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Reviewed Water Industry qualifications endorsed

The water industry that supplies and treats water and wastewater is rapidly evolving and the skills required to deliver these critical services are also on the move.

The Water Industry Reference Committee (IRC) has successfully completed a project to review the qualifications at a Certificate II (entry level) and Certificate III (trade level), ensuring the workforce has the right skills for the supply and treatment of Australia’s water and that it remains world class.

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Skills Council recently endorsed the National Water Industry Training Package which incorporates new work practices and technologies and streamlines training and career pathways for the industry’s workforce.

The IRC established a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), comprising subject matter experts from around Australia to review the qualifications. The TAC conducted the technical and complex task of reviewing and updating 93 Units of Competency, aligning occupational skills standards to changes to technology, safety and environmental requirements.

The Certificate II in Water Industry Operations was reviewed to create a well-rounded generalist qualification for entry level into the Water Industry. The qualification allows for operators to select specialist units for a specific job role.

The three existing Certificate III qualifications reviewed were amalgamated into a single qualification. Additional occupational skills streams were added to align with operational roles covering network operations, trade waste, water treatment or wastewater treatment, and network construction sectors.

Paul Skelsey, Water TAC member taking Water IRC members through the wastewater treatment plant at Beenyup, WA.

The revised qualifications will also enable workers in remote Australian areas to gain the correct skills for their roles, which are commonly quite diverse compared to those of urban operators.

IRC Chair George Wall said “water industry operators provide an essential service to our communities on a 24/7 basis. The delivery of safe drinking water and the treatment of wastewater to protect the environment is the cornerstone of maintaining our way of life. The review and update of the qualifications and all the units within Certificate II and III will help develop and deliver the knowledge and skills that all of our current and future operators require”.

Water IRC Deputy Chair Robert Allen from Icon Water and AIS Industry Skills Specialist Tricia Fidock at the Beenyup wastewater treatment plant in WA.

In ongoing work, a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has been established to review the two Certificate IV qualifications aimed at removing duplication and simplifying the packaging rules and reviewing 35 associated Units of Competency to ensure they are current, contemporary and relevant to the water industry.

The revised Training Package is available on training.gov.au

For more information on the project view here.