The Motor Vehicle Dismantlers Association held a technical competence revision day on Wednesday 11 November 2015 at a hotel in Solihull, West Midlands. The Continuing Technical Competence test has to be taken every 2 years by the competent person on UK’s waste management and recycling sites.
It is a multiple choice type test administered by the Chartered Institution of Waste Management (CIWM) and WAMITAB – the awarding organisation for the waste and recycling industry. It is a modular test taken at a Pearson Vue Test Centre and consists of Mandatory sections and also Generic sections that test learners on areas where they don’t specifically operate.
As an example, one of the sections covers pre-treating waste before if goes to landfill. Most of the members attending this event operate End of Life Vehicle (ELV) sites so they either never or very rarely directly send products to landfill. They do separate and segregate products that are sent to operators who send products to landfill, so there the problem lies – they need to know about the operating processes of areas of work that they don’t do, just in case the questions pop up in the test.
The remit is then quite broad and Gill, Vicki and Becky from Learning Light went along to facilitate 3 workshops where the attendees could ask questions and receive information about the areas of work where they felt they had gaps in their knowledge.
It would have been great if they could have had sight of the questions and answers to practice but of course this is the real world not utopia!
Learning Light however brought their expertise of learning techniques, plus their operational expertise of being an approved WAMITAB Centre, delivering qualifications across the waste and recycling industry.
The testing of continuing competency is not new, but in an industry that is still struggling in many areas to understand the real benefits of developing their employees, it is proving a challenge for many.
The qualified competent person on site carries a fair degree of responsibility, ensuring their work processes are compliant with the regulations and legislative requirements of their operating permit. The Environment Agency, even with reduced numbers of officers, are proving vigilant in monitoring the permitted ELV sites.
Many of the ELV sites in the UK employ less than 5 employees, so these are micro-businesses with the potential to create massive environmental problems if they don’t operate within government guidelines, and the real state of play is that there are many ELV sites that are non-compliant and non-permitted. So it is still a steep learning curve for much of the industry, with Learning Light well placed to support them and ease the journey.
If you want to know more about qualifications in the Waste and Recycling industry or need support with maintaining technical competence go to the WAMITAB Qualifications page of our site.