If you have an environmental permit it requires you to demonstrate that you are competent in the way that you manage the site.
Depending upon your type of operations and preferred learning style, you may want to complete a work-based qualification to demonstrate this competence, or a more academic route. We are able to offer the full range of qualifications to include all LOW, MEDIUM and HIGH risk awards (see the Risk Tiers Document).
The flowchart will help you to decide upon the option for you. There is also a decision flowchart available for Landfill - Click here.
If you are applying for a New Permit then there are a few things for you to consider as the EA will need you to indicate who is going to be your Technically Competent Person when you submit your application paperwork. As part of this the person will need to be able to demonstrate their initial competence, which in turn will trigger a 12 month provisional period in which they need to gain the relevant qualification for the type of facility (the rules for landfill are different- see separate flowchart).
As shown on the flowchart the person could either complete the 2-day EPOC or 4 units of the relevant qualification, with these needing to be completed within 4 weeks of the issue of the permit.
High Risk Sites
These are typically sites that handle hazardous waste (there are some exceptions, but this is a decent guide). If you manage a high risk site then you will need to complete a full, 12 unit NVQ-based qualification......they are actually no longer called NVQs, they are Level 4 Diplomas, but it is still probably a term that you will be familiar with!
There are a number of Diplomas reflecting the wide range of operations. The link to a document setting out the Awards will show you the different units making up the Diplomas. When going through this document be aware that other than for high risk activities, you will not need to complete the full award (unless you want to) and will only require some of the units depending upon your risk tiers.
Because you are completing a full qualification (all 12 units) you will have the option of receiving a CoTC (Certificate of Technical Competence). This does cost extra (£129) and as it is no longer a statutory requirement, most people do not bother.
Medium Risk Sites
If you run a site that fits into the MEDIUM RISK category (see the Risk Tiers) you will only need to complete 6 units of a qualification (generally medium risk sites are those sites dealing with non-hazardous waste).
Because you are completing only part of a full qualification you will not receive a Diploma, or have the option of completing a CoTC, instead you will receive an OCC from WAMITAB (Operator Competence Certificate). This is the certificate that the EA will be looking for in order to demonstrate your competence.
You actually have 2 options for obtaining the OCC and the option you choose will depend upon your preferred learning style:
If you are more practical and would prefer an assessor to come out and see you on site, then the traditional NVQ-based option is likely to be best for you.
If you prefer a more academic route, then there is the option of completing a Vocationally Related Qualification (VRQ). This involves some “learning” and then the completion of a number of separate projects. We offer a guided learning classroom-based approach and will be able to offer a more distance learning option in the near future.
The VRQ has 6 separate units, each of which must be successfully completed to gain the overall qualification, with information on the assessments available here. The Unit topics are:
Topic 1: Environmental Impact of Waste and Resource Management
Topic 2: Waste and Resource Management- Policy and Legislation
Topic 3: Permitting Requirements and Compliance in the Waste & Resource
Topic 4: Health and Safety in the Waste and Resource Management Industry
Topic 5: Technical Aspects of Managing Waste and Resources
Topic 6: Material processing in the Waste and Resource Management Industry: options include physical & chemical (6a), biological (6b), thermal (6c), remediation (6d), landfill (6e).
The flow chart and risk tiers links at the top of this page will offer some guidance on the options available, but please contact us if you would like to discuss these options in more detail.
Low Risk Sites
In general these are inert facilities (see Risk Tiers), where competence can be demonstrated either by completion of a 2-day course (called an EPOC), or by completion of 4 units from a relevant NVQ-based qualification.
The EPOC (Environmental Permitting Operators Certificate) is organised and administered by the CIWM, although we deliver these courses on their behalf in the North West. More information on the EPOC can be found through the overview, or by emailing the CIWM - email@example.com