12 Posts to Christmas

Published: 06 Dec 2023

It’s been quite a year here at The Survey Association. Our sixth annual Conference really was ‘out of this world’, thanks to the keynote speaker, astronaut Tim Peake. We celebrated International Women’s Day when our very own Secretary General, Rachel Tyrrell was nominated, and included, in the inaugural Women in Trade Association’s Powerlist. We held our AGM  in spectacular surroundings at Anfield, Liverpool and we launched our new accreditation scheme, PUMA (PAS128 Utility Mapping Accreditation).

Let’s look back at some of our 2023 highlights with our 12 posts to Christmas.


We started 2023 by reminding our members and potential new members what they can expect from signing up with The Survey Association. With regular TSA events held throughout the year, as well as our AGM and Conference, these provide the perfect opportunity to meet and network with other individuals and companies within the surveying profession. These events also provide an opportunity to discuss the most important topics and hear the best speakers, all held in great venues across the UK. 

In January we also looked at training opportunities at The Survey School. It is the UK’s only commercial training centre that provides training to the land surveying profession and the flagship TSA Surveying Course is also accredited by The Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors.


This month, it was National Apprenticeship Week, celebrating everything that is great about apprenticeships. National Apprenticeship Week provides a timely excuse to reflect on surveying as a profession and to focus on its strongest ‘selling points’ for anyone looking to forge a surveying career.

Our first business guide in partnership with Leeds Beckett University was published. The diverse range of topics included encompass all aspects of managing a modern business to help our members to build a better business.


What a way to celebrate International Women’s Day this year! Our very own Secretary General, Rachel Tyrrell was nominated and included in the inaugural Women in Trade Association’s Powerlist.

TSA ran a well received Health, Safety & Wellbeing Day for members, hosted once again by Leica Geosystems in Milton Keynes.

TSA’s AGM took place at Liverpool FC’s spectacular Anfield stadium. The event was the best attended AGM in TSA’s history, with members travelling from all over the UK to the hallowed home of The Reds.


Our new accreditation scheme was launched. Named PUMA (PAS128 Utility Mapping Accreditation), the new accreditation scheme is designed to assess the ability of surveyors to deliver to the PAS128 specification. It will provide a benchmark and create a national standard for best practice for underground surveys.


Geo Business took place over two days at ExCeL London. This enormous geospatial event saw thousands of visitors pour through the doors, eager to catch up with acquaintances, make new contacts, learn about new technology and much more. The morning of the second day saw our Technical Chair, Sam Roberts, take to the stage to talk about PUMA.


Following our AGM earlier this year, we were delighted to give the spotlight to a new vice president and two new Council members. Vice president, Claire Fenwick, completed the TSA Surveying Course at The Survey School before founding her own award-winning surveying company, Spatial Dimensions Ltd and joining Council in 2019. Also, we welcomed two new members for the PR committee, Polly Hopkins, from Storm Geomatics, and Ben Barnard, Commercial Director at Severn Partnership.


In July it was over two months since we launched PUMA (PAS128 Utility Mapping Accreditation) to raise standards in utility surveys and we celebrated our Secretary General Rachel Tyrrell for 25 years of working at The Survey Association.


In Business Resilience, the latest in our series of Business Briefing Notes, Dr Mitchell revealed what enables resilience and broke down the three-stage cycle of business recovery, business continuity and business resilience.


In September we focused on the skills shortage. TSA’s Quarterly Industry Snapshot Survey for July 2023 showed a dramatic reduction of 30% of those companies reporting they were working at full capacity in the summer months.  The shortage of skilled staff is regularly reported as being in the top two of the biggest challenges for survey businesses across the UK.


In October, for our 12 posts to Christmas, the countdown started for our annual conference at the British Motor Museum in Warwick. This year’s keynote speaker was Tim Peake, internationally renowned as an astronaut, pilot, educator and ambassador for space and STEM. Tim was the first British ESA astronaut to visit the International Space Station, which he reached at the end of 2015, before spending an incredible 186 days in space.


We held our sixth conference on 8th November, returning once again to the British Motor Museum near Warwick. The Sky Suite was at capacity, as TSA members and invited guests attended this full-day conference with a special keynote speaker, Major Tim Peake CMG. The conference was the culmination of around six months’ work, with the Secretariat and Council planning and fine tuning a day to bring maximum benefit to members and the greatest exposure of TSA to a wider audience. It was also an opportunity to continue and expand the conversation about how to encourage more young people into the profession.

Tim Peake wowed the audience with sights and stories from space, addressing relatable topics such as understanding of risk, the significance of science, technology, pioneering, STEM and the importance of engaging the next generation. It was our biggest highlight of 2023. Check out the full video from the conference here .


And that brings us to the end of 2023 and our 12 posts to Christmas! What a year it has been. We are delighted to have achieved so much for our members this year and are excited to be planning further activities next year to expand and enhance the benefits of membership still further.