CIWM (WAMITAB) Operator Competence Level 4 COTC



10% Discount for medium/large organisations that would like to make us an approved supplier for CIWM (WAMITAB) training


50% Discount on our CIWM (WAMITAB) Continuing Competence Refresher Course


25% Discount on our NPORS Plant Training courses for all categories


WAMITAB stands for the Waste Management Training & Advisory Board. They have developed over 120 qualification pathways to choose from to ensure competence in the workplace and to promote environmental sustainability. On the 20th of December 2021, WAMITAB withdrew from its status as an Awarding Organisation. WAMITAB’s parent company CIWM is now the awarding body for all Waste and Resource qualification. CIWM, the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, is a professional membership body that represents and supports over 5,000 individuals and 250 Affiliated Organisations across the UK and overseas. CIWM are both a Professional Body and Awarding Body that develops and awards regulated qualifications.

There have been no change as to the qualifications specifications from WAMITAB to CIWM. The only difference is the title of the award which will now be CIWM (WAMITAB) instead of WAMITAB. 


CIWM (WAMITAB) Operator Competence Scheme

The CIWM (WAMITAB) Operator Competence Scheme was approved by Defra and the Welsh Assembly Government for England and Wales on December 22nd 2008. Participation in the scheme by gaining primary competence provides evidence of the technical knowledge and skills needed on a waste site. This evidence can be required by employers and the environmental regulators.

For CIWM (WAMITAB) Qualifications that fall under the CIWM (WAMITAB) Operator Competence Scheme, the qualification you need is dependent on the type of facility/operation that you are involved with and its environmental impact/risk rating. These are then divided into risk tiers; low, medium, and high.

For low risk activities, a total of 4 units will need to be completed. The types of operations that fall under a low risk activity are:

  • Metal Recycling (dry scrap)
  • In-house storage of non-hazardous waste
  • Treatment of waste to produce soil, soil substitute and aggregate
  • Inert transfer
  • Construction waste

For medium risk activities, a total of 6 units will need to be completed. The types of operations that fall under a medium risk activity are:

  • Waste transfer stations
  • Non-hazardous waste treatment
  • Material recovery
  • In-vessel composting
  • Open windrow composting
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • End of life Vehicles
  • Civic amenity (CA/HWRC)
  • Land remediation
  • Mechanical biological treatment
  • Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)
  • Metal recycling

For high risk activities, a total of 12 units will need to be completed. The types of operations that fall under a high-risk activity are:

  • Hazardous waste treatment
  • Thermal treatment (autoclave, pyrolysis, gasification, incineration)
  • Hazardous waste transfer
  • Hazardous clinical waste
  • Landfill (open, single waste stream, closed).

What CIWM (WAMITAB) Award do I need to achieve?

If you are operating under a standard rules permit then you can see what award you will need to achieve by viewing the risk tier table here: It is advisable that you check with the environment agency if you are in doubt. please feel free to call us if you need any assistance in selecting the appropriate award.

We are approved to deliver all statutory awards that fall under the CIWM (WAMITAB) Operator Competence Scheme that lead to a COTC/OCC.

If you know what award you need to achieve and want to find out more information on that particular course, please select the award listed below:

For medium risk activities, a total of 6 units will need to be achieved. The qualifications applicable to medium risk waste operations are:

How much will my CIWM (WAMITAB) qualification cost?

We are one of the most competitively priced CIWM (WAMITAB) training providers in the UK. We have a passion for education and training, especially in the waste, resource, and environmental sector. This is primarily due to the major skills deficit within our industry. We are trying our best to overcome this through the training services we provide. We want our qualifications to be more accessible to organisations and individuals. One of the ways in which we achieve this is by making them more affordable.

Our price stays the same no matter where you are in England. There are no additional fees to be paid for assessor travel/mileage. Our package deals are fully inclusive of everything you need to succeed. For Wales, Scotland & Ireland, there will be additional costs incurred due to extended assessor travel. prices shown are exclusive of VAT.

What happens after I have enrolled?

We will register the learner(s) with the Awarding Body CIWM (WAMITAB). We will then allocate the learner with an assessor who is an expert in that field. The assessor will make contact with the learner to set up an introductory visit. During this visit, the assessor will explain the assessment process and produce an assessment plan which will detail how he/she intends to assess that learner. This will range from observations of the learner undertaking a task which demonstrates their skills.

Professional discussions with the learner to demonstrate understanding. Written answers to a series of questions to demonstrate underpinning knowledge. Naturally occurring evidence (work products) such as meeting minutes, risk assessments, site diary etc to demonstrate occupational competence and operational involvement. The assessor will then visit the learner at various stages throughout the award to assess the work that has been produced. Mentoring can be incorporated into the process where a learner is struggling to meet the standards.

Our promise to you is that you will have all the support you need to be successful in your course. It is impossible to fail your qualification, you will either be deemed competent or not yet competent. Once the learning outcomes and assessment criteria have been met, you will be awarded with your CIWM (WAMITAB) COTC/OCC. This will enable you to be the technically competent manager (TCM) for your site. If you wish to act as a TCM then you will need to sit a continuing competence test every two years.


What is the CIWM (WAMITAB) Operator Competence Scheme?

The Operator Competence Scheme was approved by DEFRA and the Welsh Assembly Government in 2008. The scheme was designed to allow operators of permitted waste sites to demonstrate that they have the technical competence to manage the environmental impacts of their activity. It is a legal requirement under the Environmental Permitting Regulations for operators of permitted waste sites to comply with an approved scheme. In short, every permitted waste site must have a technically competent manager (TCM). It is also referred to as a COTC holder or WAMITAB holder. Enviroawards are approved to deliver every award that has been developed as part of this scheme. 

With the recent changes to WAMITAB’s withdrawal an Awarding Body, is my WAMITAB qualification still valid? Or will I need to achieve the CIWM qualification?

WAMITAB’s qualifications are on the Regulated Qualifications Framework, as such, they are qualifications for life. They are and will continue to be recognised by the Environment Agency, SEPA and Natural Resources Wales as demonstration that the holder has the technical competence to manage permitted waste facilities. You will not be required to gain the new CIWM award. You will of course still need to pass the continuing competence test every 2 years if you want wish to act as the Technically Competent Manager (TCM) for your site.

I am applying for a new environmental permit and the application is asking for evidence of registration onto the WAMITAB or CIWM qualification. What do I need to do?

You will need to register through a CIWM (WAMITAB) Approved training centre to undertake your qualification. The training centre will send you over proof of registration for you to submit with your permit application. Once the permit is approved and the site becomes operational, you will be given a grace period in order to achieve the full qualification. If you fail to achieve the qualification within the set time frame, you may need to employ someone that holds the appropriate WAMITAB or CIWM qualification and have an up to date continuing competence certificate (where applicable). If you need to register for your WAMITAB or CIWM Operator Competence award, please feel free to get in touch.

I am having an environmental permit transferred over to me. I will be the new legal operator but I do not hold a COTC, WAMITAB or CIWM qualification. What do I need to do?

Unfortunately in most cases there are no grace periods given for you to achieve the relevant Operator Competence Qualification during a transfer of permit. This means you will need to employ someone (typically one day per week) that holds the relevant COTC, WAMITAB or CIWM award. We can provide the COTC/TCM/WAMITAB cover you require whilst you achieve the relevant qualification. All our COTC holders are approved assessors and can mentor you through your award to ensure you achieve it in a much faster time frame. We are not the Environment Agency, We are not here to regulate you. We are here help you and provide you with the guidance you need to make a success of your operation. 

How long does it take to achieve the CIWM (WAMITAB) Operator Competence Qualification?

This is a question we get asked a lot. There is no hard and fast rule to this but here are some key things to consider for predicting how long It can take to achieve your qualification:


  • Your prior knowledge
  • The amount of time you have in your working day to dedicate to your qualification 
  • Your level of involvement with the operation e.g. are you a full time employee with loads of naturally occurring evidence to submit
  • If your company has good management systems in place e.g. policies, procedures, risk assessments etc.
  • If you are studying a low risk (4 unit award), medium risk (6 unit award) or high risk (12 unit award)


We have had candidates complete in as little as 6-8 weeks. On the other side of things we have had candidates take up to 18 months to complete because they are incredibly busy people who can’t find the time to commit to its production. Either way, you will have a great level of support given to you from your allocated assessor so if you want to crack it out in the shortest time possible, We are here to get you through it.

Will I be provided with resources to help me complete the WAMITAB or CIWM Operator Competence Qualification?

You will be provided with the best resource available – your allocated assessor. The Enviroawards team of assessors are in this for the right reasons and want nothing more than for you to succeed. On top of this, you will have access to our Virtual Learning Environment where you will find resources to help you complete the underpinning knowledge questions such as videos and guidance documents, as well as templates for you to complete some of the practical work (if you do not already have these systems on your site) such as health and safety audits, environmental audits, risk assessments, near miss reporting system, non-compliant reports and more. We are one of the only CIWM (WAMITAB) approved centres that operate a virtual learning environment. 95% of the training centres out there will not provide you with any learning resources to help you complete the course (give a quick ring around and you will find out for yourself).

What are the start dates/times for me to enrol onto the CIWM (WAMITAB) Level 4 Operator Competence Course?

You can register and get started as soon as you like. 

There are two of us that would like to register, can we complete the course together?

You can register and complete the course at the same time as your colleague but the assessments are based on the individual demonstrating competence on their waste site. For this reason, you will not be able to complete the actual work together because the assessments are based on the individual, not the group. You can however share best practice and ideas with one another which can prove incredibly useful. Particularly if you both have different skill sets and knowledge in various areas on your site. 

My level of written or spoken English is not great, will this hinder my performance?

We have mechanisms in place to help learners who are either EAL (English Additional Language), SEN (Special Educational Needs) or learners who simply struggle with spelling/writing. We operate the following policies:

  • Access to Fair Assessment Policy
  • Equal Opportunities & Diversity 
  • Reasonable Adjustments Policy 

Through these policies we are able to make reasonable adjustments to assessment to cater for learners who would be disadvantaged by something that is out of their control. If you would like to know more about these policies and how we can assist you in your learning programme, please contact us.

I am studying my CIWM WAMITAB Award through a different training provider and I do not feel like I am getting the support I need. Can you help?

We can help you achieve your award by allocating a mentor to provide you with the guidance and support you need. The Enviroawards team are qualified Assessors and Teachers in further Education and have a passion for helping others achieve. If you are in a position where you feel you need support, please contact us for a discreet and non-obligation chat. 

What routes are there to gaining a Level 4 Waste Qualifications to satisfy my Environmental Permit/Waste management Licence requirements?

CIWM (WAMITAB) have two different routes for operators of medium risk waste operations. One of which is the NVQ assessment route where you demonstrate your competencies to your assessor through a range of different methods e.g. discussions, questions and answers, naturally occurring evidence (things that you do everyday within your job role such as managing staff, reports, quarterly returns, emails, site procedures, policies etc). This route is ideal for individuals that are already working on a permitted waste site. It Is also the only option for operators of high risk waste operations/installations as it is the only route available for these types of permits/activities. You might already have 50% of the evidence needed to complete this course sitting Infront of you!

The other route is known as the VRQ route (Vocationally Related Qualification). This is a far more academic route as the entire course is focused on underpinning knowledge. It is growing increasingly popular over the years but it still only accounts for a small fraction of learners when compared to the NVQ route due to the shear amount of writing involved. Its also extremely intensive and not as flexible as the NVQ as the NVQ route is completed at your own pace. 

When I complete the qualification, when do I need to do the continuing competence test? And if I don’t do it in time, will I lose the qualification?

Once you achieve your primary qualification, you will never lose it. It is a fully OFQUAL Regulated award and is a qualification for life. If you do not sit your continuing competence test after the 2 year mark, you will not be able to act the Technically Competent Manager for the site. You can take the continuing test after 10 years if you like. You only need to achieve a pass in the continuing if you are required to have it for your site. With this being said, even if you are not using your qualifications to satisfy your permit requirement, it is still good practice to do the continuing test to keep your knowledge up to date. As a thank you to our candidates for studying with us, We offer a 50% discount for life of our continuing competence refresher courses. We also give further 25% discounts for NPORS plant training. 

I have previously completed a WAMITAB COTC. I have now moved sites that is carrying out a different activity. Will I need to complete the entire course again for the new activity?

This depends on when you completed your previous WAMITAB Qualification. If you completed it on the old QCF system (Qualifications Curriculum Framework) then any generic units that appear in the new qualification can be carried over. If you achieved your WAMITAB award when it was on the even older NQF framework then unfortunately no units can be carried over. As a general rule, we can likely transfer units over if you achieved them after 2010. Please feel free to contact us to clarify how many units you would need to complete if you have already achieved a previous WAMITAB award. 

I have a question to ask that is not listed within the FAQ section, can I contact you and ask?

We are here to help in any way we can. Please feel free to call or email us, our contact details can be found on the contact us page. We look forward to hearing from you.

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.

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