8 December 2020

IOM3 Consultation – a new International Standard for Mining Engineers

The International Competence Centre for Mining Engineering Education under the auspices of UNESCO, at St Petersburg Mining University, and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) are developing a new global competence framework for Mining Engineers.

The outline framework was announced to a global audience during a web-forum on 19 November 2020. Now we are consulting on the proposal and we want to hear your thoughts. 

The proposal

The briefing paper which can be downloaded on this page, describes the proposed framework, which has the working title of ISME (International Standard for Mining Engineers); the key points are:

What is it?

ISME is a new global competence framework for Mining Engineers. It will build on and sit above the relevant national standards already in place in countries around the world and, therefore, will not conflict with them. It will require Mining Engineers to demonstrate that they are competent in specific areas; these areas are chosen in response to the demands being made by key stakeholders in mining. ISME’s core value lies in the fact that it responds directly to the areas of concern that stakeholders have highlighted.

Why is a new framework needed?

ISME is a direct response to the changing world and to the increasing pressure on mining engineering to change. One key issue is that major investors want to reduce the risks associated with mining. They are increasingly demanding that mining must clearly demonstrate an ethical stance, be safer, and do less damage to the environment while being financially viable. Operating to a higher level in each of these four areas could reduce the risks to business reputation, of harm to people involved in and affected by mining, to the world that supports our way of life, and to mining’s financial base.

How will it work?

ISME identifies these four broad areas of competence, Ethics, Safety, the Environment and Financial Planning. Within each of these is a series of more detailed competences.

For each competence there is a statement that describes something that an individual Mining Engineer should be able to do in their professional practice. Although competences are built on a foundation of knowledge and understanding, the focus is on the professional abilities of Mining Engineers, rather than studies or academic achievements as these are best covered elsewhere.

Mining Engineers will only be able to apply if they are already registered with or are a member of a relevant national body that is a partner in the ISME programme. This will reinforce good relationships between ISME and the national regulatory and/or membership bodies. Successful applicants would be awarded a title and the right to use the appropriate letters after their name to indicate their status.

The consultation

We want to hear your response to the proposal. You should feel free to comment on any aspect of the proposal, although we would be grateful if you could answer our questions, shown at Annex A.


The consultation is open now and closes at 17:00 GMT on 31 March 2021.  


Please respond by email to: [email protected]  

It would be helpful if you let us know as soon as possible if you plan to respond to the consultation.

Keeping in touch

When you respond please tell us whether you would you be willing to answer any further questions if we have any when we have reviewed your responses to this consultation?