Coal Authority Inferis


The Coal Authority (TCA) is the part of the UK Government that works to protect the public and the environment in coal mining areas. It manages the effects of past coal mining in order to promote public safety and safeguard the landscape – now and for future generations. TCA were using a wide variety of end-of-life point solutions to deliver services from islands of data across their enterprise. Apart from the considerable financial implications of maintaining this position it was identified as limiting the business as it was unable to adapt to changing market conditions and predicted volumes of business. Corporate knowledge is also “siloed” making it time consuming to provide the highest quality safety advice.


TCA commissioned SCISYS to supply an enterprise information service: known as "Inferis", this replaces previous disjointed point solutions and facilitates smarter working via corporate data sharing and service re-use. Services supplied span the entire software life cycle from analysis to support. A centralised spatially enabled database serves all functions. SCISYS worked closely with TCA to understand their corporate business processes and policies, considering each process in isolation. These were then translated into the minimum number of generic capabilities and provided as re-useable services, including the innovative approach of embedding suitably configured mapping (GIS) services within workflow steps. Previously isolated pools of data are now accessible via the re-useable services from a spatially enabled database. This significantly empowers the business as all information and opinion on a site is available in one system: making the most of TCA assets. The same services are re-used in all aspects of the business, from web based customer self service to forensic geospatial analysis of corporate data by TCA specialists. 

"Up to date and accurate operational information is key to every decision we make in the business and to our customers who rely on our coal mining report when buying and selling property. With Inferis, for the first time, we have a single integrated system which provides the solutions we need across the business and access to the most up to date information including Ordnance Survey products."  Says Steve Pennell, The Coal Authority Director of Mining Information and Services.


The predicted benefits of Inferis to TCA include:

  • Single source of mining data, information and knowledge that serves all parts of the business, facilitating consistent high quality advice based on the latest data.  
  • Allows TCA to react to new regulatory needs and market opportunities with minimum effort, thereby future-proofing the national coal mining database for at least eight years, removing risks to the housing market which relies on it for subsidence information.
  • Improved efficiency and management of the Public Safety Risk Profile from the ability to consider all operational matters when co-ordinating and prioritising site visits helping to reduce risks and costs.

For more information

See the links to the right.  The Geo article was commented on by The Coal Authority: “I’ve just read your article in ‘Geo:’ magazine and would like to pass on my congratulations. It’s an interesting, well constructed piece that provides just the right level of technical detail whilst also describing how well Inferis is tailored to users’ diverse requirements. Nicely done!” – Steve Hammersley, The Coal Authority

Mining Information Authorities

To learn more about Inferis see it in action via the YouTube video below,
download the flyer or our
mining authority white paper.
If you cannot access YouTube, the video is available here.

White Papers

Coal Authority approach white paper (PDF, new window).

Inferis technical white paper (PDF, new window).

Geoconnections Article (PDF, new window).


For Further Information

for further information contact our Environment team on

+44 (0)1249 466466 or via email: