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Go-ahead for geospatial apprenticeship

The UK government has given final approval for a geospatial survey technician apprenticeship. Secretary of State for Education Damien Hinds approved the funding band, at £9,000, meaning the level 3 apprenticeship can now be delivered. The approval means that geospatial employers can now use their apprenticeship levy payments or government apprenticeship funding to develop employees. The degree-level geospatial mapping and science apprenticeship is awaiting final sign off, following agreement of its £27,000 band.

The geospatial apprenticeships have been developed by a group of 19 employers, led by Skanska and supported by ICES, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Class of Your Own. The Survey Association (TSA) provided support funding for the development work. ICES fellow Mark Lawton of Skanska, who chaired the development group, said: “It was truly inspiring to see professional bodies, trade bodies and different sectors of industry collaborate together under the project management of Christina Hirst. I feel this is a huge educational step for our geospatial future talent.”

The other employers involved in the creation of the apprenticeships were; Aecom, Balfour Beatty, Severn Partnership, Maltby Land Surveys, Sir Robert McAlpine, Jacobs UK, Ordnance Survey, Murphy Surveys, Subscan Technology, Technics, Topcon (Great Britain), Korec, Trimble, Malcolm Hughes Land Surveyors, Leica Geosystems, Cat Surveys, Morgan Sindall and Historic England.
Successful completion of the geospatial survey technician apprenticeship results in eligibility for associate membership of ICES, and that of the degree level geospatial mapping and science apprenticeship can contribute to applications for full membership.

Colleges and universities providing the apprenticeships are listed online at

Institution Dinner 2018
This year’s Institution Dinner will be held at Celtic Manor in Newport, South Wales. The dinner, on 21 September, will be hosted by president Ian Cowling.
Celtic Manor is set in 2,000 acres of parkland. It is famous for its Ryder Cup golf course – one of three championship courses at the resort – and for hosting the major NATO Summit in 2014.
Tickets for the dinner cost £75 and are available from Alan Lees at ICES HQ. +44 (0)161 972 3110.

RPS Environmental Management (Subsidiary of RPS Group) – this is a new geospatial scheme – RPS Environmental Management Limited is a leading provider of professional and field based support services to the Water Industry and is a subsidary company of the RPS Group. The survey department delivers geospatial surveying services to their clients across the UK.

ICES has partnered again with the Marine & Coastal Civil Engineering Expo (M&CCE)

The highly anticipated event will be returning on the 12-13 September and will be taking place at the NEC Birmingham, the show’s brand-new location for 2018.

The Marine & Coastal Civil Engineering Expo is simply unique, it’s the UK’s most exciting platform for global infrastructure solutions and innovative engineering concepts in coastal and marine projects. It offers an unprecedented opportunity to join the world’s leading coastal engineering companies and see the concepts changing the future of coastal and marine infrastructure, and ICES is proud to be a part of it.

ICES is recognised as the leading chartered professional body for civil engineering surveyors. It provides relevant and meaningful competencies for geospatial engineers and commercial managers, and the partnership between ICES and M&CCE is built on a mutual objective – to provide support and education to professionals working within the coastal and marine sector.

Over 2,000 visitors ranging from marine and coastal engineers, flood authorities and coastal management professionals are set to attend the 2018 Expo, with the show already boasting a line-up of over 100 cutting-edge supplier-exhibitors, all with the aim of providing products and services to support those working on coastal and marine projects.

M&CCE will be running alongside the Flood Expo, Contamination Expo Series and RWM, each show offering their own line up of extraordinary exhibitors and speakers for this year’s event.

It is set to be the biggest yet, and will provide an excellent hub for civil engineering surveyors.

Join us and over 2,000 marine and coastal engineers on 12-13 September at the NEC, Birmingham by registering your free ticket here!  Visit our stand and meet the staff.

New guides for monitoring

ICES has published the Client Guide to Instrumentation and Monitoring – a pan industry publication written by volunteers. The guide has been endorsed by the Survey Liaison Group on behalf of ICES, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, The Survey Association and the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Chris Preston, ICES senior vice president and chair of the institution’s Geospatial Engineering Practices Committee, commented: “With the massive increase in the use of instrumentation for structural monitoring, this long awaited guidance provides welcome information to those involved with this complex subject.”

The guide is available in two formats; a one page summary and a more in-depth document covering common questions, benefits, the scope of monitoring, and a guide to the types of instrumentation available.

The full guidance is freely available to download here and the summary here.

New animation on civil engineering surveying
The institution has released an animation explaining what civil engineering surveying is and how it impacts the world around us. The animation will be used in careers presentations and at events to show the breadth of the profession. It particularly highlights the uses of modern technology and the way civil engineering supports and helps society – two factors known to be attractive to schoolchildren considering their future profession.
Speaking about the animation, ICES operations director Darrell Smart commented: “The animation provides a great introduction to the many facets of construction our members are involved in. As the UK enters the Year of Engineering, we wanted to explain clearly and simply what a fantastic profession civil engineering surveying is.”
The production of the animation was kindly sponsored by surveying equipment suppliers SCCS and is hosted on the ICES Vimeo channel at The animation is also available to members wanting to use it in presentations on request to

Inaugural ADS awards for Balfour Beatty and Catsurveys
The institution has announced its first approved development scheme (ADS) awards to companies from two categories; large (20 or more people on the scheme) and small (under 20 people on the scheme). The awards have been introduced in order to raise the profile of ADS and to highlight the excellent work these companies are doing in supporting their staff and raising awareness of ICES. ADS were considered based on various factors, such as support to trainees, mentoring, commitment to encouraging staff to join ICES, innovation and impact.
The award for the large ADS has been given to Balfour Beatty, for its committed promotion of ICES competencies. This scheme has been revitalised in the last year and has been rolled out across all business units, with many staff training as ICES examiners and mentoring trainees through their membership applications. The award for the small ADS has been awarded to Catsurveys, for its promotion of ICES and commitment to developing staff. This is a new scheme, which is quickly spreading throughout the staff and the company has shown its enthusiasm for becoming more involved in the institution.
Chair of the Education, Professional Development and Membership Committee Steve Jackson said: “These companies have shown exceptional commitment to staff development and promotion of ICES competencies in the past 12 months, and we are keen to recognise their efforts. We are fortunate to have a significant number of companies with ADS, many of whom are showing tremendous commitment to their staff and ICES. It was therefore an extremely challenging proposition to select a winner.”

ICES fellow to chair mapping commission
ICES fellow Jon Mills, professor of geomatic engineering at Newcastle University, has become chair of EuroSDR commission 1. EuroSDR is a not-for-profit organisation linking national mapping agencies with research institutes and universities across Europe to aid applied research. Commission 1 specifically looks at the standardisation of platforms, sensors and algorithms used to acquire geospatial data.

BuildForce looking for new mentors
The BuildForce scheme to get former servicemen and women into construction careers is looking for more mentors to add to its 100-strong team. Mentors do not have to be ex-military. Email for details.

ICES Publishing Awards 2017
The ICES Publishing Awards for 2017 have gone to Sarah Rock and Bob Marthouse. The awards are made annually for the best articles published by the institution and are judged by the Commercial Management Practices Committee and Geospatial Engineering Practices Committee.
Sarah Rock, a senior associate at law firm Gowling WLG, wrote the article ‘Trant v Mott MacDonald: BIM in court’, which appeared in October’s Civil Engineering Surveyor and detailed the first published judgement of a case where building information modelling and the common data environment featured heavily in the dispute. Bob Marthouse, director of operations and systems engineering at Teledyne Optech, wrote ‘Cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ in the December/January 2018 issue of Civil Engineering Surveyor illustrating how LiDAR is helping the Ocean Cleanup project to remove plastic from the Pacific. Both award winners will receive a certificate and a cheque for £250.

Derby University regains ICES accreditation
Derby University recently received accreditation from the institution for six courses in civil engineering and construction management. Membership manager Serena Ronan attended the accreditation inspection with Dean Edwards and Derby’s Derek Spalton and Brian Counter. Ms Ronan commented: “I’m delighted to welcome back Derby as one of our accredited universities. The College of Engineering and Technology already has some great survey projects lined up for its students.”

Loughborough re-accreditation
Loughborough University recently received a visit from ICES as part of the re-accreditation of its civil engineering degree courses. James Hulme, on behalf of ICES Eastern & Midlands, joined Loughborough’s Derek Thomson, Geoff Hodgson and Rene Wackrow and ICES membership manager Serena Ronan on a tour of the department.

Student award winners
ICES congratulates its student award winners of 2017: Rajan Rana, Sam Hartnett, Frederick Lacey and Katie Ferguson at the Royal School of Military Engineering; Nadeem Mohammed and Jack Bagshaw at the University of East London; Jordan Vincent at Plymouth University; M Mojtahedi, S Newton, F Tahmasebinia and Aidan Smith at Salford University; George Smith at University of the West of England; James Rough at Camborne School of Mines; and Declan Meban at the Survey School.
ICES membership manager Serena Ronan said: “It’s been another great year for our students. There are some outstanding future surveyors out there and I’m delighted that their efforts to date have been recognised.”