Currently the AGS offer helplines to all Member companies and practitioners with respect to:
- the AGS Data Format (the discussion forum on the AGS Data Format web site)
- contractual / legal matters (AGS Legal Helpline at Beale and Co)
- chemical safety (AGS Chemical Safety Helpline at Marquis & Lord).
These Helplines are advertised in each issue of the AGS Magazine and these three Helplines will continue to operate as they currently do.
However, the AGS is now formalising the reporting service for Member Companies and Practitioners with respect to aspects of interest to the other AGS Working Groups, namely; Contaminated Land, Health & Safety, Geotechnics, Instrumentation & Monitoring and Laboratories. The Terms of Reference under which these Helplines will operate are summarised below.
- A valid enquiry will be one that raises issues of general/ broader concern. For example; indicating a new area of uncertainty/ issues of policy or that prompt appropriate industry advocacy by the AGS.
- A valid enquiry will be one likely to prompt discussion at the Working Group (WG) and that is likely to lead to the need for guidance from the WG in due course.
- A valid enquiry will raise issues in respect of previous AGS advice (i.e. which may now appear to be out of date or inaccurate in some way).
- An invalid enquiry will be requesting some site specific advice which is just seeking some free consultancy. For example; here is my data set – what does this mean with respect to a particular ground related risk (geotechnical or geoenvironmental).
- An invalid enquiry will be one requesting that the WG intervene/ adjudicate in a dispute / disagreement on a technical matter between two AGS members.
- All initial enquiries should be made to Forum Court Associates (FCA). If considered appropriate FCA will forward on to the relevant Working Group Leader and AGS Chair.
- The WG Leader will agree to accept or reject and inform FCA (who will then inform the AGS Chair).
- The WG Leader will then allocate responsibility for drafting a response (this may be following a WG meeting).
- The response will be approved by the WG Leader and/ or the WG prior to sending to the enquirer (with FCA and AGS Chair copied in).
- The WG and AGS Chair will consider whether broader issues have been raised that warrant discussion / publication by the WG.