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
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.