The commitment and professionalism of Parkes Shire Council's water operations staff was formally recognised with national certification through the Water Industry Operators Association (WIOA) at an industry wide event held in Parkes on October 31.

The WIOA event was held at the Parkes Water Treatment Plant, showcasing Parkes multi-award winning water and wastewater treatment infrastructure to more than 60 water industry operators and council representatives from across the state.

However, the presentation of certification was the highlight of the event. Five Parkes Shire Council Staff were among 18 operators to receive their certification.

Parkes Shire Council, along with four Centroc councils and the Centroc team, have been working at both State and Federal level to gain recognition for the invaluable role that water treatment plant operators play in providing safe drinking water for their communities.

Operators from the five councils were in the pilot of a NSW based accreditation scheme, and have now been accredited and certified under a newly formed National Certification of Water Treatment Plant operators.

In order to achieve certification, operators are required to complete a set of fit-for-purpose units of competency from the nationally recognised Water Training Package as well as demonstrate relevant industry experience. Certified operators are also required to keep their skills and knowledge current.

Mr Andrew Francis, Parkes Shire Council's Director of Infrastructure said national certification was the next step in delivering best-practice water services to the Parkes community.

"Council has recently delivered world-class water infrastructure for Parkes residents, and we have world-class staff managing our water quality," Mr Francis said.

"Our staff have not only undergone an extensive and exhaustive certification process, they have done so while learning new systems and operations for the new treatment plant," he explained. "Safe drinking water underlies the basic health needs of our communities, and we are incredibly proud of our operators for their dedication to their jobs and their professional development."

WIOA will soon begin on mapping for wastewater and recycled water operators in order to pilot a similar program to get these teams certified.