Going for gold

Gold Card photography -2

THE launch of the first ever industry wide gold standard accreditation for highly efficient quarry and mining equipment operators has taken place.

The new scheme is being launched through a joint partnership between MPQC’s Awarding Body, MP Awards and UK and Ireland Caterpillar dealer, Finning.

The scheme aims to professionalise the industry, recognising the best operators in the country and encouraging businesses to invest in the training and support of a key part of the industry’s workforce. To achieve the gold standard, operators will have to take part in additional training and ongoing coaching through an intensive onsite course, run by Caterpillar accredited Finning operator trainers.

To celebrate its launch at Hillhead 2014, MP Awards and Finning presented the first four gold cards to operators from four different industry players:

  • Adrian Morris – Hope Construction Materials (Dowlow Works)
  • Ian Bagshawe – CEMEX (Doveholes Quarry)
  • Neil Mycock – Lafarge Tarmac (Tunstead Quarry)
  • John R Middleton – Breedon Aggregates (Cloud Hill Quarry)

The practical course, run with operators on their own sites with the machines they operate, covers a full range of different manufacturers’ models and focuses on both fuel and production efficiency. Open to current MP Awards, MPQC Blue Card holders, once each operator has undergone the Finning Eco-Drive™  training and additional coaching, two independent on-site assessments are completed to ensure consistent performance.

Each assessment is carried out against strict criteria, developed by Finning from global Caterpillar operator standards, ensuring a gold cardholder is capable of adding real value to the bottom line of any business they work for. 18 months in the planning, the new gold card standard can now be used to identify and recognise advanced operators capable of operating to consistently high standards of efficiency.

Commenting on the new gold standard, MP Awards qualification development manager, John Bussey said, “The development of this new accreditation standard, hand in hand with Finning represents a key milestone in the delivery of the new PRIME campaign. It helps to recognise and professionalise a key part of the workforce, focusing on the individuals who can have a major impact on reducing the cost of quarrying materials.

“By delivering the scheme in partnership with Finning, which has been operating its Institute of Quarrying CPD accredited Eco-Drive™ training programme for a number of years, we will be able to deliver a much higher level of practical training and advice to operators. Each individual will be trained and assessed on the machines they operate, within their specific working environments, so mentoring and advice will be tailored to their needs, no matter what product they use.”