New Training and Safety Chairman Champions Competency and Innovation
The Water Jetting Association’s new training and safety committee chairman has pledged to continue the WJA’s drive to improve training and skills standards in the water jetting industry.
Darren Hamilton has been voted in as chairman of the WJA’s training and safety committee after its previous chairman, John Jones, became the association’s president in May 2021.
He said: “I am looking to build on the excellent work John and the members of the training and safety committee have done to continuously improve and develop the WJA’s training offer, both in terms of the quality and the range of training delivered.
“Skills training is vital to the core objective of the WJA, which is to ensure high pressure and ultra-high pressure water jetting, and pressure washing, is carried out safely at all times.
“The WJA is the main provider of water jetting training in the UK. It is our duty to support organisations in carrying out safe practice and maximising skill levels in their operations.
“We also have opportunities to share our training knowledge and expertise internationally for the good of water jetting contractors, operatives and service users around the world.”
Darren was previously a member of the WJA training and safety committee.
He is also the Group Operations Training Manager for Lanes Group plc, the UK’s largest independent drainage and wastewater specialist and has more than 40 years of experience in the drainage industry. He is also a WJA-approved water jetting training instructor.
He will now oversee the roll-out of the WJA’s new ABBE-accredited Water Jetting Technician Certificate course, a Level 2 qualification that is the first competency qualification for water jetting.
The course builds on the WJA’s City & Guilds accredited training programme, which includes a class-based Safety Awareness course and four practical modules: Surface Preparation; Tube and Pipe Cleaning; Drain and Sewer; and Hydrodemolition.
The new competent water jetting qualification is made up of 40% training and 60% on-the-job assessment. Successful candidates receive a WJA competent operative card that can be renewed every three years by completing a two-module refresher course.
Obtaining the certificate also qualifies candidates for a blue CSCS card, which denotes a skilled worker within this sector.
Candidates must first complete the WJA’s safety awareness course plus the one-day Surface Preparation practical module and one other practical module, selecting from Hydrodemolition, Tube and Pipe Cleaning, or Drains and Sewers.
They then complete a programme of workplace assessment, with progress monitored by WJA-approved assessors, while completing a detailed workbook, in a process expected to last at least one year.
Darren Hamilton said: “The WJA’s new Level 2 Water Jetting Technician course represents a significant step up in the training standard we aim to set and is a natural progression from our very successful City & Guilds accredited training programmes.
“At the heart of proof of competency is training, skill and experience and our new training embeds these principles in a structured course that delivers benefits for water jetting contractors, operatives and service users.
“It will help give greater assurance of the safety and productivity of the water jetting services being delivered, and it creates a firmer platform for career progression, worker retention, and succession planning.
“Our task over the coming months is to work with members and other stakeholders to promote the new course so it becomes accepted as a valuable new resource to underpin standards and safety.”
Darren is also a keen to champion the use of digital technology to enhance the training experience. For example, the WJA has approved the introduction of ‘clicker’ technology to allow training delegates to take part in quick polls during the delivery of training courses.
He said: “Engaging in many different and acknowledging different learning styles is essential for training to be as effective as possible. Making use of new digital technologies to achieve this is both exciting and fundamental to the WJA’s training strategy over the coming years.”
Find out more about water jetting training from the WJA, including the ABBE Level 2 Water Jetting Technician certificate. Call: +44 20 8320 1090.