About DPI

History & Vision

CGA’s Damage Prevention Institute (DPI) creates an innovative opportunity for the industry to address systemic inefficiencies in the damage prevention process through a metrics-focused, peer-reviewed model of shared accountability that serves all stakeholders.

The creation of the DPI was announced in April 2022 and was formally launched in January 2023, with CGA’s acquisition of the Gold Shovel Association (GSA). Participation in the DPI is open to CGA members at no additional cost, and former members of GSA will have automatically started the process to becoming DPI Accredited.

The Damage Prevention Institute’s mission builds on the industry-leading insights of CGA’s Next Practices Initiative and by utilizing a stakeholder-centered approach to develop performance metrics that reflect commitment to Best Practices and dedication to improving the reliability of the U.S. damage prevention system for everyone involved.

Ongoing Improvement

A stakeholder survey was completed in Q4 2022. Through the work of the DPI Advisory Committee. DPI will announce additional information about data submission and other participation requirements. As DPI program elements are developed and deployed in phases, CGA staff will communicate with all stakeholders about critical processes and improvements.

Continuous feedback is welcome through the Engage community, accessible to all CGA members.


The Damage Prevention Institute upholds three core principles:

What gets measured gets managed. Comprehensive metrics and benchmarks driving meaningful accreditations for all stakeholders are critical to evaluating progress and reducing damages.

A truly efficient and transparent damage prevention process serves all stakeholders, all the time. Participant involvement and peer review make the damage prevention system more effective for everyone.

A commitment to advancing safety is demonstrated through adherence to CGA Best Practices and Next Practices. CGA membership and practicable application of CGA Best Practices and Next Practices are core elements of DPI participation.

Through its accreditation process, peer-review model and metrics analysis, DPI recognizes key damage prevention drivers and addresses persistent inefficiencies in the 811 process that impact safety outcomes – for the benefit of all stakeholders.

The DPI will be inclusive of facility owners/operators, excavators, and locators who commit to advancing safety through adherence to DPI policies, which are in alignment with CGA’s Best Practices and the work of the Next Practices Initiative. The peer review model will be essential for sharing lessons learned and adopting practical solutions to support damage prevention.

Accreditation of DPI participants will be based on a demonstrated commitment to their damage prevention responsibilities. All DPI participants must be CGA members; CGA members can voluntarily participate in DPI.

CGA’s Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) will provide a foundational dataset for evaluating the safety performance of facility owners/operators, locators and excavators who participate in the Damage Prevention Institute (DIRT data submission remains voluntary and private). Data from 811 centers (one call centers) will also support DPI metrics and analytics.

DPI will provide additional information about its peer review and accreditation processes as they are developed through the constructive input of a full range of damage prevention stakeholders.

Webinar - Get to Know the DPI

The webinar provided an update on the status of the DPI, shared information on how to participate, and provided an outline of the path forward for program improvements. DPI Vice President, Sam Hall presented on the onboarding process, metrics standards and collection timeline, and the future of peer review.

Benefits of Participation

The Damage Prevention Institute drives true shared accountability in damage prevention by all stakeholders. CGA members are invited to participate in DPI to enjoy these benefits:

  • Understand your organization’s performance in relation to your peers.
  • Drive the development of the next generation of key performance indicators in damage prevention.
  • Share and learn strategies for implementing change, managing risks, and driving down damages through peer review.
  • Recognition of meeting core principles of damage prevention via accreditation.

Stakeholder Participation

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Organizational Structure

DPI Advisory Committee

The DPI Advisory Committee reports to the CGA board of directors recommendations for achieving the mission of the DPI. The advisory committee members represent the interests of their respective stakeholder groups. The committee oversees the DPI Metrics Committee. Committee members act as liaisons to CGA working committees.

Metrics Committee 

The DPI Metrics Committee is charged with determining the metrics by which damage prevention stakeholder performance is measured. The metrics committee is composed of DPI participants and the membership is balanced between stakeholder groups. Members of the committee represent their stakeholder groups’ interests and make recommendations to CGA/DPI staff.

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 five 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).

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.

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. Former Gold Shovel Members should fill out the DPI Enrollment form here

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 dpi@commongroundalliance.com with questions, comments, and suggestions.