Changes to this year's Continuing Competence Test

THE Continuing Competence Test forms part of the CIWM/WAMITAB Operator Competence scheme, which was approved by governments in December 2008.

This applies to England and Wales only, but it has been extended to Northern Ireland while remaining a voluntary process in Scotland.

The CIWM/WAMITAB Continuing Competence Test is designed to ensure the technically competent person on a permitted waste site has the knowledge and skills that keep pace with changes made across the waste management industry: for example, new legislation, technologies and techniques.

WAMITAB reviews the syllabus and question bank for the Continuing Competence Test every two years. The latest review has now been fi nalised and the new question bank will go live at the Pearson VUE test centres on 1 March.

For this update, which covers the period to 2021, we have made minor changes to the syllabus for Continuing Competence.

What next?

If your test is booked on or after 1 March it is important you base your revision and preparation for the test on the new syllabus, which is available on the WAMITAB website.

The new Revision Guides for 2019-2021 support the Continuing Competence series will be available to purchase from 15 February. Visit the WAMITAB website for more information.

If you use the Revision Guides available via WAMITAB to prepare for the test and already have copies of the relevant 2016- 2018 Revision Guides, then you will be able to download free Update Sheets, which capture the changes made so you will not need to buy copies of the new edition.

Background to the changes This latest review is an interim update and

a more comprehensive review is planned for the next Continuing Competence series for 2021-2023, which takes into account potential changes introduced after Brexit is fully implemented.

The rolling two-year programme will remain in place. The expiry date will be clearly shown on your Continuing Competence certifi cate: for example, if you passed on 5 March this year then the certifi cate will state an expiry date of 5 March 2021.

About the Continuing Competence Test

The test has two components:

Generic Knowledge Test (GKT) (‘generic’) comprising questions on legislation, health and safety and environmental protection; and

Activity-Specifi c Test (AST) (or ‘option’) which comprises questions on the specifi c competence or competencies which need to be maintained.

The test encompasses 18 multiple-choice questions for the GKT and a further eight multiple-choice questions for each AST depending. The allowed test time will be 30 minutes for the generic section and 10 minutes for each option.

Deciding which option to take

Everyone is automatically entered for the Generic Knowledge Test during the booking process. However, before arriving at the test centre it is important you have already decided which AST option to take as the test menu will ask you to select these during the test. Further information on selecting the option can be found on the WAMITAB website.

Test registration and scheduling information

The test is computer based and delivered through a suite of independent test centres – operated by Pearson VUE.

There is a link on the WAMITAB website to the Pearson VUE test booking page and once on the Pearson VUE website you will

Test results

Candidates need to correctly answer at least 50% of the questions in the Generic Knowledge Test section (at least nine correct answers out of 18), and at least 50% of the questions in each separate Activity Specifi c Test (at least four correct answers out of eight). The combined total needs to be 17 or more to achieve the pass mark of 65% (17 out of 26).

Neither the Generic Knowledge Test nor the Activity Specifi c Test can be passed and certifi cated on their own (unless the Generic Knowledge Test is the only part required by the environmental regulator).

Remember, scores are calculated separately for each Activity Specifi c Test, so if you take two specialisms it is possible to pass one and fail the other. In this instance, you would be awarded one Continuing Competence certifi cate and then would need to book and retake the Generic Knowledge Test and the option you failed.

CHRIS JAMES CEO at WAMITAB, has over 30 years’ experience in vocational education as a Principal Lecturer, Chief Examiner, External Verifi er and Moderator with high profi le education and awarding organisations.

WAMITAB provides an end-to-end solution - from operative to management level qualifi cations in resource management and recycling, cleaning, street cleansing, facilities management and parking.

@WAMITAB 48 SHWM February, 2019

be able to fi nd the test centre closest to you, schedule the date and time and re- schedule or cancel a test that has already been booked.

Please note: that the current test fee is £139. This covers the generic tests and up to three ASTs (remember it is not a requirement to take three tests; just select the tests relevant to your site activity).

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