The paper describes some recent field test programmes performed across Europe. Given the increased need to develop alternative, clean energy sources the paper presents details of R&D programmes with a focus on reducing costs offshore developments and increases safety. Work on the development of design codes for large diameter piles is presented. New areas of research are highlighted in particular ongoing research is needed to look at effects such as cyclic loading and dynamic interaction. In the offshore field the use of piles that reduce environmental impact is an area of ongoing research that is addressed. Interesting full-scale field tests looking at the problem of negative skin friction are also considered.