Water Operator Certification
Whereas obtaining the required experience for Class III and IV operators is difficult due to the fact that there are a limited number of Class III and IV operations in the province to gain experience; and Whereas the level of operator required for each facility is determined by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment; and Whereas when municipalities upgrade their water or waste water facilities, there should be additional training for their current operator to take in order for them to be certified to operate upgraded facilities if the level of the facility increases, as opposed to the employee searching out other facilities for the experience component or the municipality having to hire someone else to run the upgraded facility; Therefore be it resolved that the SUMA lobby the Government of Saskatchewan to evaluate the experience component required under the Saskatchewan Water and Wastewater Works Operator Certification Standards, particularly for Level III and IV operators, to enable operators to take additional training to increase their certification level as opposed to obtaining experience at other facilities.
The ministry is aware of the number of Class III and IV water facilities and the difficulties involved in achieving these levels of operator certification. As a member of the international Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) for water operators, we follow the ABC program with some alteration for jurisdictional differences. The Water-Wastewater Operator Certification Program used by the province currently allows operators to certify one level above the class of the facility of employment. Under the current standards, an operator at a Class III facility can train on-site and achieve a Class IV certification. If system owners encourage their operators to achieve a higher level certification it will help alleviate reclassification issues arising from upgrades. A review of the Water/Wastewater Operator Certification Program will be undertaken as the development of the Canadian Best Practices for Water and Wastewater Operator Certification reaches finalization. The ministry is a member of the Canadian Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Committee that is currently developing the Canadian operator certification best practices in accordance to the Labour Mobility Chapter (Chapter 7) under the federal Agreement on Internal Trade (AI). All aspects of the Water/Wastewater Operator Certification Program will be reviewed. The ministry encourages water and sewage facility owners to adopt a program of succession planning that includes incorporating education as a portion of daily duties. Relevant education is becoming easier to access through on-line and distance education programs.