Updated: Jun 23
If one positive has come out of lockdown, it has been the availability of so many online conferences, events and training sessions. With traditional in-person training and learning events suspended for the foreseeable future and with many colleagues finding themselves 'furloughed', l decided to promote the creation of a programme of events as a member of the Scottish Contaminated Land (SCLF) Executive Committee.
I have recently been coordinating and hosting a series of free good practice webinars, mainly aimed at early career but also as a refresher to the more experienced practitioners. This was a great opportunity to try a different way of connecting with the membership and particularly to be more inclusive in terms of geographical reach.
I delivered the first webinar back in May, the first in a short series of training sessions focusing on land contamination report writing. My session was to set the scene (and to be honest to test the technology and logistics!) and provided an overview of the technical framework for risk assessment - a bit of a reminder of CLR11. I also provided an introduction to the new Environment Agency publication Land contamination: risk management which will replace CLR11 in England and Wales once it has been fully reviewed.
I have given many presentations over the years but never in this format but was glad that nearly 100 people turned out and that the technology worked on the day. I was surprised at how lonely an experience it was...not being able to tell whether you are delivering at the right pace or completely losing folk along the way. I also made a rookie mistake of not having a 'host' which didn't help! But it was a good experience overall and I personally learned a lot.
Since then, there have been a further five webinars covering aspects of site characterisation and risk assessment. Speakers have included regulators, consultants and contractors - all giving delegates the benefit of their experience. The webinars have been attracting attendees from all over the UK and at varying stages of career. The uptake has been amazing and feedback has been extremely positive so thank you to everyone who has been involved so far.
There are a few more webinars in the pipeline for the next month or so but I think this model will be part of a 'new normal' for SCLF and I'm excited to see where this current increased level of engagement can lead.
If you are interested in joining SCLF, it is free and involves just subscribing to the mailing list - that way you will get to know about events first!
Land Contamination Specialist and SCLF Executive Committee Member
You can download my presentation below.