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Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) The AQF is the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training. AQF Qualifications certify the knowledge and skills that a person has achieved through study, training, work and life experience. Units of competency in the National Water Industry Training Package identify to a particular AQF level based on the complexity, specialisation and breadth of the unit.

Certification A national program of recognition afforded to workers who have met industry defined minimum entry standards. This Certification Framework is underpinned by a need to ensure the provision of safe drinking water through minimum standards of certification for water treatment operators.

Certified Operator A Certified Operator has operational responsibility for water treatment processes or facilities. Duties performed will range from basic sampling, testing and reporting, through to chemical dosing, control and optimisation of treatment processes. The Certified Operator may have responsibility for more than one treatment systems at any one time, so long as it is reasonable to expect that drinking water quality and safety will be assured at all plants and the Certified Operator’s current competencies cover all treatment processes under the responsibility of that person.

Consumer A recipient of drinking water who is:
• An individual, community, city, town or state (public)
• A guest, customer or employee (private)

Drinking Water Supplier An organisation/enterprise (public or private) or, individual that provides drinking water for human consumption. The Drinking Water Supplier includes, but is not limited to:
• major urban utility,
• corporation
• local government authority,
• public or private entity,
• small, regional or remote,
• wholesaler, retailer or contractor
Any organisation contracted to manage a Drinking Water System (or part thereof) is considered to be a Drinking Water Supplier.

Drinking Water Treatment System Are a component of the Drinking Water Supply System as defined at Element 3.2 of the
ADWG. Drinking Water Treatment Systems provide water intended for human consumption that;
• Does not pass through any treatment barriers; or
• Is treated by a single barrier or multiple barrier drinking water treatment facility.
Where a water treatment facility exists, the Drinking Water Treatment System is inclusive of downstream chemical dosing and disinfection.
It does not include direct or indirect drinking water recycling/re-use schemes.

Independent Contractors For the purposes of this framework, an independent contractor may provide expertise and
services to other Drinking Water Suppliers; Independent Contractors are not considered to be Drinking Water Suppliers. They are
individuals (Certified Operators) who work within a Drinking Water System and must meet
the minimum conditions stated in this Certification Framework.

Operator in Training An Operator who is gaining experience under the guidance of a Certified Operator performing routine tasks and undertaking relevant competency development which culminates in attainment of relevant competencies (from NWP07), as required by this

Certification Framework The Operator in Training is not certified under this framework, but the Drinking Water Supplier is to ensure that opportunities are afforded to the person to develop all necessary competencies to achieve certified status.

Registered Training Organisation Training providers that are registered by a national or state regulator to deliver Nationally
Recognised Training in the Australian Vocational Education and Training Sector.

Qualification Issued under the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) as a result of completing a formal training and/or assessment pathway. Qualifications are defined in Industry Training Packages or accredited through the national,
state or territory accrediting body for Vocational Education and Training (VET).

Treatment Process Any process within a Water Treatment System that changes the physical, chemical or biological properties of water derived from any source in order to make it safe for human consumption or to make it comply with a regulatory order relating to human consumption.
Treatment processes include, but are not limited to:
• Primary and Secondary Disinfection
• Coagulation and Flocculation
• Reverse Osmosis
• Adsorption
• Sedimentation and Clarification
• Dissolved Air Flotation
• Granular Filtration
• Membrane Filtration
• Ion Exchange Fluoridation
• Softening/Hardening
• Chemical Dosing

Unit of Competency A single component of a qualification or a stand-alone unit that has been accredited through the same process as a Qualification.

Vocational Education and Training (VET) Post-compulsory education and training, excluding degree and higher level programs delivered by higher education institutions (Registered Training Organisations), which provides people with occupational or work-related knowledge and skills. VET also includes programs which provide the basis for subsequent vocational programs or higher education programs.

Acronyms and abbreviations

ADWG Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

AQF Australian Qualification Framework

AWA Australian Water Association

DH Department of Health (Victoria)

NWP National Water Training Package

RTO Registered Training Organisation

VET Vocational Education and Training

Vicwater Victorian Water Industry Association

WIOA Water Industry Operators Association of Australia

WIOCS Water Industry Operator Certification Scheme

WIST Water Industry Skills Taskforce

WTA Water Treatment Alliance


Last updated on 13-Dec-2016

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WIOA - Water Industry Operators Association of Australia