Playing it safe: CIWM’s new level 3 health & safety programme

Health and safety

Circular writer Phil Lattimore examines the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management’s (CIWM) new Level 3 health and safety programme, which is aimed at delivering training tailored for the waste and resource management sector.

Health and safety in the workplace is crucial for our sector. According to the latest statistics, from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the waste sector is the second-most dangerous industry in the UK, with a fatal injury rate around 11 times the average.

In this context, a new training course and qualification has been developed by CIWM, in consultation with leading industry employers. The CIWM (WAMITAB) Level 3 Award in Health and Safety Supervision for Resource and Waste Management Sector – due to launch in June – has been created to provide a qualification that’s fit for purpose, fully contextualised and tailored for supervisors.

As such, it focuses not only on the health and safety legislation and regulations that more general courses provide, but also on leadership, behavioural safety, influencing a positive health and safety culture, and other issues around health, safety and wellbeing, including risk assessment.

The course is fundamentally about improving health and safety in the waste and resource-management workplace.

The new course aims to develop knowledge and skills around key themes, including operating safely; leading safely; and monitoring and reflecting on health and safety.

It has been designed to be an “off the shelf” training package that can be delivered virtually or in a classroom – by employers, qualification centres, training providers, further education colleges, and so on.

It is based on a one-day programme, with all learning content and a workbook provided. Learners are assessed by a multiple-choice knowledge test, and a separate work-based project to demonstrate how participants have taken the learning and applied it to the workplace, reflecting on its impact on the performance of their business or organisation.

“The course is fundamentally about improving health and safety in the waste and resource-management workplace,” explains Nathan Cookson, CIWM’s head of learning and development. “There’s also an important leadership and behavioural element central to it – how do we influence others within the workplace, demonstrate leadership, and implement continuous improvement.”

This bespoke qualification is for those who are going to influence behaviour in an organisation.

CIWM carried out a successful pilot of the programme in February, with Veolia, as part of the company’s “operational excellence programme”. It was delivered to 13 employees through one of CIWM’s regulated qualification centre partners, Health, Safety and Environmental Compliance Services. CIWM will shortly be seeking accreditation of the course from the regulator Ofqual.

“This bespoke qualification is for those who are going to influence behaviour in an organisation,” Cookson says. “This is about CIWM trying to encourage a more positive and consistent health and safety culture across the sector, establishing a standard for good practice and leadership.”

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Objectives of the CIWM Level 3 Health and safety programme

Health and safety


  • Know responsibilities under health and safety legislation, and how this applies in a resource and waste-management workplace.
  • Understand the key principles of risk assessment, and how this applies.
  • Know the process of accident investigation and reporting.
  • Understand the key principles of behavioural health and safety, and how to develop behavioural safety.
  • Understand the key principles of health and safety leadership, and how this can be used.
  • Know how to measure health and safety performance.
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