to the

Site Investigation Blended Learning Suite

Please click on the course title below.

Introduction to Brownfield Site Investigation

This course has been designed to be consistent with the National Brownfield Skills Framework (NBSF) which states that Site Investigation covers the preparation, implementation, testing and presentation of information detailing the extent of contamination on a site and the impact of this on human health and the environment.

Set at an introductory level, the course content aligns with Level 2 of the NBSF.

Level 2 demonstrates “a basic level of knowledge that an individual needs in order to begin to undertake or perform tasks.

A person with a Basic level 2 capability may have some or all of the requisite knowledge to undertake an activity but not necessarily the practical experience of its application. It is recognised at this level, that further learning and knowledge acquisition - whether via formal training, mentoring, studying best practice, work experience, etc is important to ensure effective application of the relevant knowledge.


The NBSF is aimed at “all those involved in preparing brownfield land for development and/or ensuring it is suitable for its current use”.

Course Structure

The course consists of 10 modules and two assessments. The first assessment is set after module 1 and the second on completion of all the modules. Module 1 consists of a video and recommended reading list, with the remaining modules containing a video and further reading options.

Module 1 An Introduction to Brownfield Site Investigation
Module 2 Documentary Research
Module 3 Site Reconnaissance
Module 4 Design of the Investigation
Module 5 Surveying
Module 6 Service Avoidance
Module 7 Monitoring and Sampling
Module 8 In‐situ testing
Module 9 Laboratory Testing
Module 10 Site Safety


By the end of the course participants will be able to:

  • Understand the principles and purpose of a site investigation
  • Know what guidance is currently available on site investigation design and techniques
  • Understand what a conceptual site model is and its importance in assessing land contamination
  • Know how to undertake desk-based documentary research into contaminative uses and environmental setting of the site
  • Recognise the importance of a site reconnaissance and what information should be obtained from completing one
  • Understand what information is required to design a site investigation, including setting objectives
  • Understand the principles of conducting a site investigation, what techniques are available and the constraints may be associated with the investigation
  • Appreciate the range of site investigation methods available and their applicability, advantages and disadvantages
  • Understand the techniques for sampling and monitoring as part of a site investigation.
  • Appreciate the value of laboratory testing for environmental and geotechnical purposes
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of assessing, managing and mitigating Health & Safety risks including the important of underground service clearance