Water Journal : Water Journal December 2013
WATER DECEMBER 2013 40 Feature Article Step 2. Documentation of skills from a training provider An applicant must show evidence of completion of accredited training from an approved Registered Training Organisation (RTO). This includes Certi cates and Statements of Attainment. Step 3. Application for certi cation The applicant completes and submits an application form to WIOA. Applicants must also sign a professional Code of Conduct. Step 4. Periodic certi cation renewal To ensure that certi ed operations practitioners keep their skills up to date there is a process requiring certi cation to be renewed every three years. Certi ed operators need to show that they have remained active in the industry and that they have taken steps to keep up to date with new technology. They do this by accruing the prescribed number of 15 certi cation points in each three-year period under WIOA's Certi cation Scheme. LAUNCH OF THE CERTIFICATION SCHEME WIOA's Certi cation Scheme was of cially launched at a reception held at the Department of Health on Friday 14 December 2012. At this reception four Victorian water treatment operators became the rst water industry operators in Australia to be certi ed under the scheme. The rst four operators to be certi ed were Broc Mulcair and Luke McCormick from Veolia Water Australia (Veolia), and Matthew Sinnott and Peter Uwland from Wannon Water. The certi cation scheme is now of cially available to all Australian water businesses and operators employed in the treatment of drinking water. Since the launch of the certi cation scheme in December 2012, Veolia has had a further three operators certi ed in the Bendigo region, with another four operators in the Ballarat region expected to achieve certi cation by early 2014. Wannon Water has submitted certi cation applications for another two operators, with four more operators nalising their certi cation paperwork ready to apply. This illustrates the commitment of both businesses to the establishment of a robust competency and certi cation framework for drinking water operators. WANNON WATER'S CERTIFICATION APPROACH Wannon Water (Wannon Region Water Corporation) is, geographically, Victoria's second largest regional urban water corporation. The service area extends over 23,500 square kilometres from the South Australian border (west), to Balmoral in the north, Lismore in the east and the lower Gellibrand River catchment on the south coast. Wannon Water manages a diverse range of water supplies, including water catchments, geothermal groundwater and shallow groundwater systems. Wannon Water supplies water services to a permanent population of 80,000 people, including residential, commercial, industrial and rural customers. Wannon Water has been involved with the development of the operator competency guidelines in Victoria, through its membership with VicWater and representation on collaborative committees involved with the drafting of the Guidelines. The implementation of operator certi cation within Wannon Water is part of our key Strategic Objective to grow organisation capability. Wannon Water has a broad-ranging workforce capability program that focuses on a professional development philosophy that fosters positive attitudes towards learning, teamwork and involvement of its managers in training and mentoring. This philosophy, coupled with the variety of learning and development programs we offer to our employees, has enabled us to achieve our target of certi cation of drinking water operators by December 2012. VEOLIA'S CERTIFICATION APPROACH In Victoria, Veolia operates bulk water, drinking water and recycled water assets under contract to water businesses such as Coliban Water and Central Highlands Water. The geographic area extends from Landsborough in the west, north-east to Lake Epplaock and Summar y of actions Under these best practice guidelines, each VicWater member under taking water treatment for the purpose of supplying drinking water to the public agrees to: Action 1 Under take a public health (microbial) risk classification assessment for each water supply system that they either operate directly, or have responsibility for, using the template and scoring system in Appendix A of the guidelines, and then provide to the Depar tment of Health the microbial risk classification for each assessed system. Action 2 At the time of submission of the initial public health (microbial) risk classification to the Depar tment of Health, provide the depar tment with a summar y of the competencies and qualifications of the staff at each water treatment facility that they operate, including an assessment of where the minimum levels of competency, as described in Par t two of the guidelines, are currently not being met. Action 3 Where the assessment indicates that the minimum levels of competency are not being met at an assessed water treatment facility, provide details of the proposed actions they will take to address this, including proposed timeframes. Action 4 Under take a treatment capability assessment on each water treatment facility that they either operate directly, or have responsiblity for, and then provide to the Depar tment of Health the treatment capability category for each facility. Action 5 Ever y three years after the initial microbial risk classification, gap analysis and treatment capability assessment, redo the microbial risk classification, gap analysis and treatment capability assessment on each water treatment facility that they operate, or have responsibility for, and provide to the Depar tment of Health the revised results. Figure 2. Summary of actions taken from the Victorian Framework for Water Treatment Operator Competencies -- Best Practice Guidelines. Figure 3. Operator certi cation ceremony held at the Department of Health on 14 December 2012.
Water Journal November 2013
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