Water Journal : Water Journal December 2013
DECEMBER 2013 WATER 41 Feature Article south to Ballarat. Service, value and a socially and environmentally responsible approach are incorporated into everything we do. Since the publication of the Guidelines in September 2010, Veolia has considered operator competency and certi cation to be an important measure of the value we can provide to our clients, as well as improving the capability and professionalism of our operational teams. Veolia is developing an operator training framework that will meet the needs of Veolia's business as well as ful lling the requirements of the Guidelines and the WIOA Certi cation Scheme. The key components of the Veolia training program will be: • Schedule relevant training and upskilling of individuals based on the training gap analyses performed for each treatment plant. • Work towards all operators achieving a minimum of Certi cate III in Water Operations, as well as any further units of competency required to achieve operator certi cation. • Manage each operator's ongoing training, knowledge and experience requirements through their twice-yearly performance plan meetings. Development of a suitable training management database is important to the overall success of Veolia's training framework and ongoing refresher training. Currently undergoing its rst update after being in use for 12 months, the Veolia training management database is intended to be used to manage all operator quali cation and certi cation training requirements. The database includes all information pertaining to units of competency, work experience and certi cation requirements for each operator to enable the business to achieve compliance with the guidelines and with certi cation. The database has provision for reporting on competency and refresher training requirements for individuals. These reports are used to allocate training budgets as well as for performance management of operators. A second key component of Veolia's training framework is mapping the Guidelines and certi cation scheme requirements to Veolia's own employee Performance Appraisal and Development Plan. This will be key to the success of our implementation of certi cation into our operations. Figure 4. The Veolia Training Management Database is an essential component of Veolia's management of operator competency and certi cation. SOME PERSPECTIVES ON OPERATOR CERTIFICATION Kathy Northcott (Veolia) -- Regional Training Project Manager I have observed the operator competency and certi cation experience within the Veolia Victorian operations team as having an overwhelmingly positive impact. The implementation of the Guidelines, and subsequent of cial recognition of operator's knowledge and experience through certi cation, has given many people the ability to con dently grow into their role as water treatment professionals and custodians of public health. Broc Mulcair (Veolia) -- Bendigo Water Operator and rst operator certi ed with WIOA I think it's great that the Department of Health recognises that being a drinking water operator is a career, not just a job. Ten to 15 years ago people working in water and wastewater operations were considered to be on the bottom rung of the career ladder. Now we are classed as essential service providers, equivalent to professionals working in hospitals and power stations. Drinking water operations is becoming ever more important. The public is more aware of issues with water and we have to be able to meet public expectations regarding water quality and supply. Konrad Mueller (Veolia) -- Bendigo Plant Supervisor Certi cation is important for the recognition of the skills and knowledge of today's drinking water operators. Water treatment essentially started out as a guy operating a penstock at a reservoir. Now operators are required to manage highly sophisticated plant requiring substantial skills and training. A well-designed operator competency framework and certi cation scheme provides a clear de nition of accountability to operators for the management of the processes they are responsible for. John Harris (Wannon Water) -- Manager Treatment Operations This certi cation scheme gives operators the structure to promote the excellent work they do. It has brought about a positive change to the attitudes and culture within our organisation. The implementation of the Best Practice Guidelines, and of cial recognition of operators' knowledge and experience, has given many people the ability to con dently grow into their role. Peter Uwland (Wannon Water) -- Coordinator Central District I was surprised yet honoured when I learnt of my earning certi cation in Water Treatment Operations. My experience shows that Water Treatment Operators take a lot of pride in their chosen career and it is great to see that the Department of Health and WIOA have joined together to introduce a system that formally acknowledges this. Matt Sinnott (Wannon Water) -- Operator Eastern District That the Department of Health recognises treatment operators with certi cation is very important to the operations staff, as well as providing greater security for the public. With the responsibility that I have to provide safe and healthy water to my family, friends and community I am proud that I am recognised as being a certi ed operator.
Water Journal November 2013
Water Journal February 2014