The water industry faces heightened regulatory and consumer expectations from population growth, changing consumer behaviours, and acute and chronic environmental challenges. Industry experts Learning & Development Associates (L&DA) discuss rising to these performance and outcome challenges.
Resilience of water and wastewater services has always been a key focus in the industry, but the challenges, from current threats and to opportunities, are now compounded by the constraints imposed by safely navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.
L&DA, who have been working with the sector to improve the management of risk and resilience, argue that investment in training to strengthen understanding and capability is fundamental to organisational success.
The Environment Agency’s and Natural Resources Wales’ assessments of water stressed areas indicate the need for: inter-company cooperation, significant infrastructure investment and innovative approaches to leakage control and demand management. These will be essential if undesirable consumer restrictions are to be avoided and current environmental pressures on water resources are to be relieved.
Geoff Miller, L&DA Associate, and lead designer of their Level 5 ‘Risk and Resilience’ course commented that ‘Ofwat’s desire to: extend the role of market forces within the industry; encourage greater sectoral awareness of the vulnerabilities from society’s increasingly integrated systems; and stimulate companies increased recognition of their wider societal responsibilities will increasingly require organisations to adopt an enterprise wide perspective toward risk and resilience.’
The current tensions generated by this approach, manifested in recent exchanges between the Commons’ Public Accounts Committee and Defra, illustrate the fine financial margins companies in the sector are now operating under and the contribution upskilling their workforces and agents can make towards meeting the medium and longer term regulatory challenges they face.
L&DA’s risk and resilience training, launched coincident with COVID-19’s emergence, has been developed to encourage learners acquisition of broad knowledge and understanding of the subject. This extends from the wider regulatory context, through best practice principles and processes. It includes identification, assessment and treatment of corporate tactical and operational risks and opportunities and the preparation for, management of and recovery from major incidents.
Learning & Development Associates are offering a 25% discount on their Management of Risk & Resilience in the Water & Environmental Industries course. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://learninganddevelopment.associates/bookings/.
More information on L&DA can be found at https://learninganddevelopment.associates/.