Technical Director registers as Qualified Person for National Quality Mark Scheme

09 Jan 2017


National Quality Mark Scheme

The National Quality Mark Scheme, developed by the Land Forum as a ‘Better Regulation initiative', is launched today. Congratulations to Kelvin Hughes, Technical Director for Delta-Simons, who is now registered as an Suitably Qualified Person for the scheme.

The NQMS is a voluntary scheme that has been developed to give confidence to developers, land owners and regulators that land contamination has been adequately addressed and managed. Congratulations to Kelvin Hughes, Technical Director for Delta-Simons, who is now registered as an Suitably Qualified Person for the NQMS scheme.

The scheme is also designed to improve the quality of submissions made under regulatory regimes, particularly planning applications, related to previously used land.

What is the National Quality Mark Scheme?

The NQMS was developed by the Land Forum to speed up regulatory permissions or decisions on regulatory compliance by getting submissions right first time. This will potentially save time for both the developer and the planning authority/regulator through increased efficiency, freeing up the regulators to deal with problem sites outside the scheme.

Initially, it is only applicable within the planning arena although it is hoped that, in the future, it will be able to be used to cover work related to sites being considered as ‘Contaminated Land' under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. It may also be considered for the assessment of soil and groundwater pollution arising during operation or surrender of Environmental Permits.

Who can assign the ‘Quality Mark'?

A report prepared under the scheme will need to be carried out with direct input from a ‘Suitably Qualified Person' or SQP. The SQP is an individual and not a company and will need to have a high level of specific competency in land condition. 

To qualify as a SQP the person will have either been a Specialist in Land Condition (SiLC) after going through a conversion course, or through a rigorous examination process. The SQP will need to ensure that reports declared under the scheme meet necessary technical and regulatory standards; there will be audits and checks with sanctions if the scheme is abused.

The Quality Mark will be an assurance that the reports are accurate, reasonable and identify any limitations. However, there is recognition in the industry of the need to improve the quality and more often the consistency of factual and interpretative reports relating to land contamination management.

Kelvin, now registered as a Suitably Qualified Person for the launch of National Quality Mark Scheme, is also a Specialist in Land Condition. Therefore, we are in the position to undertake site assessment, risk assessment, remediation design and verification work, and following declaration on the public register, can place the ‘Quality Mark' stamp on them. If you would like any additional information or to discuss this scheme further, please contact Kelvin Hughes.