Professional soil science conducted under contract will very often involve one or more of the following generic activities.
- The investigation of soils in the field and their consistent description according to a recognised scheme,
- The interpretation of soil profiles, properties and conditions, soil maps and/or other soil, earth science, climatic or topographic data and information to guide the current or future use and/or management of land for a range of interests.
- The identification of the soil resources at a site prior to their excavation, storage and eventual re-instatement
The work may be at a site-specific, local, regional or national scale and may range across local land practice to national and international policy development and regulation.
The Working with Soil scheme sets out minimum qualifications, skills and knowledge which the British Society of Soil Science considers necessary for scientists and engineers working on the areas identified in each document.
Who will the scheme benefit and how?
In producing these documents, and the associated training program, the Society aims to set and improve standards in professional soil science and to assist clients in identifying and engaging scientists and engineers with the appropriate combination of qualifications, knowledge and skills to carry out soil-related work to a satisfactory standard. Soil is a vital natural resource that delivers many ecosystem services and much economic value. It is important that those advising on its health and its use and management meet professional standards. Society imposes standards on doctors, engineers, lawyers and other professionals and we should expect no less from those practising professional soil science. Our intention is to expand the scheme by adding more task-based documents as needed.
Our hope is that the scheme will prove of value to those contracting out soil science work and that it will become an industry standard widely adopted in all the appropriate activity sectors. Its adoption by Government and industry will benefit scientists and engineers with the required qualifications, expertise and skills through preferred access to more work. Ultimately we hope that society will benefit from better and more sustainably managed soil resources.
The documents are freely available as downloads. The Society sets no limitations as to their use and has no objection to their inclusion as annexes in tender or contract documents, but accepts no liability, direct or indirect, for the consequences of their use.
The BSSS Northern Soils Network invites you to an evening seminar to be held on World Soil Day at Wardell Armstrong Newcastle Office.
Soils are often an underappreciated part of a development, but they are important not only because their intrinsic value but the role they play in the built environment itself.
We are delighted to announce the new SEESOIL committee chair will be Harriet Robson from 1 Jan 2019. Congratulations Harriet!
This brand new training course offers you a unique opportunity to build your confidence and precision in characterising and describing the soil beneath your feet by introducing you to the principles of soil classification. It is the only course currently available in the U.K. that covers soil classification, focussing on the widely used World Reference Base and U.K. soil classification schemes. The course builds on our existing one day course Exposing and describing a soil profile and also links to our Introduction to Soil Survey Techniques course. Together the three courses complete the Working with Soil Foundation Skills training programme.
This course is for you if you are:
- a soil scientist and want to improve or refresh your skills and knowledge of soil classification to help you understand soil processes at a landscape, farm or field plot scale
- a research student and need to characterise the soils at your research sites and place these in a global context
- an environmental or planning consultant carrying out Agricultural Land Classification, Environmental Impact Assessment studies or producing Environmental Statements and need a better understanding of the soil information encapsulated in soil classification schemes and soil survey reports and maps.
- an agronomist, ecologist, biologist, hydrologist or geographer and want to understand the soil information encapsulated in national soil survey publications and maps and its relevance to your specialism.
By the end of this two day course, you will have learnt:
- how different soil classifications are structured and designed
- how soil characteristics are used to identify key diagnostic features used in soil classifications.
- how key diagnostic features relate to soil processes and functions.
- How to classify a UK soil using the internationally recognized World Reference Base.
- how national UK soil classifications relate to the World Reference Base as used in the Soil Atlas of Europe and similar publications for Africa and South America
As well as taught sessions, you will go out in the field to work on a range of real soils. You will also receive a detailed, comprehensive course book.
Attendees at this training course can claim 48 CPD points if registered with the Society of Biology Scheme or 12 BASIS (8E, 4PD) points.
Booking is now closed for this course.
This brand new training course offers you a unique opportunity to refresh your skills or learn how to conduct and present an agricultural land classification survey. It is the only course available and has been designed and will be taught by agricultural land classification (ALC) experts from Natural England and The Welsh Government.
This course is for you if you:
- are an environmental or planning consultant and need to refresh or skills or improve your confidence and understanding of the details of the ALC system
- are a planner or planning control officer and want the skills and knowledge to better assess ALC reports
- are a soil scientist or geographer and want to add ALC survey to your list of professional skills.
ALC has a formal role in the planning system in England and Wales and is designed to prevent the loss of our best and most versatile land in line with the principles of sustainable development. We have launched this course in response to criticism of the standard of many ALC reports currently being submitted with applications for land development.
By the end of the two days you will learn:
- about how the ALC system has developed over time, its underlying principles and its role within the planning system – the WHAT, WHY and WHEN of ALC
- all the details of how land is graded – the HOW of ALC
- how to present ALC results as an expert witness
As well as taught sessions, you will carry out a group ALC grading desk exercise to further enhance your ability and confidence. You will receive a detailed, comprehensive course book and CD versions of the ALC Guidelines and Meteorological Office ALC climatic data.
Participants registered with the Society of Biology CPD Scheme can claim 42 CPD credits for attending this training event. Additionally there are 12 (e8, PD4) BASIS points available to attendees.
Register for the course here - Please note Registration closes on Wednesday 26th November 2014