WAMITAB

LATEST UPDATE from Natural Resources Wales – Friday 1st May 2020
This guidance applies to Wales only.

Regulatory Decision (RD) guidance on Technical Competent Management is provided below:

Technical Competent Manager 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.
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. Alarm systems where required, are fully operational.
  • Have a responsive duty roster to respond to incidents.
  • Notify us where the site cannot be safely monitored.
  • Where the TCM (s) is self-isolating and not sick, every effort should be made to attempt “virtual” support to the site through teleconferencing or video links. This input, duration and method of communication must be recorded in the site diary.
  • Where the TCM is unable to support communications in self-isolation or is sick every effort should be made to identify a suitable replacement TCM. Record if their current nominated TCM(s) are self-isolating/sick in the site diary.
  • Where the TCM is self-isolating or sick (and cannot attend the site) and no TCM cover available. The operator should be able and capable of operating the plant or site safely through both their EMS and operations training using other competent staff for the short time the TCM is unavailable.
Where there has been an inability to make alternative arrangements and a breach of the permit condition occurs then NRW will record the breach on a CAR report and suspend the score.

The following will only apply to an operator who currently complies with the primary qualification and continued competence requirements prior to 16th March 2020.

Continued Technical Competence

In view of Pearson VUE test centres now being closed, Continuing Competence tests are not currently available and until the current Government’s advice changes, we 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.

It is expected that your test is re-booked as soon as the centres re-open.

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.

Environmental Permitting Operator 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.

Operator will have to endeavour to resolve this as soon as possible following availability of EPOC Courses.

There is the risk to the applicant that if a permit is issued and the applicant fails to achieve the EPOC qualification following lifting of restrictions that that operator will be in breach of the permit.


Update from Natural Resources Wales
Natural Resources Wales recognise that protecting public health is a priority during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the environmental regulator for Wales, we want to ensure that we regulate all our customers including the waste industry using proportionate and pragmatic measures during this difficult time.

We expect operators to make every reasonable effort to maintain compliance with legislation and conditions in their permit. This will include the expectation that operators and the waste sector are ensuring contingency plans are in place.

We will be communicating Regulatory Decisions and other information to clarify how we will respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Please find attached a Regulatory Decision that has been issued by Natural Resources Wales. It relates to:

      • temporary exceedance of specified waste storage limits at permitted sites;
      • or this Regulatory Decision to apply prior agreement with the regulator must be in place.
      • This Regulatory Decision will not apply where there are existing non-compliances, which pre-date the UK pandemic.
Document: Regulatory Decision - RBB-C19-017: Coronavirus response - exceeding waste storage limits at permitted sites

200407 RBBC19017 - Storage of waste at Permitted Waste Sites

200407 RBBC19017 - Storio ormod o wastraff ar safleoedd trwyddedig CYM

This Regulatory Decision applies to Wales only.

For further information, please instead contact your Site Regulator, Area team or the Customer Hub at Link


WAMITAB – Easter Bank Holiday

During the Easter Bank Holiday period WAMITAB services

will not be available after 5.00 pm on Thursday 9th April 2020;

and will resume at 9.00 am on Tuesday 14th April 2020

 

QuartzWeb



The system will be available to users during the Easter Holiday period but we will not be able to offer any user support during that period; normal email support service will resume on Tuesday 14th April 2020.

Revision Guide Orders



Currently revision guide orders are only being processed once a week; all orders received before 5.00 pm on Wednesday 8th April 2020 will be processed and despatched on Thursday 9th April 2020; orders received after this time will not be processed and despatched until Tuesday 14th April 2020.

The WAMITAB office remains closed with staff working remotely, in accordance with Government advice until further notice.

Please note that the telephone number remains closed and all queries should be directed by the following emails:

    • admin@wamitab.org.uk –  to be used for all general enquiries (not covered by the other addresses shown listed below).
 
    • csaf@wamitab.org.uk – to be used for applications for additional qualification and staff approvals.
 
    • quartzadmin@wamitab.org.uk – to be used for enquiries relating to registrations, exams, results, certificates and quartz user issues.
   

Happy Easter!

 

Update: 24 March 2020 Technically Competent Managers and Waste Sites
WAMITAB has been in routine contact with the Environment Agency (EA) on issues relating to Technically Competent Managers (TCM) during the current period of COVID-19 restrictions. They have provided a guidance note, which contains generic advice across all waste sectors. It is understood that some operators may be closing sites following the restrictions imposed by the Government yesterday evening, although others will remain open. The  EA guidance note is shown below.

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

In view of Pearson VUE test centres now being closed, Continuing Competence tests not currently being available and until the current Government’s advice changes, we 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. If this applies to you or your TCM, please contact both the EA and WAMITAB as soon as possible to let us know.

Guidance from Pearson VUE (19th March 2020)

Effective from Friday 20th March 2020, test delivery is suspended at the Pearson VUE-owned and operated Professional Centers (PPCs) throughout the UK. Exam delivery services will resume once it is determined safe to do so. Candidates will receive email cancellations, and they can attempt to reschedule exams at a later date at PearsonVUE.com. Candidates with canceled exams will either receive a refund (if paid to Pearson VUE) or an extension as determined by your exam sponsor. We will continue to deliver exams to any third-party test centers still operational in the UK. Consequently, Continuing Competence Test candidates will not be able to take their test until further notice and WAMITAB is advising candidates to contact Pearson VUE to receive a refund. Please note that candidates should keep a copy of their Pearson VUE booking advice notice as evidence of their willingness to comply with permitting regulations. Candidates will be required to take the test when the test centres re-open and should monitor the WAMITAB and Pearson VUE website for updates.

LATEST UPDATE: COVID-19 (Tuesday 17 March 2020)
As a result of the published guidance from government, we have now taken the decision to reduce operations at WAMITAB HQ to a minimum, with a reduced rota of staff on site daily to ensure we can maintain a reduced service as well as appropriate social distancing for the health and safety of our team.

As a result, the following measures will be implemented:

  • WAMITAB telephone lines will be closed from 5pm on Tuesday 17th March 2020 until further notice
However, we will continue to offer advice, guidance and support via the following channels:

  • info.admin@wamitab.org.uk - to be used for all general enquiries (not covered by the information listed below)
  • quartzadmin@wamitab.org.uk – to be used for enquiries relating to registrations, exams, results, certificates and quartz user issues.
  • qualifications@wamitab.org.uk – to be used for enquiries relating to quality assurance, EQA visits and portfolio sampling.
  • csaf@wamitab.org.uk – to be used for applications for additional qualification and staff approvals.
The following contingencies have also been put in place:

Revision Guide Orders Orders will only be processed Monday, Thursday and Friday until further notice.

Learner Registrations WAMITAB does not expect there to be an impact on the registration process, and will continue to allow the registration of learners for all WAMITAB Centres, using the WAMITAB Quartz system.

Certification Arrangements WAMITAB will continue to prepare the Quartz system to print certificates, and learner achievements will be recorded. Certificates will be produced at regular intervals and issued. The next certificate print and post date will be 25th March 2020.

Certification Arrangements – Specific to Operator Competence (Primary Qualification) The advice provided above for Certification Arrangements applies, however, please be assured that we are liaising with the Environment Agency in relation to any certificate delays. As we will continue to award certificates on the WAMITAB database, we will be able to advise the Environment Agency of any learners who have achieved the required competence but have not yet received their certificate. We will continue to make this portal available to the EA also.

Assessment Arrangements - Observational, Question and Answer, Professional Discussion Centres have already reported that planned assessments are being postponed by employers and learners as a result of existing social distancing measures. Where possible, Assessors are permitted to carry out assessments online (for example, using Skype) providing that the usual assessment requirements are met, including but not limited to: VARCS, Record Keeping and Recording.

Provision of Exams (Paper Based) We will continue to provide exams by post where ordered, however, we will require the request 5 days prior to the planned exam date. Results will be delayed as a result of the office scale down, the next result issue date will be 25th March 2020.

Provision of Exams (Online – Classmarker) We will continue to offer exam links for online examinations. Results for online examinations will continue to be provided on receipt (via email) of scanned invigilation paperwork.

Continuing Competence Exams (Pearson Vue Test Centres) WAMITAB will update advice provided by Pearson Vue regularly. This can be viewed on the WAMITAB webpage: https://wamitab.org.uk/competence/continuing-competence/

Quality Assurance Your EQA or a member of the WAMITAB qualifications team will be in touch regarding any booked or due Centre visits or sampling activity to arrange to either carry out the activity remotely or postpone where this is not possible.

Providing that Centres are able to provide portfolios electronically, or via courier delivery, we do not anticipate an interruption to this service.

Accounts We will continue to offer an accounts service, via email, remotely.

UPDATE: Covid-19 (Monday 16 March 2020)
WAMITAB are committed to ensuring the highest level of service for all customers and stakeholders. The unprecedented situation in relation to the spread of Covid-19, self-isolation advice from Public Health England and high call volumes have impacted our ability to maintain our existing published timeframes for specific operational activities. Whilst we want to provide as swift a service as possible, we must prioritise the health and safety of our staff, and the quality of information provided to our customers.

To enable us to do this, we will be making the following amendments to our published timeframes, which will take effect immediately:

  • Responses to emails received in generic mailboxes (for example, admin@wamitab.org.uk and quartzadmin@wamitab.org.uk) will be extended from 3 days to 5 days. If your email is urgent and a delayed response will result in disadvantage to a learner, please use ‘URGENT’ in the subject line. These emails will be prioritised. You are also welcome to call us for urgent enquiries on 01604 231950.

  • Issue of certificates will be delayed, from 10 days to 15 days (this will apply to all existing claims and future claims).

  • Issue of exam results will be delayed, from 5 days to 10 days (this will apply to all cohorts currently awaiting a result, and future results).

The following services will not be impacted, to remove any unnecessary disadvantage to learners preparing for exams:

  • Issue of exam papers (hard copy) and electronic links for online exams

  • Issue of revision guides (timeframe to remain as is, to prevent any disadvantage for learners who need to prepare for pre-booked Pearson Vue exams)

We appreciate your understanding during this time, and will continue to review our capacity to ensure that this extension is maintained for the minimum required time.

If you have any further questions relating to our Covid-19 response, please email qualifications@wamitab.org.uk  

9th March 2020 – COVID-19 Information
WAMITAB has carried out a full risk assessment of areas of work which may be impacted by the spread of COVID-19. At present, WAMITAB is operating at full capacity, with no delay to registration of learners, issue of examination papers, issue of results and issue of certificates. WAMITAB opening hours have not been impacted, and we continue to offer a full service by telephone and email between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. For information relating to Continuing Competence tests, please click here. As efforts to control the COVID-19 outbreak continue, we will continue to monitor the situation and will act upon any new guidance provided by Local Authorities and Government Agencies as it becomes available. This notice will be updated accordingly.

Cleaning industry representative sought for the WAMITAB Board of Trustees
WAMITAB is seeking to appoint a suitable representative of the UK cleaning industry to support the WAMITAB Board of Trustees.

The successful candidate will have senior strategic level experience of the UK cleaning industry including significant responsibility for staff and resources. The individual will be well connected to employers and employment throughout the industry and have excellent knowledge of issues facing the industry. In addition, they will have knowledge of qualifications and apprenticeships that the support the industry and on how these can be used to promote productivity and efficiency.

We usually hold 4-5 board meetings per year at our Northampton office, and anticipate that the total time commitment would be approximately 4-5 days per year.

Please note that this role is unpaid, although WAMITAB supports expenses of Trustees as requested.

Interested parties should request an application form via the WAMITAB Company Secretary: Lyndsay.Bowles@wamitab.org.uk

Closing date is 10.00 am on Monday 2nd March 2020 and interviews will be held on Friday 13th March 2020 at the WAMITAB office in Northampton.


Non Levy Paying Employers to gain access to Apprenticeship funding
Since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017, apprenticeships haven’t been widely available to non- levy paying employers.

The Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has now released new funding rules for non- levy paying employers.

From January 2020 it is now possible for employers to reserve their funding for up to 3 apprentices at a time using the digital apprenticeship service.

This funding will only be available for Apprenticeship Standards (not Frameworks, which are due to be closed to new registrations from August 2020).

This is a positive step for smaller employers wishing to employ an Apprentice, or to up-skill existing members of staff.

Standards which are available to our sector include:


Standards that are nearing approval are:


Proposed Apprenticeship development for 2020 :

  • Waste Management Technical Manager – Level 4

WAMITAB are an ESFA approved End-Point Assessment Organisation; visit our website to see what Standards we are approved to assess. We will be expanding the list to include more Standards during 2020.

For more information on the ESFA funding reservations for non-levy paying employers see here.

If you have any questions about how Apprenticeships can work for your business, then please contact:


Seeking to strengthen our External Quality Assurance function
In recent years WAMITAB’s portfolio of accredited qualifications has increased, requiring an attendant increase in external quality assurance.  WAMITAB now seeks to contract with further suitably qualified self-employed experts in the field of Sustainable Resource Management and/or Cleaning Services to support its External Quality Assurance function.

Applicants will ideally possess extensive experience in the operation of Sustainable Resource Management activities focusing primarily in the Sustainable Waste Management qualification subject areas at management level. Cleaning Services experts will have demonstrable skills and experience in cleaning, cleaning science and/or facilities services.

Expertise in these areas should be coupled with a thorough understanding of vocational education delivery. Applicants should hold a minimum teaching/assessor and/or internal quality assurer/verifier qualification. Applicants should ideally hold a relevant EQA qualification; however WAMITAB is prepared to support achievement of this qualification for the right individuals.

Applications would be welcomed from suitably qualified assessors, IQAs etc with appropriate occupational competence based in the North of England and West of England/Wales.

External Quality Assurers will be self-employed, reporting to WAMITAB Director of Qualifications and Standards.

More information can be found in the attached document: EQA Advert

If you are interested in applying for this position, please send a copy of your CV and a detailed account of the reasons why you consider your skills and personality ideal for this post to katie.cockburn@wamitab.org.uk

The closing date for applications is Friday 31st January 2020.