The Institute of Quarrying (IQ) is invested in developing the skills and knowledge of professionals working in the quarrying, mineral products and processing sectors, which is why, like many professional organisations, it encourages members to actively participate in continuing professional development (CPD).
Members of the IQ benefit from a variety of lifelong learning opportunities, which will help to enhance career development with access to valuable CPD resources that are tailored to the industry, internationally recognised qualifications and a network of professionals sharing accumulated knowledge and good practice.
Not only is lifelong learning a core component in employee development, it can also help with our self-motivation and self-confidence. According to the Government Office for Science investment in skills and encouraging lifelong learning can have a positive impact on an employee’s productivity. Knowledgeable employees are more productive, better motivated and more loyal. Ninety-four percent of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development, and 80 percent of people agree that learning new skills would make them more engaged.
As part of the IQ’s commitment to supporting the development of its members, over the past 12 months it has invested in a series of improvements to the member experience. These include making it easier to record and access CPD activities, register and attend member events, as well as the launch of a new suite of tailored online e-learning programmes.
Improvements to the member experience
Responding to feedback and analysis of industry best practice, IQ has undertaken a programme of software enhancements to improve CPD reporting so that members have better access to the information they need.
The latest enhancements can be accessed by logging into the member portal or directly from the IQ member app, IQ Connect. Features include automatic CPD recording, downloadable reports that show CPD hours and activities, as well as visual triggers to show which entries require additional information, and a status bar to show how a member is progressing towards their current annual target. Members can also view a full list of all events and register to attend using the ‘one-click’ functionality.
A simplified event booking process makes it easier for members to register to attend events. Clicking the ‘Register Now’ button on the events page is all a member needs to do to confirm their attendance. Those that register and attend IQ events will have their CPD record automatically updated with that activity. The only thing that is left for a member to do is to complete the ‘what was learned’ section and the CPD activity will be submitted.
New graphs have been developed to help members clearly see where they are investing their learning in relation to the IQ Skills Wheel, as well as how they are doing with regards to achieving the mandatory minimum requirement of 30 hours of CPD per year.
Members also have the power to analyse their historical CPD. They can choose which year to view their data or view their total number of hours submitted over a number of years. This really supports members in identifying skills and knowledge areas that they may want to develop in the future.
New IQ E-Learning Programmes
Members and non-members of the IQ can benefit from a new suite of tailored online e-learning programmes, providing a flexible and innovative approach to CPD.
The IQ CPD Select Series provides bitesize e-learning modules that are accredited and includes self-assessment. They can be taken on their own, in bundles or in a bespoke package. All the units are delivered online and can be completed at the learner’s own pace.
The courses are available to purchase online. Employers or individuals can choose:
Individuals can choose from focused CPD bitesize units based on their own areas of personal development or interest, gaining specialist or technical knowledge. Some examples of the courses currently available include Workplace Guidance, SHE Fundamentals, Introduction to Mineral Products, and Fundamentals of Geology.
- IQ Select
IQ has taken its experience in delivering structured learning to create bundled units around a linked theme or part of a wider learning programme, all accredited with IQ CPD hours. Bundle topics include Crushing & Screening, Mineral Products, and Safety, Health & the Environment.
- Employer Select
Employer Select allows employers to tailor bespoke blended learning packages to their needs by combining a selection of nearly 100 individual e-learning units across an extensive range of subject areas. Learning materials can additionally be supplemented to incorporate company messages and themes into the content.
Find out more at https://shopatiq.org/collections/cpd-select-series
2022 event planning
The next 12 months, it is hoped, will see a return to more normality. It is an exciting year ahead for the quarrying industry, with the return of Hillhead in June following its hiatus as a result of the pandemic.
Members are reminded to download and access the IQ Connect App, which is available from Apple’s App store and the Google Play store, or visit the online member portal, to view and easily register to upcoming IQ branch events, which are there to support their CPD but also to build their own professional networks through meeting and engaging with other professionals.
All members should keep an eye on their weekly email from IQ for the latest news, CPD and events updates. Anyone who isn’t receiving these is encouraged to get in touch with IQ.
Inevitably with the current uncertainties, events are subject to change. Some of the upcoming IQ regional branch events taking place in early 2022 include:
- Tuesday 8 February
IQ Scottish Branch presents ‘Drug & Alcohol Awareness’ by Daniel Jones, D.Tec International. The event is taking place online via Zoom at 16:00.
- Tuesday 15 February
IQ Devon & Cornwall Branch is unveiling a nip point demonstration unit and presenting the ‘QNJAC toolbox talk on Isolation’ with Andy Meadows and Viv Russell from Longcliffe Quarries Ltd. The branch will also hold its ‘Annual General Meeting’. The event is taking place at Lee Moor Village Hall, Lee Moor, Plymouth PL7 5JR.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.
- Tuesday 22 February
IQ North Wales Branch welcomes back Claudia Trotter from Mates in Mind to discuss ‘Mental Health Awareness’. The event is taking place online via Zoom at 15:30.
- Wednesday 23 February
IQ Derbyshire Branch presents ‘Reality Capture’ by John Halifax of Mining Surveys (UK) Ltd. The event is taking place at Buxton Rugby Club, 5 Sunnyfields, Harpur Hill, Buxton SK17 9PX at 18.00.
Email email@example.com to book your place.
For more information about the IQ and membership, visit www.quarrying.org.
 Valamis. (2021). Lifelong Learning. Available at: https://www.valamis.com/hub/lifelong-learning#lifelong-learning-benefits
 Government Office for Science. (2018). Future of skills and lifelong learning. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/future-of-skills-and-lifelong-learning
 Edume. (2020). 7 Statistics That Highlight the Value of Continuous Learning. Available at: https://edume.com/blog/continuous-learning-in-the-workplace