The consultation for the attendance requirements for technically competent managers (TCMs) has now been launched by the Environment Agency (EA), and is relevant for various waste sectors, including ELV recycling sites.
The consultation – Environmental permit competence requirements: changes to technically competent manager attendance opened on the 14th June until the 9th August. Feedback is expected on the 8th November 2021.
For operators demonstrating competence through the scheme run jointly by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) and Waste Management Industry Training and Advisory Board (WAMITAB), the Environment Agency, require that sites have nominated technically competent manager(s) (TCMs) on site for a specified amount of time a week. This is called the attendance requirement.
Operators who are applying for an environmental permit for a waste operation must be members of and comply with a government-approved technical competency scheme. Most existing waste environmental permit holders must also comply with a government-approved technical competency scheme through the conditions in their permits.
The two approved schemes are:
- CIWM and WAMITAB scheme
- Environmental Services Association (ESA) / Energy and Utility Skills (EUSkills) approved operator competence scheme
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The EA have considered and ruled out the option of continuing with the current TCM attendance requirements. Their aim is to simplify the requirements for both industry and regulators and provide greater clarity of what the attendance requirements are. They previously calculated the attendance requirement based on the Operational Risk Appraisal Guidance (OPRA Guidance). However, the OPRA Guidance has been withdrawn, barring the sections relating to attendance levels for technically competent managers.
The attendance requirement is currently based on 20% of operational hours for standard rules permits, or for bespoke permits in the OPRA Guidance.
The EA need to make changes to attendance requirements, so that poor performers receive additional supervision by TCMs to rectify non-compliances and reduce risk. They also aim to provide clarity for industry on the requirements for TCM attendance in certain situations for example where there are 24-hour operations, sites with multiple facilities and mothballed operations.
The Growth Duty requires the EA and other national regulators to take into account promoting economic growth, alongside their other statutory duties. As part of this duty, the EA will assess the financial impacts of the options and changes they have presented in this consultation.
The EA will consider all the responses received and publish a consultation response on GOV.UK. Responses will also help shape a second consultation if required.
How the current attendance requirement works
The WAMITAB/CIWM Operator Competence Scheme (Version 9, May 2020) states: ‘Any permitted waste management facility participating in this scheme to demonstrate operator competence is required to have at least one confirmed Technically Competent Person available on site for the appropriate amount of time each week as stated in the latest Environment Agency or Natural Resources Wales guidance’.
Some operators are part of this scheme if one of the following applies:
- The EA have assessed you as technically competent before qualifications for your activity existed
- You were ‘deemed’ competent when the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 (now superseded by the Environmental Permitting Regulations) came into force because you were already managing a waste site
- The EA assessment, or the ‘deemed’ competency, are still valid and you can be named as the technically competent person for that same activity on new applications
Your TCM(s) must be on site for the required time each week. You can find details of how the attendance requirement is currently calculated, and other rules associated with TCM attendance, in their guidance on how much time your technically competent manager must be on site.
The requirements for how much time TCM(s) need to be on site does not currently apply to the ESA/EU Skills approved operator competence scheme. However, we expect key site personnel to be on site at similar levels of attendance to TCM(s) operating under the WAMITAB/CIWM Operator Competence Scheme. This should be demonstrated through the operator’s management system.
Why the EA are consulting
The EA would like your views on:
- Proposed options for changes to the attendance requirements for technically competent managers
- Other rules associated with the attendance requirements
- Implementation timescales
- What the impacts are for you