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James Rowe (right), of Penrice Quarry & Mineral, pictured with SA branch chairman Andrew Wilson. James has recently completed the IQA’s QMCS program and is now a Certified Practicing Quarry Manager.
James Rowe (right), of Penrice Quarry & Mineral, pictured with SA branch chairman Andrew Wilson. James has recently completed the IQA’s QMCS program and is now a Certified Practicing Quarry Manager.

Certification critical to national recognition

As the professional body for quarrying and related industries, the IQA has a long-term aim to establish a national system of certification for practitioners in the quarry industry. 
The IQA will achieve this aim through the establishment of the Quarry Management Certification System (QMCS) in conjunction with the CP Board, by providing:
  • An independent certification system, administered with integrity and transparency, and which demonstrates a path to the certification of quarry supervisors and quarry managers based on comprehensive experience, qualifications, OPD and continuing practice.
  • Resources to assist quarry practitioners to develop knowledge and skills in a supportive work environment to attain certification under the QMCS.
  • Benchmarks for employers to encourage their staff to seek and maintain certification under the QMCS through the development of skills, training and experience.
One of the recent alumni of the QMCS program is James Rowe, who is now a QMCS Certified Practising Quarry Manager with Blasting Endorsement. James, who is also the South Australian co-ordinator for the IQA’s Young Members Network, recently spoke about the value of the QMCS program and the importance of attaining a nationally recognised qualification in the industry.

James Rowe first began work in the mining/quarrying industry in 2006 as a plant operator at the Pallara lead and zinc underground mine in Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia. 

Having originally hailed from South Australia, he moved back to the Barossa Valley in 2007 from Broome, WA and took up a machine operator position with Penrice Quarry & Mineral, where he continues to work today. Penrice currently employs 49 personnel and extracts limestone for the chemical, civil, glass, aggregates and agricultural lime markets.

James initially started at Penrice as a dump truck/front end loader operator and then learnt the craft of shotfiring. “I worked as a shotfirer on-site for three years before being offered the role of mine production manager in June 2011,” James said. 

“After completing some external studies in 2012, I was granted a Quarry Managers Certificate in February 2013. I undertook a Diploma in Surface Operations Management at Box Hill TAFE, Victoria and a Diploma in Management at the Australian Training Alliance, Adelaide.”
James said he applied for the QMCS Practicing Quarry Certification because he wanted to gain more exposure in the industry. 

“I believe the Certified Practicing Quarry Manager (CPQM) qualification has been a great way to get some recognition back after all of the hard work I’ve done in completing external studies.

“To now have the CPQM with Blasting Endorsement is really important,” James said. “Given that it is a post-nominal and nationally recognised throughout our industry it boosts my profile as a quarry manager. 

Regulators are also aware of the certification and it gives them confidence that the manager has gone through the necessary steps to gain certification. The IQA is currently working with all state authorities to make the CPQM certification a recognised standard. This would be fantastic as currently there are different standards per state regulator.”

James has no hesitation in recommending the QMCS certification process to his peers in the industry. Indeed, he has already spoken to his other work colleagues about it. 

“I have encouraged other employees at Penrice that have undertaken external studies to apply for either the Certified Practicing Quarry Supervisor (CPQS) or CPQM to gain the same recognition. Mark Bevan, one of our employees, has just gained his CPQS accreditation.

“I would encourage all supervisors/managers that are eligible to undertake the CPQS or CPQM accreditation,” James added. “It is not an onerous process and does not require a heap of paperwork or lots of out of hours time to complete. Given that regulators are now supporting the accreditation it not only boosts your individual profile but puts your company in a positive place with state regulators.”

James is one of 33 QMCS certified practitioners across the country. If you are interested in participating in the QMCS certification program, visit the IQA website – – and click on the “Education” tab in the menu. 

By Paul Sutton

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Monday, 19 August, 2019 8:01pm
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