Much headway has been made on the continent of Africa in the practice of safety, health, environment and quality management (SHEQ). For many however, formal education is still lacking in the areas that are fundamental to sustainable development with local practitioners not having had access to the requisite specialised tertiary education. Says May Hermanus, director of The Centre for Sustainability in Mining and Industry (CSMI):, “In response to specific requests and requirement, the CSMI is addressing that need by way of a number of short courses and workshops.
“Additionally, the usual beneficiaries of training at the CSMI the centre’s short courses can now also be taken by occasional students for a certificate of competence (CoC) or a certificate of attendance. Students may also apply for CPD points.
Based at the School of Mining Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand, the CSMI will be conducting four short courses in the coming months, namely; Sustainable Development in Mining and Industry from the 13-17 August 2012, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Occupational Health and Hygiene for Non-Specialists from the 3-7 September 2012, and Safety & Health Leadership and Human Factors from 1-5 October 2012.
“These courses will provide recognised and accredited training programmes and an education leading to recognised academic qualifications for professionals wishing to pursue or further their careers in the SHEC fields, in the private sector, industry, government or non-governmental organisations,” says Hermanus.
Since its inception in 2004, the CSMI has garnered recognition as a centre of excellence on the African continent for the training and education of managers, practitioners and regulators in sustainable development.
The establishment of the CMSI originated from a partnership formed by BHP Billiton, Lonmin and Goldfields with the Wits School of Mining Engineering in response to an urgent need to increase the standards of safety within the mining industry.
Since then, other partners have supported the work of the CMSI as donors – in the case of AngloGold Ashanti, Goba and Xstrata – and as patrons of major projects in the case of the Department of Mineral Resources, Mining Qualifications Authority, Anglo American, Coal Tech 2020, World Bank and the Asbestos Relief Trust. BHP Billiton is currently the principal donor.
Following the development of four courses at graduate level with specific support from BHP Billiton during the period 2007 – 2008, the centre today offers nine courses at the Masters of Science level dealing with OHS risk management, OHS leadership and human factors, occupational health and hygiene for non-specialists, SHEC systems, environmental impact assessment, mining and the environment, and geographical information systems.
In addition, the CSMI presents an accredited short course on safety risk management for Anglo American, and with support of the Department of Mineral Resources and the Mining Qualifications Authority, has developed and piloted eight short accredited courses for the Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate and the Environmental Inspectorate.
CSMI is based at the School of Mining Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand and offers the best of global sustainable development practices and programmes through recognised and accredited training particularly in safety, health, environment and community issues (SHEC). The CSMI also networks in the mining, industrial, labour and governmental sectors, forming partnerships with stakeholders and fostering mutually beneficial collaborations. The centre is recognized as a centre of excellence in Africa by its ongoing contributions to sustainable development through research, education and training.