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COTC / TCM Cover

TCM (technically competent management) cover, commonly referred to as COTC cover or CIWM (WAMITAB) cover, is a legal requirement for permitted waste sites to have a technically competent person to meet the minimum attendance time on a site so that any risks to the environment are properly managed.

CIWM (WAMITAB) Cover, COTC Cover, TCM Cover…. What’s the difference?

Absolutely nothing other than the different abbreviations used.

CIWM (WAMITAB) Cover is as simple as someone that holds a CIWM (WAMITAB) qualification.

COTC cover refers to someone who holds a CIWM (WAMITAB) Certificate of Technical Competence. This is the older style qualifications from pre 2008. CIWM (WAMITAB) still offer a COTC on completion of a high risk 12 unit qualification but the COTC is not actually required by the regulators anymore.

CIWM (WAMITAB) still offer them as an optional product. The certificates from 2008 onwards are printed with the title Operator Competence Certificate (instead of Certificate of Technical Competence).

TCM Cover is the newer terminology used for an individual that holds a CIWM (WAMITAB) qualification. TCM stands for Technically Competent Manager.

It is widely used by the Environment Agency and from the newer holders of CIWM (WAMITAB) qualifications. In short, the abbreviations all stem from what generation you achieved your award.

In the 90’s there was even a thing called ‘Deemed Competent’. This was where no primary qualifications were needed under the old Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994.

How much time must a TCM spend on site?

The amount of time a TCM must spend on site is dependent on the nature of the operation and its level of environmental risk. Complying with an approved competence scheme is a legal requirement under the Environmental Permitting (England & Wales) Regulations.

Failure to comply with an approved scheme will be identified by the Environment Agency during auditing visits and by submission of your quarterly waste returns.

The Environment Agency have statutory powers to issue sanctions and increase annual fees for failing to appoint an appropriately qualified person.

Typically, the Environment Agency request that 20% of operational hours are covered. 95% of the time it would typically translate to 1 day per week. 

Attendance time is capped at a maximum of 48 hours per week. Operations that require 48 hours per week of TCM cover are either incredibly high risk operations, Majorly non-compliant or 24 hour operations.

There is currently a consultation underway with the Environment Agency to review TCM attendance times. If you would like an update, please feel free to call or email us.

What will the TCM do whilst on site?

The TCM’s role whilst on a permitted waste site is to ensure the site is operating compliantly in-line with its environmental permit/waste management license.

The TCM will need to record their attendance time on site and give technical advice on any issues identified. 

Our TCM’s are strictly here to help you.

We are not the Environment Agency and we are not here to regulate you.

We are here to give you the support you need to make a success of your business and to ensure environmental aspects/impacts are properly managed.

What types of waste sites do you provide TCM/CIWM (WAMITAB)/COTC Cover for?

We provide site cover nationwide for the following types of waste operations

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Industrial, Household, Commercial Waste Transfer Stations

Material Recovery Facilities

Any type of Non-hazardous waste treatment operations

Hazardous Waste Transfer Stations

Hazardous Waste Treatment Facilities

In-Vessel Composting

Open Windrow Composting

Contaminated Land Remediation

All Inert Waste sites

Clinical Waste Sites

Scrap Sites


Incinerators/Thermal Treatment Operations

Please note, This is not an exhaustive list. Please contact us if you do not see your activity listed here but require CIWM (WAMITAB)/COTC/TCM cover for your waste site.

WAMITAB Training

Can you provide CIWM (WAMITAB) Training (formally WAMITAB Training) whilst you provide the cover so that we can take back the role of TCM?

Enviroawards are part of the approved network of CIWM (WAMITAB) training centres. We can provide you with the training you need to take back the role of TCM. The qualification can be achieved a lot quicker than usual due to having the additional support from our TCM’s and Assessors.

Other Services

Can you provide any other service whilst on our site?

In addition to providing TCM cover and the Level 4 CIWM (WAMITAB) Operator Competence course (Previously known as Level 4 WAMITAB Operator Competence), Some of our team hold degree level health and safety qualifications and some are even NPORS plant instructors. When there is spare time during any site visit, we are more than happy to help within other areas of your business. You will not find many TCM’s that can offer that.


What are costs?

The cost for the Level 4 CIWM (WAMITAB) award (previously the Level 4 WAMITAB award) can be found on our main CIWM (WAMITAB) training page. We will discount the course total by 50% if we were to provide you with the TCM cover.

The cost for the TCM cover will depend on where you are based and the amount of time the TCM is required to attend site. Please contact us for quotes.

Want to enrol or find out more?

Please call us to speak to one of our friendly members of the team.

Alternatively, drop us an email and we will aim to get back to you as soon as possible.