Excellence in Learning and Development

This category is open to all types of companies working in the geotechnical industry that can demonstrate excellence in learning and development opportunities between January 2023 and January 2024.

This category aims to recognise in-house learning and development teams (not training agencies) that deliver excellent opportunities for staff development and can demonstrate how this has supported the wider business.

Arcadis Learning and Development in Geotechnics

Throughout 2023, the Arcadis geotechnical team has delivered in-house learning and development (L&D) opportunities aiming to: drive and upskill the team’s capabilities, encourage further engagement and motivation of the team, nurture wider teamwork, whilst also aligning with the Arcadis business goals. These opportunities have ranged from Early Year Career Geotechnical Training dedicated to younger engineers, sustainability training delivered to the wider team and the organisation of sixteen CPD sessions tailored to the team. This, alongside the work of its Geotechnical Technical Leadership Group and activities with university institutions to increase collaboration between research and industry highlights the commitment that the Arcadis Geotechnical team has in delivering excellent and diverse development opportunities for the team. 

GE&T Academy

Our staff must have a broad range of skills in order to meet the evolving needs of our clients. The AtkinsRealis Ground Engineering & Tunnelling academy and the activities held under its auspices are essential to enabling our staff to have this. We continually revise our offering to introduce new initiatives such as our technical training library and global debates. We are proud to see former members of our academy succeed - whether through external award recognition, progressing their careers in the company to take on key project roles & leading teams, as well as becoming industry leaders.

Competency Framework - Elevating Technical and Business Excellence in Learning and Development

Ayesa's groundbreaking L&D programmes champion sustainability and positive impacts, with a Collaborative Competency Framework at its core. This framework, developed in collaboration with ground engineers, influences all initiatives, shaping a culture aligned with a sustainable ground engineering consultancy. It serves as the nucleus, fostering lasting positive impacts, client partnerships, and a people-centric ethos. Innovative Learning Contracts ensure effective knowledge transfer, evident in participants' enhanced skills. The New Manager Programme, guided by the Competency Framework, navigates transitions and cultivates effective remote management. Securing the GEEIS certification and a diversity learning programme highlights Ayesa's dedication to diversity. Beyond technical excellence, these initiatives yield tangible benefits, including: enhanced employee development, refined recruitment, and sustainable solutions. Ayesa's multifaceted, sustainability-rooted approach positions it as a champion of technical and business skills excellence.

CGL Graduate Academy

Building on their legacy of business focus on Learning and Development (L&D) CGL created their own in-house Graduate Academy to support early careers professionals who had been affected by the training limitations of the COVID pandemic. The Academy included face to face/in person seminars, workshops and webinars as well as creating an online library and resource of information. The course provided introductions and guidance for basic concepts such as Desk Studies through to the diverse range of Ground Engineering technical topics encountered by graduates in their early careers giving them the practical tools and support to develop into well rounded professionals on the route to Chartership. The Academy allowed graduates from across the business to work together, developing a peer-support group, improving relationships and teamwork and creating a collaborative mindset that will benefit both the individuals and the company for years to come.

Geoquip Marine
GM Skills Forge Initiative

Geoquip Marine Learning and Development (L&D) initiative strategically enhances workforce capabilities by meticulously addressing skill gaps, emphasising leadership and technological proficiency. The introduction of a bespoke Leadership & Development Programme in 2023, aligned with ILM Level 3, is complemented by a comprehensive competency framework spanning Leadership, Equipment, Operational, and Health & Safety domains. Integrated seamlessly into HR strategy, the initiative plays a pivotal role in supporting recruitment, retention, development, and succession planning. The company newly developed Competency Assessment System effectively links L&D with staff development, enabling individuals to systematically enhance their competencies. This integration leads to tangible outcomes, including improved performance metrics, heightened productivity, and increased staff engagement. Leveraging cutting-edge technologies, such as our new Online Learning Management System integrated with AI, the initiative delivers tailored, multi-facetted engaging training experiences, positioning Geoquip Marine at the forefront of innovative L&D methodologies and ensuring the continual growth and adaptability of our workforce.

Mott MacDonald
Graduate Accelerator Programme (GAP)

The Graduate Accelerator Programme (GAP), developed through collaboration between global practice members and spearheaded by ECPs, offers improved graduate training for Mott MacDonald’s Geotechnics Practice. The programme’s objective is to provide graduates with inclusive and structured learning, focusing on developing fundamental knowledge around various aspects of geotechnical engineering. GAP successfully bridges the gap between university and work, different knowledge levels of graduates, and between engineering geologists and engineers. The programme encompasses two phases: the core modules, consisting of pre-recorded and live sessions, and the individual modules, consisting of graduate selected modules to suit their skillset and ambitions. The graduates are also assessed via a group design project and individual assessments with feedback from senior members of the practice. The programme meets the Geotechnics Practice’s objectives of safeguarding quality, by sharing best practice with the global practice, and strengthening connected thinking, by expanding networks through the group projects and buddies.

RSK Geosciences
RSK Geosciences Training and Development Programme

RSK Geosciences, a leading geotechnical and geo-environmental consultancy and part of the RSK Group, has had a strong culture of learning and development (L&D) since its inception. This is informed by our Guiding Principles and our goal to be considered by geosciences professionals as the employer of choice. The entry details how our existing strong focus on L&D has been taken to the next level in 2023 through appointment of an L&D Director to the RSK Geosciences Leadership Team and a series of in-house training initiatives, including a staff-wide event held at Warwick University to share knowledge; delivery of over 30 technical training seminars; launch of our own innovative tiered geotechnical training programme and development of tailored chartership workshops. Focusing on these examples and others, we demonstrate how both new and established initiatives have successfully provided significantly increased learning and development opportunities for our employees over the last year. 

Tony Gee
Tony Gee Geotechnics' Academy - Programme of In-House Learning and Development

Tony Gee has introduced a programme of learning and development specifically tailored toward geotechnical engineering as part of wider business strategy which yielded Gold Standard accreditation by Investors in People. The programme aligns with Tony Gee’s goals to provide technical excellence and the best possible environment to develop, engage and support employees. It has generated great enthusiasm within the 70 strong geotechnical group. Working under the banner of the Tony Gee Geotechnics’ Academy the programme aims to encompass the typical range of skills of a geotechnical engineer. To facilitate access to corresponding guidance/information resources. To stimulate technical learning and discussion. To join up our experience, research and development. To identify gaps in training and experience to enable the company to work more effectively. The programme encompasses six core areas. 1. Geotechnical learning objectives pre-chartership. 2. Geotechnical design themed talks and discussions. 3. Literature Review. 4. Dissemination of project experience. 5. Research and development. 6. Professional development.

WSP UK G&T Digital Interest Group

DIG started in 2023 as a grassroots initiative within WSP's UK Geotechnics and Tunnelling (G&T) team to upskill the team as we transition through the digital revolution. DIG is: -Improving the efficiency, accuracy, and quality of our work, -Leveraging and maximising existing resources and tools, -Reducing risk associated with digital tools and processes, -Attracting and retaining the top talent to work for WSP, and -Enabling our clients to deliver their aspirations. DIG stands out as a L&D initiative. It is driven by project experience and need whilst informed by L&D best practice. Although focussed on technical excellence it also supports the holistic development of staff through case study presentations. Its content and format reflect the diversity of the team and it is breaking down barriers through knowledge sharing in G&T and beyond. The high attendance and positive feedback are testament to the success of DIG.