Further to Eflash # 324 which detailed the Havelock North drinking water incident in 2016 and subsequent inquiry, Water New Zealand has called for an industry-led, and ultimately mandated Operator Certification Scheme. The consultation paper is available here.
“The Havelock North campylobacter outbreak in August 2016 highlighted to industry the importance of ensuring that the systems in place to supply drinking water are robust and effective. The resulting Government Inquiry has raised questions about the training and competence of staff involved in the management, supervision and operation of the water treatment and reticulation system.
It is now evident to many in industry that the absence of an effective system for the training, qualification, competency assessment and continuing professional development of staff is a serious gap in the provision of safe drinking water to many New Zealand communities.
While the Inquiry will eventually make recommendations in this space which may or may not be acted on by Government, it is the responsibility of industry to step up and take a leadership role in this area now. While regulation may or may not follow, we need to implement such a scheme on a voluntary basis as soon as possible.
To that end the Board of Water New Zealand proposes the development of the system of Certification as described in this paper for those involved in the water treatment and wastewater sectors. It is proposed to include managers, supervisors and operators. The extent to which we initiate a system of continuing professional development for those holding water reticulation qualifications has yet to be resolved, but under consideration.”
qldwater has long been an advocate for certification programs. There were a number of resolutions made at the recent national Water Industry Skills Taskforce meeting of relevance, with more detail to follow in the next Skills e-flash (once relevant documents are available on the WIST web site). More information on voluntary certification is available at http://www.wioa.org.au/certification/index.htm, members are welcome to contact Michelle Hill (firstname.lastname@example.org) for assistance in coordinating.
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