Circular magazine’s editor Ian Farrell explores the new course from CIWM that addresses the complex waste management needs of the National Health Service.
When it comes to waste management, the UK’s National Health Service is a complex case. The materials coming from a single NHS hospital site can range from office, shop and kitchen waste to specialist materials with specific radiological, biological and chemical hazards.
Despite this, waste management is often handled by someone with no formal training, who might also be looking after other departments, such as porterage.
This was part of the motivation for CIWM’s new training programme, Waste Management for NHS Managers – a series of 11 courses tailored and contextualised for the highly specific needs of medical facilities.
“Another fundamental reason for the course is the NHS’s drive to become net zero in their estates by 2040,” explains CIWM’s head of relationships, Neil Rippon.
CIWM has worked closely with healthcare trusts to deliver the programme’s curriculum.
“CIWM has worked closely with healthcare trusts to deliver the programme’s curriculum. The idea is that, eventually, every NHS trust in England will have a waste manager who has been through this training programme. The NHS really appreciates the link between waste and climate change, and wants to change its relationship with resources.”
The courses in the programme consist of familiar training modules that have been tailored and contextualised for a healthcare workplace, plus new modules written especially for this setting. The course programme also includes an additional, optional course on Waste Permitting.
“Most of the content is delivered as virtual learning sessions, but this is also supported by e-learning modules, breakout sessions and quizzes,” says Rippon.
Two cohorts, of approximately 12 people each, are currently going through the programme. The pace of learning is roughly one course per month over the course of a year.
“There are different levels of experience within the cohorts, which has led to a kind of “unofficial mentoring” between some of the delegates,” says Jacqui Brunton-Douglas, professional services project manager at CIWM.
“That’s really good, and will hopefully lead to lasting networking connections between participants beyond the scope of the training programme.”
Ensuring that 100% of NHS providers… have fully trained waste managers is crucial to the effective and appropriate management of waste.
When they register for the Waste Management for NHS Managers programme, delegates automatically become affiliate members of CIWM. On completion, they are then upgraded to a technical membership – the first rung on the professional ladder and an excellent place from which to progress.
Liam Hogg, head of waste and resources for NHS England told Circular: “Ensuring that 100% of NHS providers – including primary care managing agents – have fully trained waste managers is crucial to the effective and appropriate management of waste.
“This tailored training programme will support NHS estates and facilities workforce to reduce waste volumes, helping to generate approximately £11 million of revenue savings every year for the next 10 years.
“So training will also play a part in reducing carbon emissions from waste segregation, helping to deliver the NHS’s ambition to be net zero in our estate by 2040 and minimise environmental harm for patients, staff, and the wider community.”
If you’d like to find out more about Waste Management for NHS Managers, or any other CIWM training programme, visit ciwm.co.uk/training.