Educating the next generation of mineral planners
Institute of Quarrying unites with MPG to reshape and modernize training course for mineral planners
THE Institute of Quarrying (IQ) has partnered with multidisciplinary environmental consultancy The Mineral Planning Group (MPG) to reshape and modernize its training course for mineral planners – helping to futureproof the sector.
The programme – which counts as 30 CPD hours – will take place over a six-month period and is designed to upskill mineral planners and those involved in resource planning, as well as quarry managers or estate teams.
It will operate on a blended-learning basis, comprising a mixture of online and one face-to-face classroom session, which includes a quarry visit.
‘There’s a huge recruitment challenge facing the sector, with few, if any, courses being aimed specifically at mineral planners. Our initiative aims to change that,’ commented Julian Smallshaw, IQ’s head of education and standards.
‘Without minerals, the development of our country’s infrastructure is in jeopardy, so raising awareness of what best practice is and how the planning system works for minerals is vital.’
Chris Heffernan, director of MPG and chartered town planner, said: ‘It has been widely recognized for decades in our industry that there is a growing shortage of mineral and waste planners.
‘It’s been an honour to volunteer and work with IQ on this educational project. I’ve helped to review the course and its materials to ensure it’s in line with current practices and that it addresses the issues facing the industry – both today and tomorrow.’
The IQ’s original mineral planning course ran for three years from 2017 to 2021 but was halted due to the pandemic.
Mr Smallshaw continued: ‘This is the first year the course is back in action – with a whole new look and feel, thanks to Chris’s input.’
Chris Heffernan added: ‘Some of the key learning areas featured in the programme include understanding the requirements to develop a new site, the management of waste from extractive environments, restoration techniques, legislation, and Biodiversity Net Gain – making the content approachable and accessible.
‘Mineral planning doesn’t have to be seen as complex or intimidating, and this course aims to demystify the sector – helping planners understand legislation and core processes.’
Upon completing the course, delegates will receive a CPD certificate from the IQ.