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 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.