Education, Regulation, Regulation News, Safety, Training

Thinking about our workforce’s future skills, professional development

Geelong was a wonderful host for the IQA’s 62nd annual conference in October. The city itself showcased a progressive region that supports infrastructure growth, tourism, agriculture and light industry. The theme – The Future of Quarrying – was apt for the region as we had the privilege of visiting Barro Point Wilson and Boral Deer Park Quarries.

These are two examples of the extractive industry working closely with a range of stakeholders for the advancement of the region.

I would again like to thank our platinum sponsors Hitachi Construction Machinery, Komatsu and Caterpillar, and the official partner program sponsor Orica Australia.

The support of our platinum sponsors enabled us to provide a very different social program that supported networking and captured the essence of Geelong.

The conference provided many opportunities for us to reflect and think about the future. A key theme that many speakers touched on was that of the workforce and the future skills of the workforce.

Community expectations, technology, data, increased safety standards, automation and competition for talent from other sectors all mean that we have to think about our workforces today and into the future.

We have to work to encourage people into the sector and look at improved ways to embrace diversity. Diversity in our teams will help build an innovative culture and is proven to improve business outcomes.

The IQA will continue to work with industry on what is needed to truly address diversity.

The Young Members and Women in Quarrying networks will be supported to encourage participation in the sector.

A number of events and conferences will be held in 2020 and I encourage you to support people from all parts of the industry to be involved.

Whenever I participate in industry events, I certainly make my passion for workforce development known. Having previously worked in health, the concept of mandatory professional development is one I am very used to.

We are seeing the dialogue around professional development become more paramount in the industry with various state legislation requiring competence and maintenance of competence.

New South Wales is currently the only state with mandatory CPD (for quarry managers holding a NSW Practicing Certificate – without conditions).

While not mandatory in other states, the IQA has always held a strong position on the importance of ongoing education. Effective from November 2019, the IQA relaunched its Quarry Manager Certification System (QMCS) which has been implemented to grant professional recognition to quarry industry professionals. QMCS is overseen by the IQA’s CP Committee.

The CP Committee may accredit a person as a:

• Certified Practicing Quarry Manager (CPQM).

• Certified Practicing Quarry Supervisor (CPQS).

For more information about the QMCS, email

I would like to congratulate all IQA Award winners for 2019. This year we saw innovation and leadership in all the submissions. The winners will be profiled in future issues in 2020.

I wish you all a very safe and happy Christmas and I look forward to what 2020 brings.

Kylie Fahey 
CEO, Institute of Quarrying Australia

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