26 March 2020 by James Langley

Competent managers ‘still a requirement’

WAMITAB has issued updated guidance on the positions of Technically Competent Managers (TCMs) at waste sites during this period of coronavirus restrictions.

Anyone who operates any form of waste activity must have appropriately qualified managers who are members of a government-approved technical competency scheme.

Anyone who operates any form of waste activity must have a Technically Competent Manager at their site

Following discussions between WAMITAB – an awards body for waste sector training – and the Environment Agency, generic advice across all waste sectors has been produced.

The WAMITAB guidance reads: “We understand that many operators will be concerned about how they can satisfy attendance requirements whilst sites are running on reduced staffing levels and staff may well be ill or self-isolating. We will be pragmatic in our approach.

“There is still a requirement to have a technically competent person as a requirement of the permit.

“The TCM attendance hours are within the guidance on GOV.UK and they are an indication that site activities are in being overseen by a technically competent manager.

“Where the TCM is self-isolating or sick and cannot attend the site, the operator should be able and capable of operating the plant or site safely through both their EMS and operations training.”

Responsibilities

Operators have been told by WAMITAB they should review their training and capability structure to ensure roles, responsibilities and accident plans are in place and that they are fit for purpose.

“There is still a requirement to have a technically competent person”

WAMITAB

They have also been told they should ensure remote systems are operational and that alarms systems, where required, are fully operational.

Each operator has a responsive duty roster to respond to incidents and should notify WAMITAB when the site cannot be safely monitored. They must record in their site diaries if their nominated TCMs are self-isolating.

Continuing competence

With exam board Pearson VUE’s test centres now closed and Continuing Competence tests not currently available, WAMITAB says the EA will not regard the failure to complete a continuing competence assessment due after 16 March 2020 as a failure to comply with the CIWM/WAMITAB Operator Competence scheme.

Effective as of 20 March, test delivery was suspended at Pearson VUE-owned and operated Professional Centers throughout the UK.

Pearson VUE says exam delivery services will resume once it is deemed safe to do so.

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