Social Performance Management in the Extractive Industries

Social Performance Management in the Extractive Industries (SPMEI) is a graduate diploma program that supports collaboration between communities and extractive industries. Social Performance Management refers to the rigorous management of a company's community relations activities, in order to better address evolving community needs, industry constraints and provide accountablilty to all stakeholders.

mine site at night with northern lights

This program is not just for people in industry seeking to better listen to and understand community voices. People in communities who are negotiating with industry will benefit tremendously from a rich and nuanced understanding of the historical, legal, physical, and social considerations that constrain and inform industry practices. Government employees in ministries related to environment, natural resources or Indigenous affairs will also benefit from this program, as will consultants developing impact assessments. Students of politics and other social sciences may also be interested in exploring the intersection between community and industry from a policy perspective, and these credits can be applied as electives depending on your program of study and also laddered towards an MEng, MASc, and an MPA.

Program Structure

The SPMEI Graduate Diploma consists of four courses, delivered in an online and asynchronous format. The program may be completed over two or four 12-week terms.

The program has been developed in consultation with community relations and sustainability experts from industry, Indigenous advisors, as well as leading thinkers and practitioners. The program structure emphasizes the balance that must be sought between community development aspirations and business constraints. Casting a critical lens on the sometimes contentious relationship between the goals and methods of government-industry and those of communities, whose ways of life are most affected by large scale industrial projects, the program’s curriculum supports students in developing insight into the role of culture as it shapes values, perceptions of risk, and receptiveness to extractive projects.

The program explores the fundamental relationships that underlie the extractive industries, namely the relationships between industry, (Indigenous) communities, government, and the environment itself. Participants examine examples of fruitful and successful partnerships where industry profits were realized while meeting environmental goals and enriching communities. Participants also examine how technology is pushing the discourse around sustainability forward, and consider where it might be holding it back.

Additional Information

Find more information about the SPMEI program on the Department of Mining website.

Visit the School of Graduate Studies website for:

Program contact:
Jenny Cruz, Program Coordinator
The Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining
Queen's University

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