Remediation and Risk

Remediation and Risk: Identification, Mitigation and Transparent Apportionment 

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking at SiLC’s annual forum alongside a wealth of industry experts as we sought to improve the working practices and effectiveness of our industry. My focus was on Remediation and Risk – particularly how to identify it, how to mitigate it and how it may be fairly apportioned. 

It was great to talk to this audience and I thoroughly enjoyed the discussions afterwards but for those who couldn’t attend, here are the key takeaways from the presentation:

  • – The nature of unknown ground conditions encountered on remediation projects can result in a degree of inherent risk.  
  • – Whether that risk is small and fairly unlikely, or very significant and highly probable, is vital to establish. 
  • – It is essential to understand the risk profile of the project from the outset, and identify and understand risks in a transparent way so that you can determine the best approach for mitigation. A Risk & Opportunity Register is ideal. 
  • – This can only be completed by all parties collaborating from the start as each one has a unique view of the project and has different priorities, for example:
    • The client’s concerns include compliance, cost and approvals;
    • The consultant is focussed on achieving targets, validity of CSM and data capture;
    • The contractor’s concerns include health and safety, buildability, validation and more
  • – When identifying risks, it’s recommended to split by project stage to cover every aspect.
  • – You can then map mitigation methods to different types of risk, e.g.
    • Risk type: Knowledge gap (i.e. SI not sufficient to identify extend of contamination) = Mitigation: Gather required information (e.g. gap filling SI)
  • – Once you’ve identified the risk, classified and ranked it, and identified mitigation actions, there is still more to do – residual risk is inevitable. You have to determine who should take ownership of such risks and make sure all parties are clear on this.
  • – How do you ensure all this happens?
    • ECI – Early Contractor Involvement – can be a simple, informal exercise where the contractor comments on draft designs, but still really important
    • PCSA – Pre-Contract Service Agreement – usually paid for and may include gap-filling SI/pilot trials for remediation, it allows a contractor to mitigate previously identified risks
    • Tender Risk & Opportunity Register – invite contractor to add to a R&O register as part of the Tender and price the options.

Immediately after I made this presentation, several requests for a Risk & Opportunity Register template were made. If you would like a copy, please email us at