Glencore Tailings Manager Academy (TMA):

A Case Study in Capturing Global Knowledge

Glencore is one of the world’s largest globally diversified natural resource companies. Their efforts to acquire natural resources through Tailings dams inspired the Tailings Manager Academy (TMA).

Glencore Tailings Manager Academy Graphic

The Challenge

Glencore is one of the world’s largest globally diversified natural resource companies. Founded in 1974 as a trading company, Glencore has grown to become the leading producer and marketer of commodities, with operations comprising around 60 mining, metallurgical and oil production assets. From metals and minerals to energy products and marketing, Glencore seeks to minimize their impacts on the environment and communities.

Tailings dam failures across the world have provided many lessons and industry experts have gathered years of practical experience and expertise to help mitigate the risk of such failures. The challenge is to harness this expert knowledge and provide it to those who play an important role in securing the stability of tailings dams helping them follow legal and regulatory requirements based on their jurisdictions. This will ensure the protection of the environment and communities surrounding such facilities.

With a focus on environmental awareness, the organization fully understands the challenge in safely managing tailings ponds.

The Solution

Glencore has taken the lead in managing its Tailings Storage Facilities (TSFs) around the world by partnering with Xpan to create the Tailings Manager Academy (TMA).

The TMA is a place where Glencore employees can build on their existing knowledge and skills and increase their ability to make correct decisions in the design, construction, operation, monitoring, and maintenance of TSFs. A detailed curriculum covers aspects of TSF management, and industry best practices, and provides Glencore employees with the information they need to successfully apply Glencore’s high safety standards.

The TMA course material is divided into three levels, designed for the three main employee groups at a TSF:

  1. Operators and technicians
  2. Dam owners, managers, and accountable executives
  3. Responsible persons and engineering staff

The TMA curriculum has been developed entirely by Xpan in collaboration with a global panel of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from Glencore, Hatch, and Klohn Crippen Berger across 5 continents. It is delivered online in four languages: English, Spanish, Russian, and French, allowing learners to complete the program independently, when they want, and where they want.

The Outcome

The program reflects eLearning best practices, integrating proven instructional design and adult learning principles, with a multimedia approach to create engaging and interactive learning experiences. The modules follow a university-style model and present theory in discrete sections and topics, in a linear, asynchronous format.

Customized interactivities and knowledge checks were designed and included to help the learner retain knowledge of key topics and concepts. Expert moments are included as video segments, allowing subject matter experts to share knowledge that can only be obtained through years of specialized field experience. Learners also have access to handbooks that support the material and their learning. Lastly, end-of-module assessments and a final exam confirm the learners’ mastery of content.

Glencore Case Study Learner Feedback

The program achieved overwhelmingly positive reviews and won a silver Brandon Hall Group award for custom content in 2022.

To view a video trailer describing TMA and its importance please click on the tile below or click Here.

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