Best practice in the mining industry includes extensive initial and professional training for
staff involved in field operations. While changes in mining technology and operations accelerate to improve productivity, health and safety standards have to be continuously evaluated and improved, putting more pressure on training deliveries. Borrowing from Defence and Airspace industries, training in the mining industry is increasingly relying on immersive virtual reality to simulate complex operations and procedures in potentially dangerous environments. Coal Services Pty Ltd is at the forefront of modern training facilities in Australia. This paper presents a qualitative and quantitative research framework designed to analyse the impact of past and current training sessions on staff’s ability to better perform their tasks, overall safety standards and mine productivity. It is relatively difficult to benchmark training techniques or programs in the mining industry as the very nature of the industry prevents from experimental comparisons with a control group. Hence, we have chosen to use diachronic methods to evaluate the effective impact of IVR-based training on worker's competences. In particular, our interviews with managers and access to relevant industry records will help us to identify two periods: before and after the introduction of IVR-based training. Another more qualitative approach will consist in interviewing personnel who have undertaken during their career at least two types of training programs, including IVR-based ones. The framework uses interviews with trainees, trainers and managers, alongside session recordings, to qualitatively evaluate levels of knowledge transfer and aptitudes to perform in a real environment. Then, a cost-benefit analysis is to be used to evaluate the added-value of virtual reality-based on technological and operational costs weighed against overall productivity of the mine being negatively affected by any safety issue.