The Environment Agency is 'stepping up' their enforcement activity regarding Operators' Continuing Competence. The first Continuing Competence deadline for England and Wales was on 29th February 2012, and all Technically Competent managers who had relied on a pre-2009 COTC, were 'deemed competent' or were assessed by the Environment Agency (EA) must have passed their Continuing Competence test by this date to show that they have kept their industry knowledge up to date.
Failure to do so will mean the EA will no longer accept them as technically competent. This could result in some sites being unable to operate legally under their permit or having to make special arrangements to show that they are being managed by people who are still technically competent.
Steve Eland, Environment & Business Senior Advisor from the Environment Agency has stated that "we are concerned at the low level of take up of the continuing competence test. As a result we are now stepping up our enforcement activity to monitor uptake by operators. We will provide operators with advice and guidance on how to comply and will take enforcement action against those who are unwilling to comply with the requirements by 29th February 2012. Enforcement action can range from service of an enforcement notice to revocation of the permit. Any action we take in the event of non compliance will depend on the circumstances in accordance with our Enforcement & Sanctions Position."
Tests are bookable in advance through WAMITAB, at a centre convenient for you. The test takes about half an hour to complete and can accommodate any special needs. Anybody who is unsure whether or how they might be affected by this deadline should check with WAMITAB (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible.
CIWM CEO Steve Lee reminds people "The test is not daunting, but it will weed out those who have not bothered to keep their industry knowledge up to date. Our industry's readiness and ability to prove its competence has been a big step forwards. Now technical competence will means even more: not only did you work to get your original qualification, but you will have demonstrated that you have kept up with your learning - a very positive signal to others in the industry and to our customers."
And don't forget that being a CIWM Member means that keeping your knowledge up to date is easy through the CIWM Magazine and its useful 'Fact Files' and our new on-line training, which is available through the CIWM website.
More information can be found at www.wamitab.org.uk/pg/continuing-competence-new