AERIUS Campus under construction
To ensure that future users will be able to work well with AERIUS, a training programme is being developed. In a first step towards ‘AERIUS Campus’, the AERIUS steering committee has determined the scope and final attainment level of the training programme. This scope includes the permit application, the context of the Integrated Approach to Nitrogen (PAS) and the use of AERIUS itself. The next step will be to develop the curriculum.
The training programme is aimed at permit applicants and their advisors, permit-issuing officials and policy staff. The final attainment level of the programme is that where participants will possess the knowledge and skills to use AERIUS when drafting or assessing a permit application under the PAS. The final attainment level consists of the following five themes: legal framework, starting points for own research, the basic principles of AERIUS, deposition modelling, and interpretation & reporting.
Further development of the training programme will take place as part of the implementation of the PAS. This will involve development of the curriculum, accreditation and choice of trainers, among other things.
Interviews with future users
In order to determine the training’s scope, interviews were conducted among members of the AERIUS working group and future users of the tool. This showed that users expect to be able to quickly master the use of AERIUS. The greater challenges are expected to lie in the interpretation of the tool’s results, or, as one of the interviewees put it:
‘The underlying information does require more attention: knowing what you’re entering; knowing for which purpose you’re entering a certain source, for example. Also, the interpretation of the outcome of an AERIUS calculation will require some explanation.’
The interviews also indicated that there is a great need for information on the Integrated Approach to Nitrogen (PAS) as the new context for the permit-issuing process. The PAS, after all, not only requires a new work method, but also a new line of reasoning: from individual permit application to considering the entire area.