OCG Water

OCG Water

OCG is the leading system for measuring currency of competence in the UK Water Industry

Demonstrating competence in a regulatory environment has been an on-going requirement for the Water Industry. With the challenges that an ever-technologically sophisticated asset base will undoubtedly present, then operator performance will increasingly be uppermost in the minds of the industry’s leaders and decision makers.

The solution

OCG is a cost-effective solution for water companies wishing to demonstrate currency of technical competence for regulatory purposes and, in the process, identify development needs of personnel. OCG provides the most comprehensive suite of assessment pathways to measure competence on offer anywhere in the UK Water Industry. Pathways provide a comprehensive competence structure across the entire function of the Water Industry – including the principal functions of the water cycle, water treatment, water network, wastewater network and wastewater treatment. In addition, OCG assesses competence in key industry support functions, such as ME and I and Operations Control.

Therefore, OCG fully delivers competency assessment for the end-to-end operational activities required by the Water Safety Plan approach for all the steps in a water supply service chain – from catchment to customer. OCG has provided to its many existing clients a cost effective, independent and objective system for measuring the currency of knowledge of their employees. The reliable performance information provided by OCG allows Water Managers and HR professionals to develop much more accurate training plans, increase efficiency and drive-up overall levels of competence across the workforce. OCG is entirely bespoke to the individual organisations and employee’s needs and has a comprehensive question bank designed specifically with the client in mind at its core. This makes OCG the most comprehensive assessment tool currently available to the water sector.

The Regulator’s view

In the specific case of water treatment, the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) has been satisfied on the whole at the industry’s efforts to upskill its workforce over the years to meet the requirements of the Competent Operator. However, it is now clearly moving its thinking towards the area of audit and therefore the implicit ‘maintenance’ of the scheme. 

Long-term strategy

The methodology of basing an audit on existing National Occupational Standards is a key requirement to meet the definition of the Competent Operator. OCG meets this requirement without imposing the need to periodically commit resource to the re-training of the workforce.

More than that, OCG will actually assist in identifying those areas of shortfall that may require further – and perhaps more focussed – upskilling interventions. By actually targeting interventions in this way, a water company can demonstrate a key aspect of the audit process – for example by having a plan of remedial activity. This, in itself, moves the debate closer to evaluating the impact of training.

Those companies that are active in their thinking about the maintenance of competence, which is in part defined in the current schemes, will be formulating their longer-term strategy of skills development. As part of this process, they are likely to be considering the most appropriate methods of assessment.

Ideally, this would be resource light, effective and easy to deploy. It should be:

> Acceptable to the workforce and their representative bodies

> Meaningful and results focussed

> Able to mesh with existing performance management processes

OCG, when deployed in a context of commitment to ongoing competence, has the capability of fulfilling all of these objectives.