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Looking back over 2018

The new year gives us all a chance to set goals and reflect over the past 12 months. We looked back at some of the great things that have happened at Catsurveys in 2018:

Catsurveys attend the 2018 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting 

In January our GPR Manager Paul Collins visited the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Meeting in Washington, D.C. Paul was invited to present at a meeting held by 3d-Radar. This gave us a fantastic opportunity to show our GPR use and survey services to many Department of Transport officials, Research Engineers, Practitioners and the Federal Highways Authority.

“The network of TRB allows us to access thousands of research projects and experts to collaborate with when considering future innovations.” Paul explained, “It will encourage the creation of many new connections and opportunities not just for GPR but our entire organisation.”

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Overwhelming demand calls for dedicated GPR Department

In February we announced that due to overwhelming demand of our state-of-the-art technology and reliable GPR survey results, we had formed a dedicated GPR department!

“Our GPR Department has been created to focus and expand on the possibilities of the technique.” Explains Paul Collins. “We have a great team of enthusiastic surveyors that are expanding our services to include utility, pavement, bridge deck and internal applications to meet our client’s needs.”

To celebrate this, we invited a small number of key clients to a launch event for the GPR Department in March, held at the Catsurveys head office.

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The morning consisted of several group demonstrations of GPR equipment and technology. It appeared that our guests were impressed by the equipment we have available, including our Ultra-Wideband Ground Penetrating Radar from 3d-Radar. We also had representatives from Proceq, SCCS and Allied Associates who demonstrated their products to our guests.

In the afternoon, guests were invited to view a short presentation by Paul on our post processing and deliverables. He demonstrated how quickly we can process the data as well as the extent of the information that is given to the customer. The event was a fantastic success, and our GPR Department are starting 2019 busier than ever!

Catsurveys celebrate National Apprenticeship Week

Also in March, we celebrated National Apprenticeship Week 2018 (NAW 2018) along with employers and apprentices across the UK. Each year there is a new theme for NAW, and last year the theme was ‘Apprenticeships Work’.

Catsurveys offer a range of Apprenticeships and we currently have the following Apprentices working and studying on our team:

  • AAT Accounting Technician
  • Business Administration

We will also be branching out to offer further apprenticeships very soon!

Managing Mental Health in the Workplace

Early in 2018 we advertised for the role of an ‘Emotional and Psychological Champion’ in our internal employee newsletter. Our aim for the Emotional and Psychological Champion was to have someone who feels passionately about empowering their peers to normalise the discussions surrounding mental health, someone who will drive changes in all our perceptions and attitudes and provide visibility for this fundamental aspect of our wellbeing.

The responsibility of Emotional and Psychological Champion was taken on by our Office Co-ordinator, Anastasia Kralia.

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“When I saw the post for the role of Emotional and Psychological Champion I knew straight away that this was something I would absolutely love to do.” Explains Anna. “I have a deep interest in this area and even a Psychology degree to go with it, so I knew I would give it my all as the Emotional and Psychological Champion and try and do the best job I can.”

Mental Health is still considered a taboo subject in the workplace, but at Catsurveys we are eager to break this taboo and create an open and caring culture. Poor mental health is one of the biggest issues in the workplace today. This includes everything from the most commonly experienced symptoms of stress and anxiety, through to more complex mental health conditions, such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

By creating this role within our organisation, we can contribute towards an emotionally and intellectually safe environment; it is a declaration that we welcome intellectually challenging and emotionally safe discussions.

Catsurveys pleased to attend the Anglian and London HAUC Roadshow

In April we sponsored the Anglian and London HAUC Roadshow 2018. The event took place at Allianz Park in Hendon on Thursday 26th April, with over 40 exhibitors showing the latest products and services (including us!).

The theme of the 2018 Roadshow was ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’. Our GPR Manager presented at the event, discussing the recent application of technology in the assessment of Asphalt Evaluation.

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Training and Development at the London Construction Academy

On Friday 4th May Catsurveys were given the opportunity to present to a group of students undergoing training with the London Construction Academy.

Michelle Ball, Human Resources Manager, and Matt Sibley, Managed Solutions Manager, attended the session to give an insight into the works we complete at Catsurveys and the benefits of working in our team.

“As soon as we heard about the LCA, we knew it was something we wanted to be involved with. We were fortunate enough to be selected as a Partner of the LCA, which gave us the opportunity to present Catsurveys to the group as an employer.” Explains Michelle. “We spoke in detail with the students, explaining the intricacies of our industry and the potential job opportunities that we could offer them in the future.”

The presentation for the LCA went well and we believe the students left the session with a wealth of information and a new interest in surveying. We will have a continuous involvement with the LCA and will be carrying out presentations like this for new groups of students at least four times a year.

Did you visit us at GEO Business?

Catsurveys exhibited at the GEO Business exhibition once again last year from 22nd – 23rd May at the Business Design Centre in London. Our expert team showcased our outstanding Underground Utility Detection and Ultra-Wide Band Ground Penetrating Radar services.

Business Development Manager, Luke Steadman also presented a workshop on 'New Applications of our Ultra-wide band Ground Penetrating Radar'.

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Catsurveys’ Health and Safety practices earn RoSPA Silver Award

Also in 2018, Catsurveys achieved a Silver in the internationally-renowned RoSPA Health and Safety Awards, the longest-running industry awards scheme in the UK. We were presented with the award during a ceremony at ExCeL, London on Tuesday 19th June. This was a fantastic achievement for us and we are proud to gain this recognition for our effort in health and safety at work.

Another fantastic CATFEST!

On Saturday 7th July, we hosted our annual ‘CATFEST’ at the Catsurveys head office in Brentwood. The brief for CATFEST 2018 was to make it bigger and better than previous years, and that target was definitely achieved. Over 200 of Catsurveys staff, family and friends joined us for this fun filled event!

We had a vast range of games and activities for the day, one of the most popular being fairground dodgems! Holding this event each year gives us a fantastic chance to give back to our staff and provide a fun day out for the families of those that make our incredible service possible.

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Finalists for not one but two Construction News Talent Awards!

Catsurveys were honoured to be successful in reaching the finals of the Construction News Talent Awards for the following categories:

  • Health and Wellbeing Leader of the Year
  • HR Star of the Year

Although we didn’t win, it was a fantastic achievement to be recognised for the efforts of our HR Manager, Michelle Ball in these categories. We hoped to be shortlisted for just one award, and never expected two!

"I am absolutely thrilled to have made the finalists for ‘Health and Wellbeing Leader of the Year’ and also ‘HR Star of the Year’ in this year’s Constructions News Talent awards." Explains Michelle.

"For me, employee wellbeing should be the focal point of any organisation’s HR strategy, and I am truly working for an organisation that helps me make this a reality. We have made some fantastic changes to employee wellbeing and it is fantastic to have our company recognised for the massive efforts we are making!"

Responsible Business Manager, Nick Spenceley named FIR Ambassador

We were proud to announce that our Responsible Business Manager, Nick Spenceley, was elected as a FIR Ambassador at Catsurveys. This was an important step towards maintaining a respectful and inclusive environment within our organisation, and ensuring we are always providing a positive workplace for our team.

“It’s imperative for any business to be successful that it treats its employees as individuals and creates an inclusive and fair working environment." Explains Nick. "In doing so will allow them to succeed whilst respecting others within the business Team and wider supply chain.“

Nick has many responsibilities as a FIR Ambassador, and helping to create an open, positive and inclusive work environment is one of them. It is important for us as a company to ensure that our employees are comfortable and feel positive about their work.

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Success for Catsurveys at the UKSTT Awards!

A highlight in 2018 was being awarded the ‘Application of Digital Technology’ award for our Desktop Utility Record Searches (DURS) platform at the UKSTT Awards!

We chose to enter the Application of Digital Technology category with our Desktop Utility Record Searches (DURS) platform. We created this unique, bespoke and easy-to-use online database-driven Geographical Information System (GIS) for DURS.

A celebratory evening for Catsurveys at ICES Dinner

On Friday 21st September, the team from Catsurveys travelled to the beautiful Celtic Manor in Newport, South Wales. Dressed to impress, they attended the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES) annual dinner to collect Catsurveys’ Approved Development Scheme Award.

The Approved Development Scheme (ADS) awards were presented to companies from two categories; large (20 or more people on the scheme) and small (under 20 people on the scheme). The award for a company with under 20 people on ADS was presented to Catsurveys for our promotion of ICES and commitment to developing staff. Catsurveys are proud to be presented with this award as it shows our commitment to the training and development of our staff.

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Catsurveys accredited as an Investors in People organisation

A fantastic achievement last year was our successful accreditation as an Investors in People organisation at the Silver award level. Feedback in our Assessment Report was very positive and a key strength that was recognised was our 'people’s connection and passion for the business, with a genuine desire to see Catsurveys succeed. This is supported by a committed management team, who have worked hard to develop an open and transparent business, where the voice of its people is at its heart.'

Michelle Ball, HR Manager, worked on the Investors in People accreditation submission, and was delighted with the result: "Achieving our Silver Accreditation this year is a huge achievement, and I am extremely proud to work for an ‘Investor in People'."

"We intend to not only display our accreditation with pride, but also use the data obtained through the process to create robust and meaningful business improvement tools to help us improve on the great work we already do! For Catsurveys, it doesn’t end with our accreditation, this is just the beginning of things to come!"

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The SME National Business Awards finals!

As you will know, Catsurveys were successful in reaching the finals of the SME National Business Awards in the Employer of the Year category. With our fingers crossed and dressed to impress, the team headed to Wembley Stadium on Friday 7th December for the awards evening.

Unfortunately, we did not win the Employer of the Year award, however being shortlisted is still a fantastic achievement and reaching the finals of the National Awards shows our commitment to be the ‘Employer of Choice’ within our industry.

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At the end of the evening, all the finalists were gathered on stage and presented with a certificate to acknowledge their achievement reaching the finals. It was fantastic to be among such hard-working and enthusiastic business people, all gathered to celebrate their success.

We would like to congratulate all the winners and finalists of the SME National Business Awards; it is a well-deserved recognition for the hard work that has taken place over the past year. Here’s to next year being even better!

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