(Romana) PECCS – blast designers

Pan-European Competency Certificate for Shot firers/ blast designers

For two years, on behalf of EFEE, Voglers Eesti from Estonia among with 7 other partners from Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Germany, United Kingdom, Czech Republic (who was later replaced by Romania) and France tried to get funding from EU Erasmus + program in Estonia. The purpose of the project is to put together a modernised learning program for a new EFEE Shot firer and Blast Designer Certificate.

Since the process for the grant application started, EFEE has stopped issuing certificates for shot firers and blast designers. The certificates were going for 5 years.

 

That was an old version of EFEE certificate, which was based on the national certificates that a person already had. It was just for confirmation that the person had gone through an education in one of the EFEE member countries.

This new certificate will be based on a learning program created by EFEE and the member countries. The learning program and the lessons will eventually be available in all national languages as well as the examination that the applicant has to pass to get a Pan-European Competency Certificate for Shot firers/ blast designers by EFEE.

The certificate will be designed to prove ones technical skills and knowledge of the shot firer profession in order to enable workers to move across the borders within EU without essential courses and payments except for learning the local law.

After the second negative decision for getting the grant, the partners were not really ready to give up on the mission. A small review was conducted to understand why wouldn’t the project be funded and it was decided that Estonia was just a too small country with not enough money to spare between different projects. Fortunately BEF from Sweden was ready to help. We thought of a plan B and decided to take the Project, modify it according to suggestions made by Swedish Erasmus bureau and represent it in Sweden instead of Estonia. The third is the charm, the result was positive.

The Project has now granted a support from the European Commission. The Grant Agreement has been signed by both sides, the Swedish UHR bureau and BEF. The official start of the project will be September 2016. It will last for three years. During this time the partners from the 8 countries will work together to create a modernised learning program that will result in a new Pan-European Competency Certificate for Shot firers and blast designers issued by EFEE. In order to do that, we use the materials composed in Power Point program, which were put together by different authors in Europe within the ESSEEM project in 2008 to 2010, under the leadership of The Norwegian Tunnelling Association (NFF). The project was mainly financed by EC through the Norwegian Leonardo da Vinci program. NFF reorganized the ESSEEM Power Point Programs in 2012 and presented it in Zandvoort, Netherlands in 2013 where teachers and representatives from 24 European countries were present. That audience expressed that they wanted EFEE to continue with the education project.

As the time has moved on, these materials need to be updated and modernised now. There are 6 chapters at the moment and the 7th, about tunnelling, will be written form scratch. We will write exercises and exams to every chapter, then we will transfer this package to an online course program. All this will be done mainly during the first year of the project, except for the online course.

In the second year we will already start trying out the training means and the education methods in test courses. In order to reach out to more people and make the courses more available all over Europe, we use the online course, which will work like an Open University formula, but shorter in time and simplified systems for users. This way of learning will also after some time give possibility to gain the Certificate for those who cannot travel much. In order to have good quality and credibility, it is planned to renew and evaluate the courses and the training materials by specialists every third year.

The outcomes of this project: the materials with examining questions, exercises, the course based on these materials and the online courses, will during and also after the project period be available on the internet for free on www.shotfirer.eu. In order to maintain a good quality and appropriate educational outcome of the courses we will create a Guidebook based on the learning material for trainers and shot firers who want to learn independently online, this will be our task for the second and third year. The examining questions and courses will be tested and validated by specialists before the end of the project. Those who successfully pass exams after they have followed the course, can apply for a Pan-European Competency Certificate issued by EFEE.

Meanwhile all the partners work in cooperation to spread the word of our goals and the work we are doing. The more organisations support our work, the better will be the outcome of the project and the more there will the benefits for the blasting industry in over all.

If you want to learn more about the project please visit the European Commission website-link. A Multiplier event for the project will take place in October 2018 in Germany, when the courses are ready for public testing. The PECCS management, the Partners and the Board of EFEE will ask for specialists and authorities and everyone who takes interest to attend the Multiplier event to meet the project, get to know our goals and try the online program.

Information about progress and materials used in the PECCS project can be found in the official web site shotfirer.eu, the website will be created during September and October 2016.

Viive Tuuna
Member of the Board,
EFEE