Water Industry Operator Registration

Operator Registration Framework

National Framework information and Queensland key activities

Documents and Links

Water Industry Operator Registration FAQs - Release Date 24-Aug-2021: - Frequently Asked Questions about changes to the Water Industry Operator Registration / Registered Professional Operator Framework for Drinking Water, Wastewater and Recycled Water

Water Industry Operator Registration Framework 2021 - Release Date 24-Aug-2021: - The Water Industry Operator Registration Framework 2021 for Drinking Water, Wastewater and Recycled Water

WIORT TOR July 2021 - Release Date 24-Aug-2021: - Water Industry Operator Registration TaskforceTerms of Reference 2021 (October 2021)

WIOCT Appeals Policy 2019 - Release Date 13-Dec-2018: - Water Industry Operator Certification Appeals Policy 2019

WIOCT Appeals Procedure 2019 - Release Date 13-Dec-2018: - Water Industry Operator Certification Appeals Procedure, July 2019

Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (Certifying Body) Operator Registration site.

August 2021 (current)

Amendments have been made to the Framework to reflect name changes:

  • Water Industry Operator Registration Framework 2021;
  • Water Industry Operator Registration Taskforce;
  • Registering Body in lieu of Certifying Body; and importantly
  • Registered Professional Operator to replace Certified Operator.

The change has been driven by a desire to remove potential confusion with respect to the term “Certification” as it relates to national VET terminology, creating a clear distinction between a person who may Qualified Operator (holding a VET Certificate, or Certification under the National Water Training Package (NWP)) and a Registered Professional Operator, who has been through the independent review process in accordance with the Framework and committed to CPD and other conditions related to maintaining their status as Registered Professional Operator.”

Grandfathering provisions apply to all Operators “Certified” under former Frameworks – those staff will be automatically recognised as “Registered Professional Operators” under the conditions of this Framework provided the conditions of previous Framework versions, including timeframes, remain met.

Other amendments amend the listings of units of competency to reflect updates to the National Water Training Package (NWP).

If you are interested as an individual, or organisation, in participating in the scheme, contact WIOA (info@wioa.org.au) or visit www.wioa.org.au.

Any questions about the WIORT or the Registration Framework should be directed to Dave Cameron (dcameron@qldwater.com.au).

September 2019

The Water Industry Operator Certification Taskforce (WIOCT) has approved minor updates to the Water Industry Operator Certification Framework: Drinking Water, Wastewater, Recycled Water 2018.

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) along with the Victorian Water Industry Association (VicWater) recently confirmed its adoption of the national Water Industry Operator Certification Framework for Drinking Water, Wastewater, Recycled Water 2018. In making the announcement, DHHS and VicWater highlighted the benefits of the national framework in providing uniform professional recognition for water treatment operators and the alignment of competency and capability requirements with the tasks performed by operators.

Certification has grown steadily since its inception. In June 2019, there were 66 operators certified for drinking water, and 13 for wastewater/ recycled water, nationally, with at least similar numbers of operators known to be actively enrolled in gap training activities that will assist towards achieving certification. At the same time, there were 67 certified operators under the Victorian scheme.

October 2018

The Water Industry Operator Certification Framework: Drinking Water, Wastewater, Recycled Water 2018 published, with updates to a number of other supporting documents.  The combined Certification Framework supersedes both the Certification Framework for Operators within Drinking Water Systems 2017 and the Certification Framework for Operators within Wastewater and Recycled Water Treatment Systems 2017.

August 2018

The Water Industry Skills Taskforce was disbanded, with a new group, the Water Industry Operator Certification Taskforce (WIOCT) formed to focus exclusively on the Water Industry Operator Certification Framework.  Framework ownership is not the WIOCT’s long-term goal, and the WIOCT itself is not a legal entity.

February 2018

Queensland Operators (drinking water and wastewater/ recycled water) presentation ceremony.

July 2017

Certification Framework for Operators within Wastewater and Recycled Water Treatment Systems 2017 (national) published, superseding Queensland STP Framework.

Certification Framework for Operators within Drinking Water Treatment Systems 2017 (national) published, superseding 2016 version.

June 2017

The first operators Certified under the Queensland Sewage Treatment Plant Operator Certification Framework.

May 2017

Regulatory options paper (WIST) for Certification of Operators within Drinking Water Systems released.

Certification for Operators of Drinking Water Systems - WIST Options Paper - Release Date 29-Aug-2017: - A position paper prepared by the WIST as a means of encouraging and promoting a positive dialogue among the urban water industry, regulators and other stakeholders around next steps to progress certification for Operators of Drinking Water Systems.

April 2016

Certification Framework for Operators within Drinking Water Treatment Systems 2016 published (first major review of draft Framework 2012 incorporating feedback from certification pilots).
WIOA appointed national Certifying Body.

July 2015

Queensland Department of Energy and Water Supply releases Guideline relating to drinking water operator certification.

Competencies for Operators - Release Date 21-Jul-2015: - DEWS guidance on competencies for operators within drinking water treatment systems.

June 2015

First drinking water treatment operators in Queensland Certified (first against national certification framework). 

May 2015

Release of first STP Operator Framework (Queensland).

February 2015

qldwater appointed as Water Industry Skills Taskforce Secretariat.

December 2014

Queensland Department of Energy and Water Supply, qldwater and WIOA sign MOU.

October 2013

Meeting to initiate Queensland operator certification pilot.

December 2012

Release of the first “Proposed National Framework for Operators within drinking water treatment systems” by the National Water Commission.

Inception of program 2011

In June 2011, the National Water Commission appointed Government Skills Australia to create a "framework for the certification of operators in potable water treatment facilities.” The project was conducted over the subsequent nine months, and included an extensive consultation framework involving both a national steering committee and many key industry stakeholders. It received strong industry support, especially in Queensland, where improving access to skills and appropriate recognition and career paths for experienced operators was seen as crucial for managing drinking water quality into the future.