GBA Issues New Report-Review Guide 

GBA Guide to the In-House Review of Geoprofessional Reports

The Geoprofessional Business Association has published a new guide for the in-house review of geotechnical, environmental, construction-materials engineering and testing (CoMET), and other geoprofessional reports. Titled GBA Guide to the In-House Review of Geoprofessional Reports, the new publication provides step-by-step instructions – as well as overarching concepts – for report writers and reviewers, with a focus on a report’s ability to satisfy the contractual obligations it was intended to fulfill; the quality of its technical and risk-management content; and the clarity of presentation. The new guide is supplemented with a report-control log, copies of GBA’s widely used report-insert sheets (geotechnical, environmental, and CoMET), and three best-practices monographs covering “taboo” words, absolutes, and “slipshod synonyms.”

According to GBA Executive Director Joel G. Carson, “Our Geotechnical Business Council developed the new guide for all geoprofessional practitioners based on a guide developed four decades ago just for geotechnical engineers. Despite its age, the original guide has remained relevant and popular over the years, but we knew we could make it better and fully applicable to environmental, CoMET, and other geoprofessional practitioners, in addition to geotechnical engineers. And that’s exactly what the GBC did, producing a publication as comprehensive and practical as it is handsome and easy to follow.”

As stated in the guide’s introduction,

“The guide is organized into three principal content areas to make it easy for reviewers to consider major issues and to give report writers a clear framework for preparing reports and considering reviewers’ comments. The nature of those comments is critically important: They should convey suggestions for improvement and positive reinforcement. They should not be focused only on deficiencies. Criticism is unnecessary and, in most cases, counter-productive. The recommended procedures encourage close communication between reviewers and report writers throughout the review process.”

As also noted, “The report-review process should be interactive, so reviewers can use it for mentoring purposes, and report writers can regard it as an opportunity to learn. The learning should not be limited to the report alone, however; it should also address the report-related professional activities that should precede report preparation, and those that should follow.”

The new guide is available to nonmembers for $150. Those employed by GBA Member Firms and GBA Associate Members may order the new guide free of charge.

Established in 1969, the Geoprofessional Business Association is geoprofessionals’ best source of comprehensive, discipline-focused business guidance. GBA serves geotechnical engineers, environmental professionals, civil engineers engaged in a variety of specialties, and construction-materials engineering and testing professionals, among other geoprofessionals. GBA is well known for its innovation; it was the force behind the limitation-of-liability contract provision, alternative dispute resolution, and organizational peer review, among other concepts it developed to help its member firms thrive by confronting risk and optimizing performance.

All GBA Member Firms’ technical activities are under the full-time control of an individual who is legally and/or ethically bound to hold paramount public health, safety, and welfare. GBA’s associate membership comprises geoprofessional constructors; geoprofessional educators; geoprofessionals employed by government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and industry; and attorneys and other consultants to GBA Member Firms.

Obtain more information about GBA at its website ( or by contacting the organization at or 301-565-2733.