WAMITAB

Update from Natural Resources Wales – 6th May 2021

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Regulatory Decision

Technical competence - CIWM/WAMITAB Operator Competence Scheme NRW recognise that many elements of maintaining technical competence will have been impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic. NRW have adapted their regulatory approach to acknowledge the issues in the areas of:
  • site attendance
  • gaining Environmental Permitting Operators Certificate (EPOC)
  • continued technical competence

Site Attendance

NRW understand that many operators will be concerned about how they can satisfy attendance requirements whilst sites are running on reduced staffing levels and staff may well be ill or self-isolating. NRW state they will be pragmatic in their approach.

Continued Technical Competence

Social distancing requirements have impacted on the availability of tests at Pearson-VUE test centres and NRW have advised that they will not regard the failure to complete a continuing competence assessment that became due after 16 March 2020 as being a failure to comply with the CIWM/WAMITAB Operator Competence scheme. There will be a requirement to demonstrate you have registered with WAMITAB to undertake this test. If this applies to you or your TCM, please contact both NRW and WAMITAB as soon as possible to let us know. WAMITAB are keeping a log of those who have contacted them. NRW will be checking this list.

Environmental Permitting Operators Certificate (EPOC)

Where an operator is relying on the EPOC for permit application or for lower tier risk sites (per WAMITAB tiers). The inability to provide the EPOC for qualification for new permit application or low tier risk sites will not prevent permit application processing. NRW will continue to process permit applications without the EPOCs providing the applicant is registered with an intent to complete the EPOC. There will a requirement to demonstrate that you have registered with the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) and that you provide this proof on a permit application. NRW will check validity with CIWM. The Operator will have to endeavour to resolve this as soon as possible following availability of EPOC Courses.

This Regulatory Decision will be valid until 1st September 2021.


WAMITAB launches gamified training to help overcome learning barriers for resource and waste operatives

In partnership with Academii and supported by Ufi VocTech Trust, WAMITAB have developed two waste site safety games designed to overcome key learning barriers in the resource and waste management sector. The games, launched on World Day for Safety & Health at Work, aim to create a more immersive learning environment which will enable employers to deliver targeted training messages quickly to large numbers of operational employees in a fun, engaging and accessible way. As well as providing valuable opportunities to improve learning outcomes and speed up the time to competence, this gamified approach also creates a new avenue to improved health and safety by engaging learners working in high risk environments and encouraging them to put safety first. This new online training was developed in response to a Specialist Call from Ufi to explore how a digital approach could support innovation in adult vocational skills provision. Rebecca Garrod-Waters, CEO of Ufi, said:
“At Ufi VocTech Trust, we champion the power of technology to improve skills for work and deliver better outcomes for all and these games are a brilliant example of the way tech can deliver engaging and effective learning to meet the needs of the workplace.”
The project began with a discovery phase to identify key challenges related to upskilling operative-level employees in the sector. Findings showed that the main barriers to learning were linked to motivation and accessibility, including lack of funding, minimal space on site, time restrictions, literacy and numeracy skills, and a hesitation towards learning in traditional environments. To support the development of the games, employers were consulted at regular intervals and the training was piloted with operatives and managers from Re-Gen Waste, as well as the Chairperson of Waste Industry Safety and Health Northern Ireland (WISHNI), to ensure the outcomes were aligned with the needs of learners. Jay Moosaye, Head of Commercial Development at Re-Gen Waste, said:
“As Chartered members of CIWM, we were delighted to support the development and user testing of WAMITAB's app-based learning. The pilot has proven highly valuable to us in many key areas, such as speed and accessibility of training material, immersion and relevance, content absorption and delivery, while transcending language and text-based limitations.”
The games focus on hazard awareness and fire evacuation procedures, two important skills areas among waste operatives, and have been designed to be image-led to overcome language barriers and support those with limited literacy skills, one of the key challenges identified during the initial discovery phase. Steve Lanigan, CEO of Academii, said:
“WAMITAB and Re-Gen Waste have been instrumental in seeking to engage learners on safety critical topics using pioneering, dynamic content to help increase awareness and workplace safety through gamified learning. The gamified element helps to break down barriers to education and training, promoting a safety message to help reduce workplace injuries in the recycling sector.”
Upon completing the games, learners will be made aware of relevant WAMITAB qualifications which may offer further training opportunities. Katie Cockburn, Professional Services Director of WAMITAB, said:
“We hope these initial games will provide the blueprint for a vocational learning model which can be utilised in sectors where time is short, funding for learning is limited, and traditional training methods are not addressing some skills gaps which continue to grow. We would like to work closely with professional bodies, trade associations, learning providers and employers to identify if these markets could benefit from a similar solution.”
In celebration of World Day for Safety & Health at Work, the games will be free to access until 30 July 2021. Employers who are interested in developing similar solutions to support the learning needs of their staff are invited to contact WAMITAB for further information. Full details are available here.

Environment Agency position on Technical Competence extended until 1st July 2021 – 17th March 2021

Complying with Technical Competence schemes during Coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions Operators of permitted waste facilities relying on the CIWM/WAMITAB scheme to demonstrate Technical Competence are required to gain qualifications and pass assessments according to a timeframe set out in the scheme. Classroom-based training and test centres required for some of these have limited availability due to the implementation of social distancing measures. We expect candidates to try to book the relevant training and assessments in advance of when they are due but recognise that, in some cases, this may not be possible. We will not regard the failure to complete and pass either:
  • an Environmental Permit Operators Certificate (EPOC) within 4 weeks of permitted activities commencing, or
  • a continuing competence assessment
as being a failure to comply with the WAMITAB/CIWM competence scheme until 1 July 2021 provided that:
  • the EPOC or continuing competence assessment is not overdue by more than 6 months
  • the candidate has made a booking for the earliest available date
  • the operator has notified their local regulatory officer
  • in the case of a continuing competence assessment, the operator has notified WAMITAB as well so that they can keep a database of affected candidates
Where these circumstances arise in connection with an application for a permit, the applicant must still provide evidence of registration/booking for the appropriate qualification and/or training within their application as usual.

London Based Funding Opportunity

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched a new competitive grant award process – Adult Education: Good Work for All.

It is open to all skills providers located in London and the ‘London Fringe’ to apply to deliver adult education and training services to Londoners. This new provision will support the London Recovery Programme in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will be used to deliver training, education, and employability support that helps Londoners to gain relevant skills, retrain, and move into good work in sectors key to London’s recovery:
  • The minimum amount award will be £100,000 per academic year, and the maximum amount will be £1.25m
  • Bidders apply to deliver across two academic years – 2021/22 and 2022/23
  • The AEB supports four legal entitlements to full funding for eligible adult learners:
  • English and maths, up to and including level 2, for individuals aged 19 and above, who have not previously attained a GCSE grade A* - C or grade 4, or higher, and/or
  • A first full qualification at level 2 for individuals aged 19 to 23, and/or
  • A first full qualification at level 3 for individuals aged 19+, and/or
  • Information technology (‘digital’) skills, up to and including level 1, for individuals aged 19 and over, who have digital skills assessed at below level 1
The purpose of the Good Work for All Fund is to put in place additional AEB provision and activities to provide Londoners most affected by the pandemic with skills that will help them to access good work – as well as to meet other mission objectives, such as supporting the green recovery or tackling digital exclusion. Applicants need to demonstrate how their project will fund provision that:
  • aligns to London’s Recovery Programme and supports the priority groups particularly impacted by the pandemic;
  • adds value to existing AEB provision;
  • is supported by clear evidence of local, sub-regional and/or London-wide demand for sectoral skills and job creation potential;
  • is shaped or supported by sector employers, business and other representatives; and
  • includes partnerships with employers/business, civil society organisations and public bodies (e.g. Job Centre Plus, London boroughs)
The sectors outlined in the missions – Digital, Health and Social Care, Green Economy and Creative Industries – have current and long-term economic growth and job creation potential or, in the case of health and social care, play a critical role in supporting London’s recovery. Providers can make a case to deliver provision aligned with other sectors where they can demonstrate why that sector should be considered a priority in the context of London’s Recovery. Whatever the activity, it should aim to:
  • address the skills needs of priority groups identified in the Recovery Evidence Base as being hardest hit by the pandemic;
  • develop relevant sector/cross-sector-specific provision in partnership with employers, business and representative bodies, civil society organisations and public bodies;
  • provide a range of learning and training opportunities to support the recruitment and retention of priority groups;
  • support learner progression; from entry level to level 3 and into work (demonstrate a strategic commitment to developing expertise and high-quality provision in the chosen sector(s) beyond the funding window);
  • be aligned with progression into good work – i.e. occupations paid at or above the London Living Wage; and no exploitative use of zero hours contracts; and
  • recognise that the impact of COVID-19 means that priority groups will include a diversity of Londoners, including those with higher levels of skills and work experience and the need for provision to accommodate/recognise these.
The deadline for applications in 17:00 on 19 March 2021, and you can view the full press release here. You can also view the full Good Work for All prospectus here.

CIWM Group Vacancy – Qualifications and Standards Executives (2 positions available)
CIWM Group, the parent organisation for WAMITAB, are looking for two new members to join an expanding team as Qualifications and Standards Executives. Whilst based in Northampton, staff are currently working from home, and long term home working is negotiable. Further information about the role is available in the detailed job and person specification, click on the link: Qualifications & Standards Executive. To apply for a position, please provide covering email and CV to Louise.Wilson@wamitab.org.uk by Friday 22nd January 2021. Interviews will be held remotely during w/c 25th January 2021.  

UPDATE from the Environment Agency – TCM attendance during Coronavirus (Covid-19) Restrictions – 7th December 2020

External briefing on technical competence during the pandemic

We understand that many operators will be concerned about how they can satisfy attendance requirements whilst sites are running on reduced staffing levels and staff may well be ill or self-isolating. We will be pragmatic in our approach.
  • There is still a requirement to have a technically competent person as a requirement of the permit.
  • The TCM attendance hours are within the guidance on GOV.UK and they are an indication that site activities are in being overseen by a technically competent manager.
  • Operators are required to make provision for alternative TCM cover to cover all forms of absence but that may not always be possible during the current pandemic.
  • Where the TCM is self-isolating or sick and cannot attend the site, the operator should be able and capable of operating the plant or site safely through both their EMS and operational training.
  • Operators should:
    • Review their training and capability structure to ensure roles, responsibilities and accident plans are in place to ensure that they are fit for purpose
    • Ensure that remote systems are operational and any alarms systems where required, are fully operational
    • Have a responsive duty roster to respond to incidents
    • Notify us if the site cannot be safely monitored
    • Record if their nominated TCM(s) are self-isolating in the site diary
  • All other obligations, permits, permit conditions and registrations remain applicable as appropriate. You must keep records that evidence the impacts of Coronavirus (Covid-19), such as impact on staffing, systems, contractors and supply chain failure, specific to your company/site/issues.

Complying with technical competence schemes during Coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions

Operators of permitted waste facilities relying on the CIWM/WAMITAB scheme to demonstrate Technical Competence are required to gain qualifications and pass assessments according to a timeframe set out in the scheme. Classroom based training and test centres required for some of these have limited availability due to the implementation of social distancing measures. We expect candidates to try to book the relevant training and assessments in advance of when they are due but recognise that in some cases that may not be possible. We will not regard the failure to complete and pass either:
  • an Environmental Permit Operators Certificate (EPOC) within 4 weeks of permitted activities commencing, or
  • a continuing competence assessment
as being a failure to comply with the Wamtab/CIWM competence scheme until 1 April 2021 provided that:
  • the EPOC or continuing competence assessment is not overdue by more than 6 months
  • the candidate has made a booking for the earliest available date
  • the operator has notified their local regulatory officer
  • in the case of a continuing competence assessment, the operator has notified WAMITAB as well so that they can keep a database of affected candidates.
Where these circumstances arise in connection with an application for a permit, the applicant must still provide evidence of registration/booking for the appropriate qualification and/or training within their application as usual.

Christmas and New Year

Christmas and New Year Arrangements

  • The WAMITAB telephone line will move to answer service at 12.30 pm on Thursday 24th December 2020
  • The office and telephone line will re-open at 9.00 am on Monday 4th January 2021.
Revision Guide Orders
  • All orders received by 9.00 am on Monday 21st December 2020 will be processed and despatched by Wednesday 23rd December 2020
  • Orders received after this time will not be processed until the office re-opens on Monday 4th January 2021.
QuartzWeb
  • The system will be available to users during the Christmas/New Year office closure but we are unable to offer any user support during that period; normal service will resume when the office re-opens on Monday 4th January 2021.
  • Please note all certificate and results processing times will begin when the office re-opens on 4th January 2021.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy and successful New Year.

 

Update from Natural Resources Wales – updated 4th January 2021

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Regulatory Decision

Technical competence - CIWM/WAMITAB Operator Competence Scheme NRW recognise that many elements of maintaining technical competence will have been impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic. NRW have adapted their regulatory approach to acknowledge the issues in the areas of:
  • site attendance
  • gaining Environmental Permitting Operators Certificate (EPOC)
  • continued technical competence

Site Attendance

NRW understand that many operators will be concerned about how they can satisfy attendance requirements whilst sites are running on reduced staffing levels and staff may well be ill or self-isolating. NRW state they will be pragmatic in their approach.

Continued Technical Competence

Social distancing requirements have impacted on the availability of tests at Pearson-VUE test centres and NRW have advised that they will not regard the failure to complete a continuing competence assessment that became due after 16 March 2020 as being a failure to comply with the CIWM/WAMITAB Operator Competence scheme. There will be a requirement to demonstrate you have registered with WAMITAB to undertake this test. If this applies to you or your TCM, please contact both NRW and WAMITAB as soon as possible to let us know. WAMITAB are keeping a log of those who have contacted them. NRW will be checking this list.

Environmental Permitting Operators Certificate (EPOC)

Where an operator is relying on the EPOC for permit application or for lower tier risk sites (per WAMITAB tiers). The inability to provide the EPOC for qualification for new permit application or low tier risk sites will not prevent permit application processing. NRW will continue to process permit applications without the EPOCs providing the applicant is registered with an intent to complete the EPOC. There will a requirement to demonstrate that you have registered with the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) and that you provide this proof on a permit application. NRW will check validity with CIWM. The Operator will have to endeavour to resolve this as soon as possible following availability of EPOC Courses.

This Regulatory Decision will be valid until valid until 31st March 2021.

Full details about the Regulatory  Decision available from the NRW website


LATEST: Technical Competence (England) – 18 September 2020

Complying with technical competence schemes during Coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions

Operators of permitted waste facilities relying on the CIWM/WAMITAB scheme to demonstrate Technical Competence are required to gain qualifications and pass assessments according to a timeframe set out in the scheme. Classroom based training and test centres required for some of these have limited availability due to the implementation of social distancing measures.

We expect candidates to try to book the relevant training and assessments in advance of when they are due but recognise that in some cases that may not be possible. We will not regard the failure to complete and pass either:

as being a failure to comply with the CIWM/WAMITAB competence scheme until 1 January 2021 provided that:

  • the candidate has made a booking for the earliest available date
  • the operator has notified their local regulatory officer
  • in the case of a continuing competence assessment, the operator has notified WAMITAB as well so that they can keep a database of affected candidates.
Where these circumstances arise in connection with an application for a permit, the applicant must still provide evidence of registration/booking for the appropriate qualification and/or training within their application as usual.

End-Point Assessor for Level 3 SHE Technician Apprenticeship Required

WAMITAB are looking for an End-Point Assessor to work with us on an Associate basis for the Level 3 SHE Technician Apprenticeship.



Applicants will need:

  • At least a Level 3 SHE qualification


  • Occupational competence with evidence of CPD


  • A relevant assessment qualification


Work is available with a near immediate start following a successful application and induction period with regular work projected to be available until the end of 2020 at least.

For more information email: epa@wamitab.org.uk