A new level 2 competent water jetting qualification will allow contractors to enhance critically important skills and support career pathways, says the Water Jetting Association (WJA).
The WJA says the new qualification will give greater assurance that water jetting services, including high and ultra high pressure jetting and sewer cleaning, are of a high standard.
It will overcome the limitations of a current NVQ in water jetting by combining training and assessment, giving operatives a high quality learning experience.
WJA Director David Kennedy said: “The new WJA level 2 competent water jetting qualification will be 50% training and 50% assessment, while the current NVQ is just assessment.
“It introduces a new proof of competence. This is good for the operative, the contractor and for the client as it gives greater assurance over service quality, productivity, and safety.
“The qualification allows water jetting operatives to hold a WJA competency card and will qualify successful candidates for a CSCS skills card.”
The WJA says the qualification will also help improve safety, pointing to the outcome of the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) prosecution following the most recent water jetting fatality in the UK in 2017.
A contractor, which had not been a WJA member, was fined £2m ordered to pay £30,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
A worker suffered a fatal injury while cleaning pipes at the paint shop of a large manufacturing facility with a hand-held flexible jetting lance.
The investigating HSE inspector urged contractors to consult the WJA’s codes of practice which provide clear safety guidelines relating to flexible lances.
David Kennedy said: “The WJA’s two codes of practice are designed specifically to prevent such incidents. However, training and skills development is another critical component, to ensure our codes of practice are followed.
“The WJA Level 2 competent water jetting qualification will help instil skills and attitudes that safeguard against hazardous behaviours and support positive cultures.”
To join the course, accredited by City & Guilds, operatives must pass the one-day WJA safety awareness course plus the one-day surface preparation practical module and one other practical module.
They then undergo work-based assessment for at least one year. Operatives will complete a workbook in a process overseen by WJA-approved assessors.
Once, successfully completed, it is a qualification for life. The operative must still follow WJA procedure by retaking the safety awareness course every three years.