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Company Profile

Company Overview

Ian Farmer Associates has been carrying out ground investigations since 1985 and has built a strong client base of consulting engineers, builders, developers, architects, utilities, local authorities and government organisations. With an annual turnover of £10 million and with 108 members of staff, Ian Farmer Associates is one of the top 5 specialists out of perhaps 60 organisations in the United Kingdom ground investigation market.

Company Strategy

The Company's strategy is to establish and maintain long term partnerships with clients by providing services that meet with client's quality, budget and programme requirements and by providing full communication and support to clients both during and after each project. We believe that the way to provide and maintain a quality service to clients is through regional centres of excellence throughout the United Kingdom. Each of our regional centres is managed by an experienced practitioner and staffed by experienced and qualified engineers and geologists.

Offices and Laboratory

To date we have established eight regional offices and one laboratory throughout the United Kingdom. These include Newcastle upon Tyne established in 1985 followed by Coventry (1993) and Warrington (1999). In the Southeast of England we have added a fourth office by merging with Technotrade Geotechnical Services (established in 1983), adding their office at Harpenden to our spread of regional offices. A fifth office was established at Truro, Cornwall in 2002, a sixth at Motherwell in 2004 and a seventh at Washington, Tyne and Wear in 2005, followed by Llanelli in 2008. The laboratory (geotechnical and materials) is located at Washington, Tyne and Wear.


Our laboratories are externally accredited by UKAS with a Group Testing Number of 1464. All offices are accredited to ISO 14001 the Environmental Standard and ISO 9001 the Business Quality Standard.

The company is also accredited to UVDB Verify, UVDB Link-up, the CHAS scheme (Contractors Health and Safety Assessment) Scheme and the Safe Contractor Scheme, all of which will be augmented by the BS OHSAS 18001:2007 the safety standard within the near future.

Areas of Work

Our primary areas of interest are: -

  • Ground investigation covering geotechnical and environmental services.
  • Construction and built environment services.

Our Services

A full range of geotechnical and geoenvironmental services are offered from each regional office, fully supported by an experienced team of civil engineers and geologists. Additionally, specialist services are available including materials technologists and on-site chemists, with associated testing and monitoring services.

We offer a complete range of geotechnical and geoenvironmental investigation techniques and services, including soil exploration by percussion boring, window sampling and mechanical excavation; rock exploration by rotary drilling and coring; instrumentation and monitoring; in-situ tests such as plate loading, CBR and density including nuclear density gauges.

Our testing is undertaken by our UKAS accredited laboratory for geotechnical testing to support our ground investigation service; and a material testing laboratory to support our construction and built environment services. In association with a national analytical testing company with laboratories in the North East of England and the Midlands (Coventry) we are able to offer competitive testing for contamination contained in soil and water samples.

Our materials technology and construction engineering service operates throughout the United Kingdom undertaking and reporting on structural and condition surveys, BREEAM assessments and asbestos surveys. Our experience includes working on buildings, multistorey car parks, bridges, roads and other structures such as sludge digesters to determine the effect of ageing, corrosion and degradation on structural stability. We are approved for working in confined spaces and undertake in-situ testing that includes floor load tests and strain measurements.

We have expanded our materials technology and testing service nationally. This testing service includes compliance testing of construction materials, advice on all aspects of materials, their condition, suitability and use.

Term Contracts / Framework Agreements

The company is on the approved term contracts / framework agreements for a number of clients including the Highways Agency, Northumbrian Water Ltd., Dumfries and Galloway Council, Fife, Council, Renfrewshire Council, Scottish Enterprise, Brent Council, City of Salford, Wrexham MBC, Gateshead MBC, Lancashire CC, Luton MBC, Barnet MBC, North Lanarkshire Council, Bouygues (UK) Limited, Coal Authority etc. as well as the approved vendors list for British Gas / Transco, National Grid, etc.

Health and Safety

We consider safety to be a vitally important aspect of both field and office based work. To ensure that the company fully recognises all health and safety risks and obligations to its employees and sub-contractors we undertake risk assessments and operate within company procedures for safe methods of working. Compliance is externally monitored by retained advisors and through the ISO 9001:2008 quality standard and ISO 14001:2004 environmental standard both internal and externally audited.

Association Membership

The company is a Member firm of the Association of Geotechnical and Geo-environmental Specialists (AGS), British Drilling Association, BSI Subscribing Member and Concrete Society. The company is registered with Constructionline, the UK Register of Qualified Construction Services (Registration No. 8327). UVDB (United Vendor Database and Assessment Scheme) Achilles and Link-Up (via Audit), CHAS, Safecontractor, Sell 2 Wales, Delta (public sector) and QT Solutions (local authorities).