Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Damage Prevention Institute (DPI)?

The DPI is a program that has been established by CGA to address systemic inefficiencies in the damage prevention process through the development of a comprehensive participant accreditation and elevated metrics, creating the foundation for a consolidated benchmarking and true peer review process. The DPI, an arm of the CGA, will build on the Gold Shovel Association’s progress and take the industry to the next level by focusing on measuring the outcomes of all participants in the damage prevention process, while also assessing the systemic impacts on the industry overall.

Who can participate in the DPI?

All DPI participants must be member of the CGA. There is no additional cost to participate in the DPI for current CGA members.

Participation in the DPI is voluntary for CGA members. While some stakeholders may choose to require those they contract with to participate in the DPI, CGA will not require participation of any organization.

Participants will primarily be from four stakeholder groups: locators, facility owner/operators, excavators, and 811 centers (one call centers). DPI participants can register as members of more than one stakeholder group (e.g., a facility owner/operator can register as an excavator and/or a locator if those services are in-house).

How much does it cost to participate in the DPI?

There is no additional cost to participate in the DPI for CGA members. CGA membership dues cover the cost of participation. Additional details regarding the transition of GSA members to CGA will be provided in future communications.

What is happening to the Gold Shovel Association?

As of January 1, 2023, as a result of an agreement between the two associations, members of the Gold Shovel Association will become members of the Common Ground Alliance, and the GSA will cease to exist. CGA’s DPI will build upon GSA’s work and provide an opportunity to build a comprehensive system that serves the interests of all stakeholders.

What are the requirements for participation in the DPI?

All DPI participants must:

  • Be accredited and comply with the policies of the DPI.
  • Submit complete and accurate damage data.
  • Agree to participate in the peer review process.

Additional details will be provided on participation requirements as we progress.

What are the criteria for DPI accreditation?

While there will be general criteria that apply to all DPI participants, accreditation will vary by stakeholder group. At this time, the accreditation requirements for excavators will be based on GSA’s requirements and may include additional criteria as determined by the DPI in the future. Similarly, facility owner/operators and locator DPI participants are also required to be accredited, and at this time will generally follow the recommendations of the GSA but may also include criteria as determined by the DPI in the future. CGA will be sharing additional information about accreditation requirements in future communications.

What is the role of 811 centers (one call centers)?

CGA invites 811 centers to participate in the DPI. 811 centers have a unique perspective on the damage prevention process and can offer tremendous insights into where the process works well and where the process breaks down. Many 811 centers maintain robust databases that can support analysis of the systemic issues impacting the damage prevention process.

What are the requirements for data submission?

All of the DPI participants’ damage and near-miss events must be submitted using the CGA DIRT tool. The data submission requirements are similar to the requirements of the GSA. More information about data submission requirements will be available in the near future.

What are the requirements for peer review?

All DPI members must agree to participate in the peer review process at specified intervals. Peer reviews involve companies whose profiles are similar. The process is facilitated by the DPI and involves a review of procedures, reports, records, and other damage prevention tools. Organization-to-organization feedback will be provided. With the permission of participants, lessons learned from peer reviews will inform case studies and other educational materials for use by the broader CGA membership.

How will the peer review process work?

The peer review process is under development. The DPI will take lessons learned from other associations’ peer review processes and seek to complement -- and not duplicate -- those efforts. The DPI envisions a peer review process that:

  • Can be conducted remotely;
  • Uses a well-defined, step-by-step process;
  • Encourages sharing of successes and opportunities related to the processes employed by each organization; and
  • Limits exposure of proprietary or competitive information.

More information about the peer review process will be shared in the near future.

Is data submitted to the DPI confidential?

Yes, any data submitted to DPI is confidential. However, at your organization’s discretion, participants may share their data with other CGA members. At this time, data submitted to the DPI will be used to measure the performance of organizations belonging to three stakeholder groups (locators, facility owner/operators, and excavators).

How will performance be measured?

The DPI will use stakeholder input to develop different performance metrics for each stakeholder group. Initially, metrics will be similar to those used by GSA. The metrics will support analysis of each participant’s performance as compared to the performance of that participant’s stakeholder group. Comparisons will be made in the form of standard graphical representations of familiar statistical analyses. The comparisons will not rank participants in relation to each other. Instead, the comparisons will demonstrate a single participant’s performance in relation to a generalized depiction of their peers’ collective performance.

How will current Gold Shovel Association members be transferred to CGA?

Current GSA members will officially become CGA members on January 1, 2023. CGA will honor fees paid to GSA and will communicate with its members about the transition process in the coming months.

Will there be any changes/expectations for excavators participating in the DPI?

Initially, there will be limited changes to the expectations for excavators participating in the DPI. The criteria for accreditation in the DPI will be similar to the criteria for certification under the Gold Shovel Association. While some stakeholders may choose to require those they contract with to participate in the DPI, CGA will not require participation of any organization.

What happens if a DPI participant fails to uphold its responsibilities?

The success of the DPI depends upon the active participation and commitment to shared responsibility of participants. Organizations that fail to uphold their responsibilities of participating in the DPI will lose their accreditation in the DPI. The CGA will work with those participants to support their return to accredited status as quickly as possible.

Will the DPI notify facility owner/operators about a contractor’s loss of accreditation?

The DPI will produce a list of all participants in the DPI, including their status. At a minimum, DPI participants will have the ability to check the status of any other participant in real time.

Will the DPI publish guidance documents for participants?

Yes, the DPI will produce guidance documents for all participating stakeholder groups in the near future.

Will the DPI share data with ISNetworld (ISN)?

The CGA understands the value of ISN to some stakeholders and is exploring a data sharing agreement with ISN. The CGA will seek to understand how ISN will use DPI data and be transparent with DPI participants about any data sharing agreements that are established.

Is the DPI a training platform?

No, the DPI does not offer training or testing.

Who do I contact for more information?

Contact us at with questions, comments, and suggestions.