Australia's first nationally-recognised remote operations course has been approved by the Western Australia Resource Industry Collaboration.

About 30 Rio Tinto employees will study for the Certificate IV in Autonomous Control and Remote Operations in a pilot to begin in 2020. The course will be delivered by South Metropolitan TAFE.

The course will provide the skills needed to work at Rio Tinto’s Remote Operations Centre in Perth.

If the pilot is successful, the first Certificate IV course may start in 2021, according to a Rio Tinto press release.

The course was developed through the Resource Industry Collaboration, which includes Rio Tinto, the Western Australia Government and South Metropolitan TAFE.

That partnership has previously resulted in accreditation of a Certificate II in Autonomous Workplace Operations and a micro-credential course for trade-qualified, apprentices and technicians.

“These courses give Western Australian workers the opportunity to gain modern, portable qualifications, with skills that can be used right across the resources industry,” stated Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury.

“Rio Tinto has committed A$2 million to the development of these qualifications which come at a critical time for the industry as we look to ensure vocational education and training programmes keep pace with the rapid changes brought about by technology and innovation,” Salisbury stated.