WIOA – Victorian Water Industry Operator Certification Scheme

By becoming a Certified Operator it will demonstrate your commitment to excellence by participating in a process to assess and update your knowledge. You can be confident that you are doing the job to meet best practice and this can bring advancement and recognition.

Certification for Operators

Your application cannot be processed unless all of the relevant information and supporting documentation is provided.

1 Apply

Complete the Application Form which includes personal information, water business information. Applicants must also commit to a professional Code of Conduct by signing and returning the form included with the application form and pay the application fee ($110 inc GST).

Application Form
A01 in Word Format | A01 in PDF Format

2 Qualifications

Provide qualifications and Statement of Attainments from Registered Training Organisations (RTO). RTO’s are the only training providers that can supply the necessary documentation (called Statements of Attainment) that verifies an applicant has met the skills requirement for certification.

Each individual application must be supported by evidence of completion of accredited training such as Certificates, Statements of Attainment or official student records from an approved RTO. WIOA expects that all documentation supplied will be verified as an accurate copy by the water business.

WIOA will undertake random audits of documentation supplied.

WIOA will automatically recognise Certificate III or higher from the NWP 01 National Water Training Package or any subsequent version of the Training Package. Applicants with qualifications obtained from studies associated with training packages prior to NWP 01 will be required to upgrade their qualification to meet the requirements of the current Training Package (the version applicable on the date application for Certification is made).

3 Industry Experience

Document your industry experience. The individual applicant is asked to document relevant experience in one of the recognised Certification categories within the water industry. This experience will be verified by WIOA and must total more than three years in an operational role.

4 Verification of Competency

Verification of Competence signed by workplace Suitably Qualified Person.

Water businesses are required to nominate one or more individuals to undertake the role of a “suitably qualified person”, this must be completed prior to any applications being submitted. A suitably-qualified person is defined as someone who has sufficient relevant theoretical experience and/or at least three years operational experience in the unit process such that they are able to assess the competency of others. Application Form to be a Suitably Qualified Person to be completed by the Water Businesses Operations Manager or equivalent.

5 Application Processed

WIOA will process the application and may if necessary request more information or clarification. Once your application has been initially evaluated, you will be notified of the decision in writing within 21 days.

6 Certification Fee

When all the requirements of the Water Industry Operator Certification Scheme are met, WIOA will notify both the applicant and the workplaces Suitably Qualified Person.

Payment of certification fee ($220 inc GST)

7 Certification Awarded

Certification is valid for 3 years from the date of approval.
* Fees are non-refundable.

Certification Framework

Victorian Framework for Water Treatment Operator Competencies – Best Practice Guidelines

Certification Classifications

WIOA will certify operators across a range of occupations within the water industry. The following information will help you to find the best program for you. Each occupation covered is listed below and a description of the requirements for each occupation is also provided.

Certified Water Treatment Operator Level 3

Industry experience
To apply an applicant will need to be working as a water treatment operator, plus have two years responsibility for a Level 2 water treatment plant or above, or two years as assistant operator at a Level 3 plant.

Skills and knowledge
To become certified an applicant must hold a Certificate III in Water Operations specialising in water treatment, MUST have completed a minimum of three Certificate III treatment units relevant to the water treatment processes operated as well as NWP 364B Perform Laboratory Testing.

In addition, to comply with the Department of Health Victoria (DoH) Victorian Framework for Water Treatment Operator Competencies – Best Practice Guidelines, a Certified Level 3 Operator must be able to demonstrate to WIOA, acting on behalf of DoH, the completion of NWP Certificate II and Certificate III Units of competence covering the unit processes being operated at the water treatment plant/s.

Certified Water Treatment Operator Level 4

Industry experience
To apply applicants will need to be working as a water treatment operator or supervisor, have at least two years responsibility for a Level 2 facility or above, or two years assisting at a Level 3 facility AS WELL AS two years responsibility for a Level 3 plant or above – a combined experience of at least four years.

Skills and knowledge
To become certified an applicant must hold a Certificate IV in Water Operations specializing in water treatment, and MUST have completed a minimum of three Certificate IV technical treatment units relevant to the water treatment processes operated.

In addition, to comply with the Department of Health Victoria (DoH) Victorian Framework for Water Treatment Operator Competencies – Best Practice Guidelines, a Certified Level 4 Operator must be able to demonstrate to WIOA, acting on behalf of DoH, the completion of NWP Certificate IV Units of competence covering the unit processes being operated at the water treatment plant/s.

Maintaining Certification

WIOA will attempt to make contact with the certified operator 6 months prior to the end of the certification period.

The re-certification process will ensure water industry personnel obtain the latest information allowing them to keep their knowledge and skills up to date. Operators must demonstrate via a point and evidence system, the amount of professional development and accredited training undertaken within a specified time frame. (see: maintaining certification status)

Maintaining Certified Status

To maintain certified status:

  • Operators must remain active in the industry in the area related to their current certification.
  • WIOA will require documentary evidence of the accumulation of 15 points within the preceding three year period.
  • Pay the nominated renewal fee for the next three years.

Professional Development Activities and Points for RecertificationWIOA CPD Activities for Re-Certification (pdf)

Applicants for recertification must complete the Application Form which includes personal information, water business information, the plants to be recertified for, and any treatment processes added since the previous certification/recertification application.

In order to assist individuals maintain their certified status and to provide the greatest level of flexibility to employers, WIOA recognises a range of Professional Development opportunities allowing certified operators and employers to choose those options that best suit their needs.

A register and details of all the professional development activities undertaken by the individual in the previous three year period should be provided with the application.

Professional Development Categories for Maintaining Certification

Applications should be accompanied by the payment of the re-certification application fee ($110 inc GST). On completion of the re-certification process, an additional fee of $220 (inc GST) is required for the following 3 year re-certification period.

Inactive status

Any Certified operator may apply to suspend their Certified status for any period to allow for changes in job or work roles. A lower fee would then apply. Certified status can be reinstated on application.

Re-certification is valid for 3 years from the date of approval.

Certification for Victorian Water Businesses

Victoria’s Safe Drinking Water Act 2003 and Safe Drinking Water Regulations 2005 provide a comprehensive regulatory framework that encompasses a catchment-to tap, risk-based approach to the management of drinking water quality across the state.

The key objectives of this regulatory framework are to ensure that:

  • where water is supplied as drinking water it is safe to drink
  • any water not intended to be drinking water cannot be mistaken for drinking water
  • water quality information is disclosed to consumers and is open to public accountability.

On a day-to-day basis, it is the water treatment operator who carries the responsibility for ensuring that raw water is treated to the required standard, that incidents that may compromise quality are detected and addressed, and that identified risks are adequately managed. The actions taken, or not taken, by a water treatment operator can have a direct impact on the health and well being of the communities for which they undertake water treatment services.

DOH GuidelinesIn recognition of the importance that the training, experience and competence of water treatment operators has on the production of safe drinking water, the Department of Health and members of the Victorian Water Industry Association (VicWater) developed the Victorian Framework for Water Treatment Operator Competencies – Best Practice Guidelines which defined minimum training, qualification and competency standards that operators must attain and maintain in order to operate drinking water treatment facilities in the State of Victoria.

The WIOA Water Industry Operator Certification Scheme is an independent confirmation of the training, skills and competence of water treatment operators employed by a water business.

As more and more operators become certified, the level of professionalism in the water industry will continue to improve. Certification provides differentiation between water industry operational staff committed to professionalism and attainment of best practice from the remainder of the industry.

Water Businesses can be satisfied that their staff members who are certified have the skills and qualifications required for the job and are committed to excellence in their role.

Water Businesses – Suitably Qualified Persons

Water businesses are required to nominate one or more individuals to undertake the role of a “suitably qualified person”, this must be completed prior to any individual applications being submitted.

A suitably qualified person is someone who has sufficient relevant theoretical experience and/or at least three years operational experience in the unit process such that they are able to assess the competency of others, and is required to:

  • Act as the contact person for WIOA on Certification
  • Verify the applicants operating experience within their water business, including dates of employment
  • Endorse that the operator seeking certification is suitably competent for certification
    Application Form to be a Suitably Qualified Person to be completed by the Water Businesses Operations Manager or equivalent.

 Application Form to be a Suitably Qualified Person (Word – V02)

 Application Form to be a Suitably Qualified Person (PDF – V02)

The suitably qualified persons role in the certification process

All individuals must be signed off as being competent by a suitably qualified person.

Suitably qualified persons register

WIOA will maintain a register of all suitably qualified persons, that will be updated on an annual basis.

Forms

  Word Documents  
  PDF 

Re-Certification

To assist to administer the re-certification process use the WIOA Individual Professional Development Register using the Activity Numbers from the WIOA CPD Activities for Re-Certification. 

 WIOA CPD Activities for Re-Certification (PDF)

 WIOA Individual Professional Development Register (Excell V01)