Misinformation and Disinformation

In the last blog, I looked at the difference between misinformation and disinformation – intentionally misleading incorrect information.

One of the hardest parts of what we do at MinTrain™ is explaining the difference between what we offer and what the industry deems a competence scheme when it’s not.

Has it just been confused with a competence scheme when initially there was no alternative to the industry’s EPIC card?
Was it done deliberately? The requirement to enter a site, any site, the driver must have said card.
Was it unintentional? Was this just accepted the industry had to competence scheme for transport operations, so this introductory entry-level driver CPC course became the norm?

Whatever the reason, it needs to stop.

Going deeper, a webinar on the organisation’s website still insists that this card is a requirement for all drivers within our industry. It’s their website, so we could argue that clever marketing, disinformation, or a combination of both have been used to make everyone think it’s a card scheme that demonstrates competence for drivers.

Deep diving, it seems other organisations have been confused by this disinformation, and maybe a bit more due diligence was required.

For example, The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), whose membership of over 350 includes civil engineering companies including large and well-known national names, account for 75-80% of the civil engineering workload undertaken in Great Britain.

CECA have a Directory of Industry Card Schemes publicly available, which helps their members identify which employers and contractors have the required skills and training to be allowed onto a contractor’s site.
This is the second revision of the document and allows members a nonprescriptive list of card schemes they could accept for entry on their sites and projects.

Pretty straightforward enough and interesting that the document foreword references the “Right Card for the Right Job” notion and assesses the levels of training, assessment, and competence that are demonstrated by each one.

There are thirteen occupational cards, four mechanical and electrical cards, and eight accepted card schemes for plant equipment.
Included in the plant equipment are the RTITB (Road Transport Industry Training Board) scheme and the ALLMI (Association of Lorry Loader Manufacturers and Imports) scheme, but nothing that covers our specific industry vehicles like mixers, tippers and volumetric mixers.

Number 22 in the directory contents is a ‘Plant Card’ from an industry trade association from the mineral products sector in conjunction with an industry qualifications council and their training division.
So at first glance, a collaboration… until you scroll down.

Strangely, yet unsurprisingly, the *** Plant Card has mysteriously been renamed as the **** Driver Skills Card (formally EPIC) and describes the confusing scheme.
“The **** Plant Operator Competency Scheme is highly valued and recommended for plant operators and contractors working in the extractives industry. Supported by key industry associations, all courses and assessments approved by the scheme are recognised as the best within their sector.”
Debatable; however, let’s crack on.

So one small paragraph on the plant scheme, but in a bigger twist, the more extensive second section talks about the driver skills card for those of a sceptical nature — no further reference to the plant scheme.

“The driver skills card is an industry-wide initiative backed by the ***”, it informs the reader.

“It was introduced to help improve safety awareness of drivers, minimise accidents and encourage safe behaviour at industry sites and on the road.” – so it’s not a competence card for those who need clarity.

“The Driver Skills Card is an industry requirement for all drivers and hauliers employed within the extractives sector.” – now, that’s a dangerous and misleading statement and one that’s not true.

CECA had to get that information from somewhere; they need permission to use the organisation’s logo and the accompanying card image, which isn’t even the card for either of the schemes mentioned… but let’s not get hung up on facts now.

The final twist, and for those previously mentioned sceptics, it was pointed out that some of the members of CECA are also national suppliers of ready-mix concrete, asphalt and aggregates to many of these contracts. Still, I’m sure that won’t make any difference.

I’ll stick to facts; there is only ONE industry-recognised, independently accredited competence card scheme for our industry drivers, the SVCA© Driver Skills Card, available from EMPI Awards and MinTrain™.

The best quote I heard when discussing this last week is about the three practices the minerals sector is based on regarding training.

Best, Good, and Restrictive… make of that what you will.


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