Passion – a core value of EPC-UK – and perseverance have been demonstrated in abundance by two of our operators, Paul and Kevin Garment who, during these challenging times, have achieved their Bulk Explosive Truck Operation (BETO) VQ qualification, awarded by the MPQC (Mineral Products Qualification Council).
Paul and Kevin are based at our Scottish depot and are experienced HGV drivers and Multiblend Operators with over 20 years of experience between them. However, they both decided to work towards their BETO qualifications to help expand this experience, as well as their industry knowledge, even further.
The BETO qualification, which takes a minimum of 13 weeks to complete, applies to all blasting operational situations where the constituent components are transported in bulk and then mixed on site and pumped into the blast hole. This qualification measures the skills, knowledge and understanding to demonstrate competence in operating bulk explosive trucks.
Paul Garment explains more about what training was involved and how they were assessed:
“Training was conducted pre-pandemic so included face-to-face sessions with our trainer Dan Pearson. These training sessions were invaluable, as well as extremely enjoyable, and provided us with all the information and tools we needed to succeed.
“The assessments, also carried out by Dan, were conducted over a minimum 13 week period and included videos and photographs of us performing our duties, testimonies from our customers and supervisors, and Q&A sessions covering all aspects of our role, from health and safety and quarry regulations to daily vehicle checks.
“Once Dan had carried out our assessments, he created our portfolios which were then forwarded to an EPC-UK internal verifier before being sent on to the MPQC for final sign off.”
Kevin Garment continues: “The training we received was extremely comprehensive and Dan kept in constant touch with us throughout the assessment procedure, keeping us informed of our progress.
“This guidance and support, together with the high level of training we received, has been invaluable in helping us both gain this industry wide recognised qualification.”
Multiblend Specialist and trainer, Dan Pearson, acknowledges the amount of work and time both Paul and Kevin have put into their learning: “The BETO course is very intense and being assessed over a long period of time – in this case over a period of 13 weeks from the first to the last assessment – to prove long term competence, takes a lot of commitment.
“I worked closely with Paul and Kevin over this time, monitoring and measuring their performance using a variety of techniques, which enabled me to gather evidence for their portfolios. Once complete and I was happy they had met all the criteria and standards set by the MPQC, we submitted their portfolios. I’m pleased to say that they both passed with flying colours, demonstrating that they can perform their daily duties to an exceptional standard and I am extremely proud of what they have achieved.”
Paul concludes: “I’ve had fantastic feedback from our customers, as quarry managers can document my qualification on site which in turn demonstrates that, as an operator, I am working to the very highest standards. As an industry recognised qualification, attaining a BETO VQ demonstrates to both my employers and my customers that I am committed to my role as a Multiblend Operator, together with developing my industry knowledge.”