The British Drilling Association (BDA) is the UK's trade association for the ground drilling industry.

BDA Audit

The BDA Audit

The Audit  delivers a scheme that confirms Lead Drillers and Drilling Support Operatives are competent to carry out their work productively and safely.

The Audit satisfies British and European Standards (BS 22475-2 and 3), the ICE UK Specification for Ground investigation and Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM) with regard to the need to prove the on-going annual competency of drilling operatives.

To the right of this column you can view a database of Lead Drillers and Support Operatives who hold the requisite Audit card but if you cannot find the name of your driller please contact the office to get the most up to date list.

The are two card types Blue for Lead Drillers and Yellow for Drilling Support Operatives. An example of a Lead Driller card is shown below.


Every member of a drilling crew should hold their own valid BDA Audit Card.

A Blue Card holder may only carry out the drilling techniques specified on the Audit Card i.e. Rotary, Cable Percussive.

Whilst the Audit checks the individuals Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) Land Drilling Card, it is always recommended that these cards are also checked when the drilling crew come on site. Click here for CSCS card types 

All drilling crew must hold an NVQ Level 2, Land Drilling - Lead Driller or Drilling Support Operative qualification to pass the Audit.

Click here to download an Audit guide and registration form.

Click here to download an example of the new Audit. 

The benefits include recognition of competence for drilling operatives and for employers it satisfies tender specifications and provides third party evidence of their employees' capabilities and safety. Clients who, under CDM, need to prove the competence of a drilling workforce simply need to put the criteria for the Audit in their specification.

The Audit looks in depth at the individual's current competence, their rig and equipment. Legislative requirements feature heavily. It is available for all members of a drill crew, whether Lead Driller or Driller (Drilling Support Operative) and in all drilling disciplines.

Other Audit requirements include:

  • Emergency First Aid at Work certificate (Lead Drillers only).
  • Adherence to both LOLER and PUWER regulations for the drilling rig and accessories, along with inspection of all drilling tools,  
  • Appropriate method statements and risk assessments 

Audits are carried out by highly experienced assessors from the drilling industry and take half a day. Should non conformances be identified, the individual and employer have to close these out within a set time period not exceeding 28 days from the audit date before an Audit card is issued. Failure to comply will result in withdrawal of the card and loss of Audited status.

The BDA Audit has been fully reviewed in 2015 and is now periodically assessed to ensure it meets the ever changing needs and standards of our industry.

The Audit is available to BDA members, at the reduced rate of £390 (+vat), and to non-members, at the sole discretion of the BDA, for £900 (+vat) . Its annual renewal provides ongoing proof of current competence.

By passing the Audit your name will appear on the BDA's website page of Audited drillers, however, this does not confer any BDA membership rights.

BDA Audited drillers will receive a free copy of GeoDrilling magazine, get discounted fees for BDA events

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