are living in cloud cukooland.

P G Whyatt (F), 2 Wayside Drive, Clevedon, North Somerset BS21 7DU

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.