How the new Apprenticeship Standard can support the needs of the water utility sector

July 6, 2018

An exciting oppurtunity has arisen within South West Water

August 16, 2018

A Level 4 qualification developed specifically for the water industry

Approved by Ofqual and in conjunction with CABWI, water sector awarding body, Watertrain developed the Level 4 Diploma in Water Industry Operations and Management. In order to meet the needs of the water utility sector, this qualification was developed with industry professionals, together with experts from Watertrain, drawing on expertise and experience from water companies, key tier 1 contractors and others with an interest in developing appropriate frameworks at Level 4.

The Level 4 Diploma offers a flexible, comprehensive qualification to upskill managers and team leaders, helping to enhance the productivity, efficiency and profitability of water organisations. It does not simply focus on the technical skills and knowledge needed, but also covers the practical skills required to become a successful manager. The course also provides an excellent grounding for graduate entrants to the sector, as well as an effective progression route for those individuals that may be in their first line management role and need to gain more knowledge and understanding at a higher and wider level.

But how does it differ from the current HNC qualifications that are available? The existing HNCs have a fairly rigid structure, with little flexibility. This sometimes requires an individual to complete units of study that may not be relevant to their role or need. The new Level 4 Diploma can be accredited as a role-specific combination of units, a ‘pick and mix’ combination of units to suit an individual’s need, or as standalone units of the qualification to support a specific training need.

There are a comprehensive range of pathways, which are matched to the industry’s principal functions and roles – each pathway includes four mandatory units. The choice of pathways includes: Water Treatment, Water Distribution, Wastewater Network, Wastewater Treatment, Trade Waste (the first qualification of its kind), Asset Management, Project Management and Water Industry Operations. There is an additional option to choose a bespoke pathway, catering for all roles within the water industry.

Neil Davies, Director of Watertrain, comments on the Level 4 Diploma:

“The Level 4 has been extremely well received with well over 200 candidates having completed or currently on programme. It is a broadly structured qualification that can be relevant to virtually any managerial role in the water sector. It has also been widely used to underpin graduate entry programmes as it is a very effective way of teaching someone about the full breadth of operations and management of a water and wastewater utility company.”

If you are interested in undergoing this qualification, you can enrol through your employer or as an individual. If you would like to learn more, you can find out further information by downloading the Level 4 Water brochure.

About Watertrain

Watertrain has been the leading provider of apprenticeships and other qualifications to the water utility sector since 2007 and have a long track record of delivering apprenticeships for clients in the water utility sector. Based in Birchwood Park, Warrington, you can contact Watertrain on 03330 431 431 or email