Plans, Protection and Estimates services for any UK site.  |  Tel: 0800 0853 865
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Dial Before You Dig (UK)
Please get in touch if you have any queries:
t: 0800 0853 865

A Selection of our Partners & Clients
Property Development
1 Cambuslang Road
National One Call

Dial Before You Dig is a service provided by National One Call

Frequently Asked Questions

Dial Before You Dig
A service for obtaining plans from all known utilities, authorities and pipeline owners for any site in the UK..

Q. Does National One Call hold utility plans?
A. No, we get new and location-specific plans and responses from utilities, pipeline operators and authorities for every enquiry. We pass on these plans and any other documents directly and do not retain copies of them.
Q. Can I get utility plans in less than the 12 to 15 working days?
A. Yes and no. We have access to the online systems of some utilities and can get plans from these quite quickly but the majority do take this time to respond where we do not have access to their plans. You can request to have plans sent to you as they arrive through our Express option, but the enquiry and the Planning Pack is incomplete until the last one arrives. We actively chase late responses to ensure you can meet your timescale commitments.
Q. I only want electricity, water and gas plans, and maybe BT - can I ask just for these?
A. Yes, but is this really all you should ask for? When you make an enquiry on our Retriever service you are presented with the list of known organisations with a potential interest in that location and can select or de-select who to contact, and all the utility contacts are automatically ticked. Be very careful about choosing who not to contact - miss one out and hit their plant and you open up the can of worms about who was at fault and who is to pay for repairs, and if you deliberately did not ask for them to be contacted.... There are no limits or cost implications to you about who to contact in any enquiry (other than charges by the utility), it is better to receive several 'Not Affected' responses than miss the one you should have contacted.
Q. Why am I being charged for some plans yet others are free?
A. Some asset owners have a policy of charging for plans - some just for the fact of an enquiry - while others see it as a good way of protecting their plant and equipment from damage and promoting safety so provide their plans for free. Some of those that charge only do so when the request comes through a 3rd party, i.e. would not charge if the enquirer came to them directly. That is their arrangement and we have to abide by it as does any other organisation making an enquiry for a client. When you are selecting the contacts for your Retriever enquiry we tell you if they would not charge if you enquired to them directly and give you their contact details. It is up to you to decide if you wish to do this.
Q. How much do you charge for plans?
A. We do not charge for plans, our £99 fixed price is for administration of the enquiry no matter how many contacts are required. Charges made by asset owners for plans are passed on directly as disbursements, without mark-up of the price. If the plan is provided free of charge then there is no charge to pass on. Note that some of our competitors make a charge for a plan even when the plan is provided to them for free.  We require your authorisation for any charges and we account openly to you when they are incurred, including copies of invoices.
Q. What is in the Planning Pack I receive?
A. The Planning Pack contains all the plans or other responses (e.g. 'Not Affected') that we receive for your enquiry. Also included is the CORE (Certificate Of Registered Enquiry) certificate that summarises the enquiry and responses, your invoice for the enquiry and copies of any invoices received for charges for plans.

Q. How big an area can I request plans for?

A. This depends on a) the type of location of the site, b) the intention at the site, and c) the size and scale of plans you require.  For example, a 4km square (2*2) site for a development in a rural area is possibly OK, whereas requesting the same size of an area in a city may not be acceptable to some utilities and probably is a lot more than you actually require. We check every enquiry before it is released and if necessary discuss your needs with you and liaise with utilities to check acceptability.
Q. Do you do site mark-ups and surveys?
A. We do not offer these services ourselves but it they are available through our Partner Network and you can order / request quotations when you make your enquiry, or indeed without making an enquiry.

Our Partner Network
Our Partner Network is where our clients make their services available to others.


Q. Why does National One Call have a Partner Network?
A. Our clients regularly ask us for services that are related to planning, e.g. CAD drawings, site mark-up, surveys etc. We stick to what we are the best at - getting plans - because the best providers of such services and products are already using our Retriever service for their own enquiries. The Partner Network lets every one of our clients set out their specialist capabilities for all users of National One Call to see and call upon.
Q. How much does it cost to become a Partner?
A. Every National One Call client can select to become a partner at no charge. Clients must register with us, and registration itself free.

Plan Provisioning Service (PlanBroker)
A service where we provide plans and responses on behalf of an asset owner.


Q. How can the PlanBroker Service work for me as a utility?
A. PlanBroker is a service where we issue plans to all enquiries made to you, not only National One Call enquiries. You direct all enquiries to us and we take care of the rest, provisioning the plan within 1, 5, or 10 working days (defined by you). If you make charges for plans we collect these for you.
Q. Should we make a charge for plans?
A. This is very much up to the values that your organisation holds about safety and plant protection. National One Call recommends that if your organisation wishes to charge at all then it only does so if there is no threat to your plant, i.e. for Planning Only enquiries.
Q. We want to charge for any Search, can we do this on PlanBroker?
A. Yes, but we do not recommend such an arrangement. Plant protection is a mutually beneficial arrangement - the enquirer works safer, your plant is better protected. See our recommendations on 'Should we make a charge for plans?'.
Q. What information comes to us about an enquiry for our plans?
A. This is entirely up to you, each PlanBroker arrangement is driven by the needs of the client. For example, we could provide plans without contacting you about any enquiry, or you can set out some rules whereby we contact you only in certain circumstances, e.g. if excavation is planned.
Q. Does PlanBroker only work for National One Call Enquiries?
A. No, PlanBroker is for all the enquiries that would normally come to you, even those from other utilities. You redirect all enquirers and enquiries to us and we provide your searches and plan-provisioning service.
Q. Who do enquirers see as the contact for plans?
A. Plans and responses are provided in your name with your logo / disclaimers etc and are accompanied by any documentation you specify.
Q. What happens if we are not affected by the Enquiry?
A. If your plant is not affected by the enquiry we inform the enquirer of this within the same timescale as for providing a plan, using your standard disclaimers that you supply for such circumstances.
Q. How much does PlanBroker cost?
A. Prices vary according to your volumes, turn-around times and other arrangements and needs. We work these out with you into a price-per-enquiry fee or we can agree a monthly fixed-price arrangement if that suits your budgetary requirements. 
Q. What benefits would a PlanBroker service give us?
A. The benefits of PlanBroker are numerous and include the ability to release your staff to concentrate on plant protection instead of plan provision, and to have your plans delivered in good time to all enquiries.
Q. Is there a Property Search version of PlanBroker?
A. We can provide a Property Search arrangement of PlanBroker, please contact us with your requirements.
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