Structural Concrete Alliance announces 2

Structural Concrete Alliance announces 2016 seminar dates
The Structural Concrete Alliance has announced the 2016 dates for its free to attend regional Continuing Professional Development (CPD) seminars.
Designed to provide delegates with an introduction to Structural Asset Protection and Repair, these half-day events offer an introduction to corrosion as well as techniques for repair, protection and strengthening.
Presentations are varied to reflect the region in which the seminar takes place but include: An introduction to corrosion; An overview of electrochemical systems; Concrete repairs and coatings; Carbon fibre strengthening; Introduction to sprayed concrete; and Inspection of reinforced buildings & structures.
Six CPD seminars are scheduled for 2016:
• 19 April – Bath
• 24 May – York
• 13 September – Stirling
• 11 October – Chester
• 8 November – London
For those unable to make the seminars, the Alliance also offers CPD presentations which can be delivered on-site to interested parties.

For further information or to download a booking form, visit

CRA Chairman outlines development strategy

KB Blog

The Concrete Repair Association’s new chairman Keith Barrow has outlined his plans for further developing the Association, detailing  a series of key objectives which aim to uphold the professionalism for which the Association and its members are recognised.

During his two-year tenure as Chairman, Keith plans to further develop the training available to members, ensuring their continued competence and advancing  their skills and expertise. He also hopes to improve the benefits and rewards of membership and encourage greater participation, particularly from smaller contractors.

Highlighting that the CRA is an established professional association within this specialist sector of construction, Keith explains that its strict entry requirements mean that membership provides businesses with a marker of credibility.

As well as being able to demonstrate a proven track record and overall proven ability, each full member is obliged to be QA accredited to ISO 9001, and to the environmental standard BS EN ISO 14001. Members must also comply with the Association’s stringent Codes of Practice and its training requirements. They must also display their commitment to maintaining high standards of health and safety performance, with many members having achieved accreditation to OHSAS 18001.

The CRA is also a valuable source of information regarding standards and good practice and produces numerous technical publications, including the newly updated Standard Method of Measurement.

“The Concrete Repair Association is a compass of competency and emblem of quality workmanship,” declares Keith.

“I hope to develop the Association into a stronger and more rewarding organisation for its current members by continuing to develop the membership services, support and benefits they receive.

“I also aim to demonstrate that membership is excellent value for money so that other professional companies within the sector will aspire to join.”

Keith, who is Director for Major Projects at Volkerlaser Ltd, was elected as Chairman of the CRA at its Annual General Meeting in Manchester on 16 October 2015. He has extensive experience of the industry and has been on the CRA Executive committee for some 10 years .

Having graduated in Civil Engineering, he worked worked as a Graduate Engineer with Amey before joining Balfour Beatty. He moved internally to Balvac Whitley Moran (now Balvac Ltd)  in 1990 and worked in various roles before becoming Director and General Manager in 2006. He joined Volkerlaser in 2009.

The CRA is a member of  Structural Concrete Alliance. This brings together the expertise of the CRA, Corrosion Prevention Association (CPA) and Sprayed Concrete Association (SCA) to provide a single co-ordinated voice for the asset protection and repair industry. It offers technical guidance, CPD presentations and regional seminars  aimed at improving understanding of concrete repair and refurbishment techniques.


CRA – The stamp of quality

CRA – The stamp of quality
The importance of appointing specialist contractors for concrete repair and explaining how CRA members can demonstrate their skills is a key theme for the CRA and the focus of many an article in Cracking Matters. In 2001, Cracking Matters introduced ISO 9001:2000 as ‘the new standard for the new millennium’ and reminded readers that accreditation to the standard was a condition of membership of the CRA. In 2009, it reported that all members would additionally have to be accredited to the Environmental standard ISO: 14001.
In June 2010, Cracking Matters urged readers to ‘Beware the pretenders’, explaining exactly what qualifications and accreditations should be considered when appointing a specialist concrete repair contractor. A message that has been repeated many times over the years.
And what about the biggest standards story for the sector? From its very inception, the CRA supported the development of the BS EN 1504 series of standards for concrete repair. In December 2002, Cracking Matters began the countdown to its arrival and actively promoted the standards, explaining their effect on all the parties involved through a series of articles, up to and beyond their introduction in 2008.


Good Bye Cracking Matters…..Hello

The Concrete Repair Association has made the difficult decision to discontinue the printed version of Cracking Matters, its popular bi-annual journal.

In a bid to reach out to new entrants in the industry, the Association is entering the digital age and will instead be developing a range of social media initiatives including – an online blog – with links to other platforms such as Linked-In, Twitter and Facebook. The Association will also continue to support the regular Structural Concrete Alliance E-Bulletin.

Since this is the last issue, we will be taking a trip down memory lane and reviewing some news and campaigns that have featured in Cracking Matters over the years. You should also find within this issue a poster to pull out and keep that features the covers of every issue published, and some of its most famous headlines.  And don’t forget if this review whets your appetite, you can view every issue on the CRA website at

Cracking Matters has been bringing you news from the CRA for almost 20 years. In 33 issues, this popular journal has led several important campaigns, always highlighting the expertise of CRA members, while also calling for improvements in standards, training and health & safety.  It has also featured hundreds of interesting case studies of concrete repair projects conducted by CRA member companies.

And as well as the serious stuff, Cracking Matters has always seen the lighter side of the industry, with popular sections including Concrete Crisis/Not strictly Concrete Repair featuring on-site images of improbable scenarios; and the ever-popular humorous commentary on trade matters from Allen Broad. Allen’s first offering appeared in January 2001 when he invited readers to ‘Make our Day’ and ever since Allen has continued to entertain, making the day for many Cracking Matters readers, who have enjoyed a little smile and occasionally a full on belly laugh at his insightful comments.

And one mustn’t forget the CRA’s five minutes of fame when, in 2005, Cracking Matters featured as the guest publication on the BBC’s popular TV programme ‘Have I got news for you’. The journal received ‘rave reviews’ from the panel of comedians, who were asked to fill in the missing words from the journal’s story headlines. And this moment of fame also led to a significant increase in circulation from discerning viewers which included consultants, architects and surveyors!