In this edition:


ASUC has recently committed to raising the threshold for excavations from 2.5m to 1.5m, below which foundations should be engineered.

In the last five years there have been 217 fatalities in the construction sector with a significant number attributed to excavations or activities associated with excavations. These statistics hide an underlying issue of the thousands of injuries and tens of thousands of near-misses from trench and excavation incidents.

The drainage industry has done significant work to reduce frictional resistance of pipes to facilitate lower pipe gradients resulting in shallower, therefore safer, excavations.   The foundations industry believes that a more pro-active approach should be taken with foundation excavation; indeed there are many organizations who believe that trenches deeper than 1.5m should, and could, be a thing of the past.

Guidance from the major warranty-providers (i.e. NHBC, Premier and LABC) still quote 2.5m as being the depth below which foundations should be “engineered”.  Despite this being brought in decades ago.  Crucially, these guidelines consider it to be appropriate to apply “custom-and-practice” to excavation depths down to 2.5m. There are even depth-calculator apps which encourage anybody, qualified or not, to design an excavation depth up to 2.5m deep.

With safer methods of construction, competency assessments, increased responsibilities for designers, and all of the issues associated with sustainability we should not, and must not continue to dig deep trenches, where viable alternatives readily and cost-effectively exist.

ASUC is inviting those people and organizations in positions of power, authority and influence to help to spearhead this exciting transition from outdated methods of construction to modern, safer and environmentally friendlier methods of construction.

To read more click this link.


ASUC is proud to announce that member Franki Foundations has recently notified two projects to the new Foundation Insurance Guarantee scheme one in Havant for a single unit and another in Porchester for 23 units.  These two projects are the first to be announced for the FIG scheme. We anticipate an increased interest in this new warranty scheme and the Foundations membership category as well.

The FIG is a two-year policy intended to dovetail with NHBC / Premier / LABC and other similar new home warranties that commence after year two of the new build completion.  As with all the ASUC policies, this unique latent defects insurance policy is between the client and the insurance company, and therefore any claim is not dependent on the health of the contractor company.

The insurance is only available for ASUC members who are specialists in installing engineered foundation solutions, in the domestic and light industrial sector.  This includes foundation systems with ground beams and/or slabs.  ASUC define an Engineered Solution as any foundation with a depth in excess of 1.5m, all of which it believes should be engineered and not just trench fill.

To download the ASUC Guarantee Leaflet, including the new FIG – click here.


ASUC AGM & Awards Lunch – 24 November 2017

Last year’s Awards event was a sell out and we are returning to London this year, this time to the famous Cafe de Paris on Friday 24 November.

The formal business of the AGM will be held in the morning, following which there will be a some short presentations on current topics of interest and, following a three course lunch, will be the eagerly-anticipated ASUC Awards – this year to be presented by Eddie the Eagle Edwards.Eddie the Eagle Edwards

Despite little skill for his sport, Olympic skier Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards, won the hearts and minds of the public with his heroic failures, and continues to delight audiences today. The story of how a former plasterer became an unlikely superstar by self-funding his Olympics dream was recently retold in a biographical film Eddie the Eagle. Eddie, now a trained lawyer, has since appeared in C4’s The Jump and works as a sports agent.

The Awards Lunch is open to all members and their guests and is a popular pre-Christmas opportunity to enjoy a lunch in convivial surroundings.

Now is the time to start thinking about your entry for this year’s Project Awards. Nomination forms are available now and the closing date for receipt is Monday 23 October 2017.
To find out about sponsorship of the event please contact Emma Rickwood at ASUC.

ASUC General Meeting – 1 June 2017

This year’s Summer General Meeting, held at the Oxford Belfry, was very well attended by ASUC members.

Chairman, Simon Haslam gave an overview of some recent initiatives, which included setting objectives for the three types of membership category, Underpinning & Subsidence Repair, Engineered Foundation Solutions and Basements. The results of the on-line training survey were discussed. The survey demonstrates members on going commitment to maintain high standards of training with their workforces.

John Patch gave a presentation on AFCS (The ASUC Foundation Competency Scheme) and UKAS accreditation. The scheme will raise the quality, environmental and sustainability standards within the industry by introducing a rigorous training and operative certification process which will ensure contractors are qualified to deliver those standards. Building Control warmly welcomed the introduction of the scheme which would also benefit customers and warranty providers.

Once the UKAS accreditation process had been completed it will form part of the ASUC membership application process and the new Foundations Scheme would further complement this initiative.


Sector Specific Training Plans

ASUC members will again have the opportunity to enhance the standard date rate grant by 50% by joining the CITB’s Sector Specific Training Plan 2017/18 during August.

The programme is run via on an on-line platform / portal which makes it simple to administer and claim grants for the training undertaken in each quarter.

The incentivised grant rate for the widened programme in 2017/2018 will be 1.5 x the standard day rate of £50 = £75 per day and the pilot was launched in August 2017 (the site is yet to go live and grants will be backdated) and run until the 31st March 2018. Please contact ASUC if you have not yet enrolled on this year’s programme.

ASUC is reviewing the courses available with CITB. Once they have been agreed by the SSTP project team they can be taken by employers confirmed on the programme and backdated to the 1st August 2017.

PLEASE NOTE: For those companies on SSTP 2016-17- the closing date for claims is end of September. Please make sure you have claimed for all the courses for which you are entitled to do so. If you need any assistance with this please contact Lisa Hennessey at ASUC.

NVQ2 Qualifications

The newly reinstated Structural Waterproofing qualification has attracted a lot of interested with many being registered in the last few weeks. There have also been ten level 2 QUA 846 Excavated Underpinning candidates who have registered recently. Jeff Haggerty, ASUC Assessor, is happy to discuss all your training and qualification needs and put together a programme that suits your working schedules. Contact him on 07885 659798.

The cost for the level 2 diploma is £756.80 per candidate and £885 for level 3 diploma. In scope companies (CITB levy payers) can claim back a grant of £400 per candidate plus a bonus of 22% (subject to conditions).
Please note there has been no increase in charges for OSAT in 2017. However, with falling numbers of registrations this is likely to be reviewed to ensure the fees reflect the costs of offering these services.

OSAT (On Site Training and Assessment is available in the following:

Further Qualifications

Trailblazers Apprenticeship

ASUC is represented on the CITB Ground Workers Trailblazer Committee. It is hoped this will provide a means to obtaining a pathway within that apprenticeship which covers underpinning and minipiling operations.

CRO Cards Set To Expire End of September

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) is reminding the industry that time is almost up for 85,000 Construction Related Occupation (CRO) cards. CSCS withdrew the CRO card at the end of March this year and all CRO cards issued since October 2015* expire on 30th September 2017. Read more about the changes here.

The removal of the CRO card affects over 230,000 CRO card holders. In many cases CRO card holders will be required to register for existing or newly developed qualifications. In others, card holders will be asked to move to one of CSCS’s Partner Card Schemes that are more appropriate for their occupation. For some, where their occupation is not construction related or no suitable qualifications exist, a CSCS card will no longer be issued.

CRO cardholders can find out what steps they need to take by inputting their occupation into card finder and following the steps on the screen. CSCS can also be contacted on 0344 994 4777.

*For the avoidance of doubt, CRO cards issued before October 2015 will remain valid until their expiry date. All related occupation cards issued by the following Partner Card Schemes, SKILLcard (Construction Related Occupation), ECS (Related Disciplines), JIB-UK PHMES  (Plumbing Related Occupation), will also remain valid until their expiry date. A full list of the Partner Card Schemes is available here.


Further to the support received from Government in July, CITB has set out its priorities for the organisation until April 2018.

The presentation, Listen, Check, Act, Deliver sets out the response to concerns raised by Build UK members about reform in the following areas (click on the link above for more detail):

As an Industry Training Board, CITB is asked by the Secretary of State to show that it has continued support from the construction industry every three years. The Government can then authorise CITB to collect a construction levy from employers and invest it in the training that the industry needs. The consultation and vote will take place this year.

CITB currently seeks the views of 13 Federations as part of the Consensus process and Build UK, of which ASUC is a member.

This item will be discussed at the ASUC Summer meeting in June which will include a members’ forum to obtain members views on the vote and also what are the options should CITB not continue.

In the meantime, CITB is consulting extensively with the industry before we go to consensus in Summer 2017. You can make your voice heard now by telling CITB what you think of the current levy options, or by joining the Levy Working Party Reference Group.


To see more Project Stories, Galleries and Press Releases from ASUC members visit this page.

Roger Bullivant CIN logo Roger Bullivant gives Pudsey Bear a hand

When DIY SOS – The Big Build (presented by Nick Knowles and his team) were organising a special episode for the BBC Charity, Children In Need, Roger Bullivant Limited (RB) jumped at the opportunity to help. Read more…

Roger Bullivant Ltd / / 01283 511115

Triton strengthens technical team

With a background working in construction particularly in waterproofing, Triton Systems is delighted to welcome Michael Erskine as the regional sales manager for Scotland. Contact Michael and the other members of the Triton team here.  Read more…

Triton Systems / / 01322 318830

M J Rooney Award Logos M J Rooney celebrates anniversary year

As well as celebrating 30 years in business, M J Rooney Construction Ltd has also been successful in all four awards they were nominated for this year. This is a fitting reward for the very hard working team all of whom have contributed to this industry recognition.  Read more…

M J Rooney Construction Ltd / / 020 8850 0018

Croft Structural Engineers help speed the remodelling of townhouses in London W1

Croft Structural Engineers has recently completed a project in Marylebone, London. Oldbury Place was a complex project converting an existing Victorian industrial building into three modern townhouses and incorporating a new two-storey basement under the full premises.Read more…

Croft Structural Engineers / / 020 8684 4744

Franki Foundations Logo Franki Foundations acquires the Martello Group

Franki Foundations (a subsidiary of BESIX Group) has completed the acquisition of the UK based Martello Group, including its subsidiaries Martello Holdings, Martello Piling & Highmead Developments. Read more…

Franki Foundations / / 01489 797600

Harley Gallery Harley Gallery Extension

Delta Membrane Systems Limited were employed as waterproofing consultancy to the design team for the new Harley Gallery project – an award winning extension to the original Harley Gallery which was first opened in 1994.  Read more…

Delta Membranes / / 01992 523523


This year’s Subsidence Forum training day will be held at the BRE, Watford on 19 October.
Presentations will include: Satellite Monitoring, Catastrophe Planning, Fracking, Legal Update, H&S/Risk and Repair Methods.

To view the full programme and a list of speakers, as well as download the booking form please click here.


Build UK launches incident alerts system

Build UK is delighted to launch its Incident Alerts System, which allows its members to share information regarding accidents or incidents across the industry. Read more…

NASC makes H&S Guidance free to download

Build UK member, National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) has made their Health & Safety and Technical guidance titles available to download for free from their website. Read more…

Build UK Newsline

For more news from Build UK visit


Following the introduction of the FIG scheme (see item above) a new leaflet has been produced which covers all three of the ASUC guarantees – the DIG, BIG and new FIG.ASUC Guarantee Leaflet

The leaflet provides brief details on all three schemes and their benefits as well as a checklist of ten good reasons for having an ASUC guarantee.

The brochure freely downloadable from the website and can be printed as required.
To see a copy click on this link

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