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.