• Project No 1139
  • Project Name Water Operations Technical Competency Benchmark
  • Lead Organisation Water Research Australia
  • Research Lead Veolia Water Australia
  • Main Researcher Dr Kathy Northcott
  • Completion Year 2023

Project Description

The Value of Operator Competency project was a WaterRA initiative to communicate the value and benefits of an appropriately trained and competent frontline operator workforce. A key finding was: ‘The current governance approach to technical competency in the Australian water industry does not guarantee the implementation of L&D (Learning & Development) programs, that deliver the necessary competency required to undertake frontline operator roles.’

Currently there is no consistent national operator competency benchmark and this has resulted in inconsistent approaches by utilities to operator training and competency. This project proposes to bring industry and regulators together to develop minimum standards for technical competency that facilitates a more consistent approach towards technical competency and the implementation of L&D programs for frontline water industry operations.

The project will:

1. Identify and review current national L&D programs.

2. Develop a Technical Competency Benchmark that facilitates a consistent approach towards evaluation and implementation of competency, including:

  • Identification of roles, process mapping, training needs analysis, and knowledge and skills requirements
  • Nationally Accredited training
  • National Registration
  • Maintenance of knowledge and skills

3. Develop template tools for water utilities to develop and implement benchmark requirements.

4. Develop tools for water utilities to self-audit and a version for regulators to provide to auditors.

5. Trial tools in regional and remote utilities as identified by project partners.

6. Develop a knowledge sharing program for the water industry and regulators.