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WIOA - Australian Water Industry Operator Certification Scheme
The Water Industry Operators Association (WIOA) was appointed as the national Certifying Body at the Water Industry Skills Taskforce (WIST) meeting on the 15th April.
Attaining certified status under the WIOA Australian Water Industry Operator Certification Scheme indicates that an individual water treatment operator has a specific set of knowledge, skills, competence and experience which is recognised by the employer and the certifying body (WIOA).
Under the Certification Framework for Operators within Drinking Water Treatment Systems 2016, the complexity of each drinking water treatment system forms the basis for determining and defining the competency and capability required of the certified operator.
Two System Complexity Ratings have been established:
Each System Complexity Rating requires certified operators to complete a set of fit for purpose training courses aligned to the treatment processes operated, stipulates an amount of relevant industry experience, requires capability sign off by the employer and includes a requirement to keep skills and knowledge current.
Certification by an independent organisation like WIOA demonstrates that individual operators and the water supplier are committed to the water industry through their professionalism and the attainment of workplace best practice.
Certified individuals – are skilled and committed water industry operations practitioner. Their status as a Certified Water Treatment Operator demonstrates their commitment to excellence by participating in a process to assess and update their knowledge. They can be confident that they are doing the job to meet best practice and this can bring advancement and recognition. All certified personnel will be listed on WIOA’s national database.
Certified Water Treatment Operators will also benefit:
Employers - knowing that staff members who are Certified have the skills for the occupation and are committed to excellence in their role.
Career pathway – job seekers and young people will recognise and benefit from the enhanced career pathways in the water industry resulting from the industry based certification system which specifies training, knowledge, skills and experience.
Private Industry Employers - by insisting on using certified personnel they are practising sound risk management.
The water industry – operationally can become more professional as a result of gaining, recognising and documenting the skills necessary for each occupation. As more and more operators become certified, the level of professionalism in the water industry will continue to improve.
The environment - will be better off as well-informed operational practices can prevent inappropriate off site discharges, conserve water and avoid damage to aquifers and waterways.
Consumers - will know that when their systems are operated by a Certified specialist, those people will have the skills and experience necessary to operate or manage a system efficiently, effectively and with minimal impact on public health.
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