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

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.

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:

WAMITAB Chief Executive steps down

Following the announcement on 22nd July 2020 regarding the closer integration of WAMITAB into the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), we are announcing that Chris James has stepped down from his role as Chief Executive Officer of WAMITAB.

Since 2017, WAMITAB has been part of the CIWM Group. CIWM Group Chief Executive Sarah Poulter will be taking forward the integration plan for the two organisations in consultation with both CIWM and WAMITAB trustee boards.

Dan Cooke, the newly-appointed Chair of the WAMITAB Board, said: “In common with most organisations, 2020 has been a challenging year, and it is important that we take steps now to consolidate our ongoing financial sustainability and resilience. The closer alignment of CIWM and WAMITAB is central to this strategy and will allow us to take advantage of opportunities for streamlining and sharing of resources and plan for some exciting opportunities as we work in collaboration.

“We would like to thank Chris James for his leadership and drive over the last eight years; he has played a key role in successfully steering WAMITAB to its current position as a robust specialist awarding organisation and End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO). We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Chair of WAMITAB, Rob Little, for his hard work and support during his tenure in the role.”

Chris was appointed as CEO of WAMITAB in March 2012 and has been instrumental in diversifying the organisation into new skills areas, reflecting the evolution of some of the key players in the waste and resource management sector. Over the last eight years, WAMITAB has gained a strong foothold in the parking and cleaning sectors and, in January 2018, WAMITAB was selected by the Ministry of Justice as the exclusive Awarding Organisation for cleaning, facilities management and waste management qualifications across Her Majesty’s Prison Service establishments in England and Wales. WAMITAB has also been approved to deliver End-Point Assessment for several apprenticeship standards in waste, cleaning and related areas.

Chris James was made a Fellow of the CIWM in June 2020 in recognition of his work at WAMITAB and his wider contribution to the sector. Reflecting on his time at WAMITAB,

Chris James said: “It’s been a great honour to head up the team at WAMITAB, and I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the last eight years. I am confident that I leave behind a strong foundation for the future growth of the awarding body offer within the new combined organisation. I am looking forward to working with CIWM and WAMITAB in a consultative capacity to support future strands of activity around educational development and quality assurance.”

Notes to Editors:

1. CIWM is the leading professional body for the resource and waste management sector representing around 5,700 individuals in the UK, Ireland and overseas. Established in 1898, CIWM is a non-profit making organisation, dedicated to the promotion of professional competence amongst waste managers. CIWM seeks to raise standards for those working in and with the sector by producing best practice guidance, developing educational and training initiatives, and providing information on key waste-related issues. More information can be found at

2. WAMITAB is a specialist awarding organisation and charity that works directly with industry to shape and deliver employer-led qualifications for those working in cleaning, street cleansing, facilities management, resource management and recycling and parking from operative through to management level. With over 120 qualification pathways and 70 quality assured centres, WAMITAB offers an unrivalled specialist network to support employee development and is dedicated to delivering industry-relevant qualifications and support. WAMITAB is approved as an End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) for the following apprenticeship standards: Level 2 Healthcare Cleaning Operative; Level 2 Metal Recycling General Operative; Level 2 Waste Resource Operative; Level 3 Facilities Management Supervisor and Level 3 S.H.E. Technician. More information can be found at

The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) is announcing today (22 July 2020) the integration of WAMITAB, the awarding body for qualifications in the resources and waste sector, cleaning, facilities management and parking, more closely into CIWM.

WAMITAB was established (as the Waste Management Industry Training & Advisory Board) in 1989 by CIWM and other waste sector trade bodies. Solely owned by CIWM since 2017, it is a not-for-profit body with charitable status and its own Board of Trustees. WAMITAB develops and awards qualifications for site and facility operators across the UK to demonstrate competence in line with the sector’s regulatory and permitting regime. It also develops and awards qualifications for those working in cleaning and street cleansing, facilities management and parking.

As the professional body for the resources and waste sector, CIWM is focused on providing a high-quality professional membership experience, from thought leadership on legislation and policy issues, through to knowledge-sharing, networking and mentoring opportunities for members to enhance individual development. In these challenging times, CIWM’s strategy has been to strengthen its focus on developing new and enhanced member services, as well as taking steps to ensure ongoing commercial sustainability and resilience of the whole organisation. The closer integration of WAMITAB into CIWM is part of this strategy and the CIWM Trustee Board has approved a plan to ensure this is delivered in a timely and cost-effective way.

In the initial stage of the integration, WAMITAB will continue to operate as now across all its client sectors, with its own governance structure but with some streamlining and sharing of resources. As work develops to more closely align the operation and future strategies of both organisations, CIWM will be consulting and communicating fully with staff, members, learners and training providers, and other stakeholders.

Some of NRWs Regulatory Decisions (RD) have been extended as outlined below.

  • The storage of Waste at Permitted Waste Sites – will be reviewed on or before 30th September 2020
  • Technical Competent Manager Attendance and Continued Competence - will be reviewed on or before 30th September 2020
  • Providing signatures on waste documentation during the Coronavirus pandemic - will be reviewed on or before 1st September 2020

These RDs are available on NRW website, which is updated as things change.

These Regulatory Decisions apply to Wales only.

WAMITAB are delighted to announce they have been approved by the Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to offer End-Point Assessment for the new Level 2 Healthcare Cleaning Operative.

The Healthcare Cleaning Apprenticeship was approved in February 2020 and has been welcomed by key industry bodies: the Association for Healthcare Cleaning Professionals (AHCP), Cleaning and Support Services Association (CSSA), the British Cleaning Council and WAMITAB who have played an active role in its development.

The apprenticeship is the only standard with a direct focus on cleaning and so will be important for the cleaning industry, who play an integral role in keeping buildings clean and combating the spread of infections such as COVID 19. It will help meet the significant demand for apprenticeships in the NHS and healthcare sector; the NHS Apprenticeship Levy is worth some £200m and could be used to address critical skills needs across the UK health system.

The Standard, with an allocated funding band of £4000, will support those working in healthcare environments that require greater attention to safety and infection control. This includes a range of both public and private sector environments such NHS hospitals, private hospitals and care homes (nursing and residential). This Standard may also be suitable for some GP practices, first aid facilities, community health centres, educational establishments and leisure facilities where their cleaning operatives have a broad cleaning role. The 12-month apprenticeship involves responsibility for routine and non-routine cleaning, including detailed cleaning and rapid response cleaning to a hygienic standard of cleanliness set by organisational and policy guidelines.

An employer group, including healthcare employers, with support from trade unions, universities, education, awarding organisations and a number of industry associations, has been working on the development of the healthcare cleaning standard since 2019. WAMITAB and the AHCP actively supported the employer group, led by the CSSA member, Exclusive Cleaning.

Chris James, CEO at WAMITAB, said:

“From the outset, WAMITAB Trustees committed to support the development of the Healthcare Cleaning Operative apprenticeship standard. It was crucial that WAMITAB, industry partners and Government stood shoulder to shoulder to develop and support its introduction. I strongly believe that at this pivotal point in UK history, no other apprenticeship could be more appropriate to the needs of society than healthcare cleaning.”

Delia Cannings, National Lead for Education & Training at AHCP, said:

“I believe that the specialist work undertaken by healthcare cleaning teams requires professional acknowledgement. The new standard embeds the fundamental principles of cleaning as a science, whilst embracing the very essence of the risk assessment factors. The attention drawn to the cleaning industry during the current COVID-19 pandemic makes the timing perfect for the introduction of this apprenticeship, which facilitates the development of skills and knowledge; measures effectiveness and supports efficient service delivery.”

In its role as the End-point Assessment Organisation (EPAO), WAMITAB will provide apprentices, employers and training providers with support and guidance from the beginning of their programme. A range of materials will be provided to help prepare apprentices for their assessments such as example assessment materials and suggested reading lists to aid revision for the knowledge test.

In addition, WAMITAB are developing a Level 2 qualification which will align with the knowledge requirements of the Healthcare Cleaning Operative Apprenticeship. This qualification will be supported with a full training package, including workbooks, which could be used as part of the portfolio of evidence. Two of WAMITAB’s regulated qualifications: Level 1 Award in Cleaning Principles and the Level 1 Award in the Principles of Infection Prevention and Control, come with a complete package of training and assessment materials and could be offered outside of the Apprenticeship Levy funding to support the delivery of underpinning knowledge elements.

For further information about the Healthcare Cleaning Operative apprenticeship please email

More information here

The WAMITAB office will be open three days each week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with a reduced number of staff onsite.

There will be a limited telephone service on these days, if no reply please leave a message and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

Email enquiries will continue to be answered in the usual way:

  • - to be used for all general enquiries (not covered by the information listed below)
  • – to be used for enquiries relating to registrations, exams, results, certificates and quartz user issues.
  • – to be used for enquiries relating to quality assurance, EQA visits and portfolio sampling.
  • – to be used for applications for additional qualification and staff approvals.

Revision Guide orders will be processed and despatched on Monday, Wednesday and Friday until further notice.

The Environment Agency (EA) have provided the following guidance:

TCM attendance during COVID-19 restrictions

  • 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.
  • 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 operations training.

Operators should:

  • Review their training and capability structure to ensure roles, responsibilities and accident plans are in place and reviewed to ensure that they are fit for purpose.
  • Ensure that remote systems are operational. Alarms systems where required, are fully operational.
  • Have a responsive duty roster to respond to incidents.
  • Notify us where the site cannot be safely monitored.
  • Record if their nominated TCM(s) are self-isolating in the site diary.

Difficulties in taking Continuing Competence tests

Pearson VUE test centres are now open but not operating at full capacity due to the requirement to comply with social distancing guidelines. The EA will not regard the failure to complete and pass any of the assessments in the circumstances listed below as being a failure to comply with the CIWM/WAMITAB Operator Competence scheme until 30 September 2020; where:

  • under a new permit, an operator is required to gain an Environmental Permit Operators Certificate (EPOC) or 4 specified units of a primary qualification within 4 weeks of permitted activities commencing
  • under a new permit, an operator benefitting from the period of grace provisions cannot be assessed for their primary qualification within 12 months of their permitted activities commencing,
  • a continuing competence assessment becomes due after 16 March 2020.

If any of these scenarios apply at your site then you should contact your local environment compliance officer as soon as possible.

This guidance applies to Wales only.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) - Regulatory Decision (RD) guidance on Technical Competent Management is provided below:

Continued Technical Competence

Pearson VUE test centres are now open but not operating at full capacity due to the requirement to comply with social distancing guidelines. In these circumstances, NRW 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.

Where an application for a permit is made and continued competence was due after 16 March, we won’t take that as a failure to prove technical competence and we will determine the application as per normal.

There will be a requirement to demonstrate you have registered with WAMITAB to undertake this test and already have the relevant primary qualifications that align with the type of facility you are making an application for.

Where a permit already exists and obtaining continued competence is not possible. The details will be noted on a compliance assessment report, scored but that score held in suspension.

There is the risk to the operator who fails to achieve continued competence following lifting of restrictions on gaining qualification that that operator will be in breach of the permit or this may delay permit issue. In this instance the operator will be expected to provide replacement TCM cover to remain compliant.

This Regulatory Decision will be reviewed by 1 September 2020.

Full details about technical competence and site attendance are available on the Natural Resources Wales website