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Testimonials and Scheme Supporters

Testimonials and Scheme Supporters

Neil Loudon, National Highways, Head of Structures Policy

‘The Bridge Inspector Certification Scheme is a step change for the construction industry in setting competence levels for staff working on inspection of transport structures, whether they are bridges, retaining walls, gantries and so many other forms of construction. As co-chair of the BICS Steering Group I am proud that we can support the LANTRA quality assured scheme and offer certification to reflect the awareness, knowledge, experience and proficiency of our valued inspectors. The attainment of BICS certification provides a real benefit for inspectors, and recognition of their skills. It also provides transport clients with reassurance about the quality of their directly employed or contracted inspectors and their inspection reports, which underpins most structural asset management decisions and reporting.

Since it was launched, BICS has not stood still, and has evolved taking on board feedback. In particular the modularisation approach has been adopted to reflect the varied role of different inspectors, and more specialist modules are being planned in the future. In the wake of the tragedy of Grenfell Tower, there is rightly more industry emphasis on competence of individuals in many engineering roles. Inspection is one important component, and BICS is uniquely placed to fulfil this need’.

George Probert, WSP, Senior Engineer, Senior Inspector (BICS), BEng CEng MInstNDT

‘I have around 10 years’ experience in the inspection, testing and monitoring of structures, primarily using difficult access techniques (commercial diving, roped-access and confined space) and am now responsible for leading special inspections and inspections for assessment, and for the management of post-tensioned bridges. Throughout my inspection career I have been aware of greatly varying levels of inspection experience and the quality of reporting, particularly in the understanding of structural behaviour, material properties, and defect scoring. A scheme like BICS was well overdue and I was keen to see it develop.

I recognised the benefits of becoming certified with BICS – personally in terms of professional recognition, but also in terms of ensuring that critical infrastructure remains safe for use through proper inspection, not to mention benefits to the company in terms of bidding for work and being able to demonstrate compliance with the DMRB. The majority of structures our team investigate are classed as ‘complex’ and therefore it was important for me as a team leader to attain the Senior Inspector role.

Initially I found the process daunting, particularly the completion of the portfolio and collation of evidence. However, once I started chipping away at it I realised the task was achievable and I actually found it to be a rewarding process – demonstrating my experience and at the same time refreshing my knowledge on all aspects of inspection and testing. By the time I had completed the portfolio I felt well prepared for the interview, which was a really enjoyable experience.

I would encourage anyone thinking about becoming certified with BICS to join the scheme and make a start on their portfolio immediately, even if they feel they don’t quite have the experience required in all areas, it’s better to begin sooner rather than later. It is a significant undertaking to become a BICS Inspector, but that for me was equally part of the appeal. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your experience, gain recognition and progress your inspection career.’

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