NEWS: the British Dam Society (BDS) is about to launch its highly anticipated mentoring scheme.

16 September 2019

Following a successful trial, the British Dam Society (BDS) is about to launch its highly anticipated mentoring scheme. This scheme is aimed to encourage aspiring dam engineers working within the UK dam industry to develop their skills and knowledge to the required level for application to either the Supervising Engineers Panel or the All Reservoirs Panel, responsible for statutory inspections and other functions under UK reservoir legislation.

The need for a mentoring scheme

The BDS has identified the need for a mentoring scheme, due to a steady decline over the last 25 years of ARPE and SupE, with the numbers approximately reducing to a third of the 1994 levels. Recent research undertaken, estimated that only 34 ARPE would remain by 2019 and only 21 would remain by 2022 if current trends continued (Peters et al., 2018). There are currently only 30 ARPE remaining, which is already below the projected numbers from the 2018 paper, this demonstrates the research assumptions were over-optimistic.

Also a recent change to legislation has brought high-risk small reservoirs with a capacity over 10,000m3 within the relevant legislation for Scotland and Wales. This means the total number of reservoirs requiring services by SupE and ARPE’s has increased by 23%. England and Northern Ireland have still to enact these requirements, however if this was enacted this would cause a further 12% increase in reservoirs requiring SupE and ARPE services (Peters et al., 2018).

In order to combat this declining trend and increased demand, the BDS has developed a new mentoring scheme to encourage the next generation of ARPE and SupE. The scheme is primarily aimed at young professionals within the BDS and has been developed and launched by the BDS young professionals (YP) committee.

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