People (like me) who conduct geotechnical (including landslide) investigations and write geotechnical reports ought to be qualified to do so. At the very least, in Tasmania, we must have a university degree in Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering or Geology, and have Professional Indemnity Insurance (Certificates of Specialists or Other Persons).
In Tasmania, twenty or so firms or individuals advertise in this important field, but only a handful are active. Like professionals everywhere, we exhibit a range of geotechnical expertise, from poor, to OK, to good.
So there is room for improvement. But how?
It’s not easy. Under the current situation, most of us are already “suitably qualified”, yet some are clearly out of our depth and continue to churn out poor work. We have lots of help – ready access to excellent guidance from the Australian Geomechanics Society (AGS), one of the leading geotechnical organisations in the country. (Most local Councils demand that geotechnical reports are done in accordance with AGS Guidelines.)
But some of us pay only lip service to the guidelines. Local Councils are continually frustrated recipients of substandard geotechnical reports, and ask for peer reviews.
In this competitive consulting world, some of us charge cheaply to attract work. Low prices restrict our ability to do extra work if the job requires it, and in turn beget more substandard work. We should never underquote, or even quote, for geotechnical work.
Through long experience I can guarantee that these wise words will fall mostly on deaf ears.
So. Should we be accredited?