Common Ground Alliance and Gold Shovel Association to Establish New Arm of CGA, the Damage Prevention Institute

The Damage Prevention Institute will reduce damages to underground infrastructure by developing metrics and a peer review process to significantly increase efficiencies across the U.S. damage prevention system 

Washington (April 6, 2022) – Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the national nonprofit trade association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them and their communities, and the Gold Shovel Association (GSA), a nonprofit association focused on continuously improving safety by providing meaningful damage prevention certifications and standardized performance metrics, today announced that the GSA organization will become part of the Common Ground Alliance. This new arm of CGA will be called the Damage Prevention Institute.

The Damage Prevention Institute’s mission is to take the industry to the next level by consolidating the rich data and resources of CGA and GSA to generate powerful insights and efficiencies that will reduce the rate of damages to buried infrastructure. Building on CGA’s Best Practices and foundational DIRT (Damage Information Reporting Tool) data, as well as GSA’s metrics development, the Damage Prevention Institute will be structured around a metrics-focused, peer review-based model of shared responsibility.

“We believe CGA’s new Damage Prevention Institute is a gamechanger for the industry, and we are pleased that the Gold Shovel Association shares our vision in this effort,” said Sarah K. Magruder Lyle, CGA president and CEO. “By focusing on shared responsibility through a peer review process, and consolidating data and metrics to establish industry-wide benchmarks, the Damage Prevention Institute will increase engagement from all stakeholders and help us get a much clearer picture of the system’s inefficiencies and how we can address them.”

“The Damage Prevention Institute’s focus on data-gathering across the industry is a natural extension of the GSA’s work establishing excavation and pre-excavation metrics,” said Cheryl Campbell, vice chair of the Gold Shovel Association board of directors. “We are very excited to integrate these metrics with CGA’s decades of research, consensus-based Best Practices and industry-leading DIRT program. The Damage Prevention Institute will have the insights to truly move the needle on reducing damages across the U.S.”

The Damage Prevention Institute will be governed by an Advisory Committee that will include members of both CGA’s and GSA’s boards of directors. The Institute’s focus will be on metrics development – including excavation and pre-excavation metrics – and establishing a multi-stakeholder, peer-reviewed accreditation process. The peer review component will facilitate all stakeholders increasing engagement and embracing their critical roles in the damage prevention process.

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About Common Ground Alliance

CGA is a member-driven association of more than 1,800 individuals, organizations, and sponsors in every facet of the underground utility industry. Established in 2000, CGA is committed to saving lives and preventing damage to North American underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices. CGA has established itself as the preeminent source of damage prevention data and information in an effort to reduce damages to underground facilities in North America through shared responsibility among all stakeholders. For more information, visit CGA on the web at

About Gold Shovel Association

The Gold Shovel Association is a member-driven, non-profit organization with more than 1,600 members who are committed to improving workforce and public safety by reducing damages to underground utility infrastructure. The Association facilitates continuous safety improvement and reduces environmental harm by providing meaningful damage prevention certifications and standardized performance metrics. Learn more about the Gold Shovel Association and its signature certification program, the Gold Shovel Standard, at