NSW National Certification Framework Pilot

The water industry has been asking for increased regulation around water operator training for many years. In 2009, the Government, through the National Water Commission’s Raising National Water Standards program, agreed to fund a project to address this area. The initiative aimed to address the problem that no nationally agreed minimum skills and training standards existed for operators of potable water treatment facilities. This lack constituted a potentially serious public health risk situation for the community.

Since then considerable progress has been made, and with National Water Commission guidance and funding and  broad industry consultation carried out by Government Skills Australia Industry Skills Council,  a proposed National Certification Framework was presented to industry in 2012.

In mid 2013, the Water Industry Skills Taskforce (WIST) agreed to provide interim ownership of the Framework until such time as a more permanent owner could be identified. In order to ensure progress was made towards national implementation, WIST agreed to sponsor two pilots to be run in the first half of 2014: one to be managed in QLD by the QLD Water Directorate and one in NSW to be managed by the Australian Water Association.

Both Pilots are now at a close, and having provided clear evidence that the framework is valid, and offers positive opportunities for the industry, the role of Certifying body for the framework has been awarded to the Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA).