Learning from the experience of frontline operators

Learning from the experience of frontline operators

This project aims to capture the lived work experience of our frontline operators to gain an insight into the on-the-ground decision making process that result in ‘the right decisions made at the right time’ and support/inform frontline operator minimum competency standards.


To build on the findings from Project 1111 – The Value of Operator Competency Phase 1, and inform project #1139 - The Value of Operator Competency Phase 2, WaterRA has identified the need for research into the workplace experiences and decision-making processes of our frontline operators. Of particular interest, is the experience that contributes to some of the industry’s most valued operator skills, such as, troubleshooting, problem solving and critical thinking. These skills underpin the decisions made by frontline operators in the provision of safe drinking water and wastewater treatment, supporting a water utility’s ability to meet its public health and environmental protection objectives. This is area of the Australian water industry that has received very little attention. 

This project presents an opportunity to engage with frontline operators to understand their workplace experiences. To hear from our operators about some of the ‘right decisions made at the right time’, and to share openly their experience, that with the benefit of hindsight, better choices could have been made and why. In doing so, further evidence is obtained to support/inform industry regulators and utilities about frontline operator minimum competency standards and the importance of continual professional development. 

WaterRA Contact

Marlene Hsu

Amount being sought

$100k | approximately $10-20k cash per organisation and in-kind to support the operator interviews and case studies

Due Date

30th Jun, 2022