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Training and Education
First Nations Training Advisory Group
The provision of water and wastewater service for First Nations (F/N) communities is a federal responsibility. However, from a regulatory perspective, unlike the provinces, the Government of Canada does not have a program in place to classify facilities or to certify operators – a program that is deemed to provide a level of competency acceptable to jurisdictions throughout North America to ensure operator excellence exists in water and wastewater facilities. The federal government does have a desire to ensure that operators of F/N facilities meet the provincial regulatory requirements of the jurisdiction in which the community is located as a means to address the gap in their oversight of these facilities.
A ‘National Assessment of First Nations Water and Wastewater Systems’ report (Neegan Burnside report), released in April 2011, identified "gaps" in operator training and certification in Atlantic Canada. To effectively address the "gaps", water and wastewater service providers, regulators, training professionals and industry associations need to establish better linkages with F/N operators, and ensure that those linkages are specific to the challenges they face. Effective training assists the operator in: a) doing their job in a competent manner; and b) preparing to challenge certification exams.
The Maritime Provinces Water & Wastewater Association (MPWWA) is an industry leader in operations training, established and run for operators – all water and wastewater operators in Atlantic Canada. Recognizing that Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), utilizes the ‘Circuit Rider Training Program’ (CRTP) to deliver training to water and wastewater operators of First Nations facilities, the MPWWA has further improved training opportunities for all operators by establishing a mechanism that focuses on the specific needs of F/N operators. This new mechanism has also ensured that a streamlined administration process has been put in place that works for the MPWWA, the regulatory agencies and the F/N members.
Establishing a First Nations Training Advisory Group (F/N TAG) as an arm of the MPWWA has strengthened operator ties throughout Atlantic Canada and positioned the Association to continue to build and maintain strategic alliances and partnerships with other key stakeholders in the region’s water and wastewater industry to benefit our members.
The ‘First Nations Training Advisory Group’ (F/N TAG) of the MPWWA determines how best the Association can provide assistance and guidance to F/N operators with their training and career planning that will lead them toward improved facility operation, a higher level of operator confidence and with meeting operator certification requirements.
Membership of the First Nations Training Advisory Group of the MPWWA consists of the following:
- A minimum of two (2) MPWWA Board of Director members, up to a maximum of three (3) – one to serve as the Chairperson of F/N TAG
- A minimum of one (1) certified operator from a First Nations facility in Atlantic Canada, up to a maximum of two (2)
- A minimum of one (1) member from the region’s CRTP (footnote )
- A minimum of one (1) provincial government representative currently on the MPWWA Board of Directors, up to a maximum of two (2)
- A maximum of two (2) representatives from the Government of Canada (footnote ) from Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development Canada, Health Canada and/or Environment Canada.