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ROGEP up and running

Paul Maliphant

Paul Maliphant* introduces the much-anticipated launch of the UK Register of Ground Engineering Professionals

Geoscientist 21.07 August 2011

The Geological Society of London (GSL), Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM3) have joined forces to create a UK Register of Ground Engineering Professionals (UKRoGEP).

The register will have CGeol, CSci or CEng as compulsory core qualifications, and will build upon them. It will: allow engineers and geologists alike to demonstrate that their expertise lies within ground engineering (rather than another area of geology, civil or mining engineering) and (by passing through RoGEP grades of Professional, Specialist and Adviser) help practitioners to demonstrate progressively increasing competence, predicated on recognition by their sponsors and formal assessment by their peers.

RoGEP will enable clients and other professionals to identify those ground engineering practitioners who are likely to bring the greatest value to a project. Registration will demonstrate an individual’s technical competence, professional attitude and experience. All Registrants will be bound by the Code of Conduct of their host body, and be required to undertake and record appropriate Continuous Professional Development.


RoGEP is administered by the ICE, and managed by a Panel of 12 UK Registered Ground Engineering Advisers (who have themselves passed the appropriate competence assessment by their peers on the Panel). Members were nominated by Ground Forum, the Executive Committee of the British Geotechnical Association (BGA), as well as ICE, GSL and IOM3. The Panel has invited 18 Rankine Lecturers, Glossop Lecturers and Skempton Medallists to accept honorary membership at ‘Adviser’ level. The Panel has also sponsored a further 60 or so well-respected ground engineering professionals from a broad cross-section of client, contractor, academic and consultant organisations, to join the Register (though these individuals will have to undergo the same assessment process as any other registrant).

The Panel has set a budget, which will be reviewed quarterly against Registration uptake, fee income and costs. Fee levels have been set generally below those of comparable Registers. The sponsoring institutions are covering RoGEP’s start-up costs. Any future surpluses will be used to repay the institutions to a maximum value equivalent to their initial outlay, with any further surpluses used for the benefit of Registrants or alternatively to allow fees to be reduced. The institutions will gain no benefit from the creation of the Register save that which it will create for the good of the professions, and society at large.

All applications to join the Register must be submitted to RoGEP. Geologists are eligible as soon as they have gained chartership in a ground engineering specialism.
  •  Full details of the scheme, copies of all application forms, details of fees and the Register itself can be found at

* EurGeol Paul C Maliphant CGeol, Vice President, is Chair of the Chartership Committee, Ex-Officio member of the Engineering Group Committee, RoGEP Panel member and a UK Registered Ground Engineering Adviser.


Paul Maliphant writes: All applications to join the Register must be submitted to RoGEP. Geologists are eligible as soon as they have gained chartership in a ground engineering specialism. Applicants will be responsible for demonstrating their competence in all six RoGEP attributes (innovation, technical solutions, integration with other disciplines, risk management, sustainability and management) in their personal statement. The role of the sponsors is crucial in identifying competence of an applicant and corroborating the evidence presented by them as they will know the individual far better than the assessors. The importance of sponsorship duties are set out very clearly on the Sponsor’s Statement form and will be critical in assessing an application. Interviews are only envisaged in borderline cases thus encouraging potential applicants to delay applying until they are reasonably confident that they will be accepted for the grade concerned. The form has been worded such that the sponsor is vouching for the applicant’s professional competence in the six RoGEP attributes. These are relevant to applicants from all backgrounds though the balance of competency strengths will vary between individuals according to their specialism. Assessors will be allocated by a process identical to that for chartership. Registration will be granted for a fixed period of 5 years. In order to remain on the Register it will be necessary for Registrants to demonstrate every 5 years that they still hold chartered status and have maintained their CPD record.

If applying at the same time as chartership an applicant should indicate this intention on their CGeol or CSci application form and if their chartership application is successful the RoGEP secretariat will be informed. Their RoGEP application will be approved at Professional grade (assuming that the appropriate details and fee have been presented). A full RoGEP application and assessment will be required at the appropriate time in order to move to the Specialist and Adviser grades of registration. The Geological Society will have no involvement in consideration of RoGEP applications made post chartership.

All Registered Ground Engineers will have their details and those of their employers posted in the on line Register. These details will include name, qualifications, employer, RoGEP grade, email, location (by first two postcode letters) together with a free text box for Registrants to indicate their areas of competence.

RoGEP will be refined and improved by usage over time or fall into disuse dependant on the value that Registration earns for the profession. It will be useable by clients and others as they see fit to improve the value obtained from ground engineering be that measured in terms of cost, carbon impacts, completion times, health and safety or other metric as considered appropriate. Support for the Register has already been received from organisations such as Highways Agency and Network Rail and it has been endorsed by the Construction Industry Council (CIC). The Welsh Government responded:

‘On behalf of the Welsh Government, I would like to commit our support for the Register. It is essential in promoting best practice, raising standards and supporting government construction objectives. As a major client body which utilises ground engineering services we are only too pleased to support the Register.’

On its own RoGEP will not result in the improvements to construction that society requires particularly in respect of the current fiscal and carbon challenges that we all face. The value that ground engineering can bring will only be fully captured if the profession also collaboratively addresses the other issues that influence its success and a meeting between key industry bodies including the Geological Society is being called as this article goes to print to initiate a new action plan to this end. However, effective implementation of the UK Register of Ground Engineering Professionals will mitigate the risks associated with the work of incompetent or inappropriate professionals from within the membership of the sponsoring institutions or from other professions masquerading as ground engineers. This Register creates an opportunity for improvement and is therefore fully endorsed and supported by the Geological Society of London and in particular its Engineering Group and is commended to its members.

‘… it is now time for the supply side to demonstrate how it can create additional economic, social and environmental value through innovation, collaboration and integrated working – in short, the principles outlined in Rethinking Construction…… We also need industry bodies and professional associations to cooperate better to represent our industry effectively to Government and the public.’
(Constructing Excellence, 2009)