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The focus of the paper is a national certification program for maintenance personnel that is analogous to that for operators (i.e., Association of Boards of Certification - ABC). While maintenance certification will provide the water and wastewater industry with a long needed means to recognize the competency and professionalism of this important personnel group, it also supports the development of a motivated, multi-skilled and flexible maintenance work force and completes a formal configuration for objectively validating cross training competency of operations and maintenance personnel – key competitive goals.

Operator certification has been established in the water/wastewater industry for decades. There are typically 4 to 5 levels of operator certification, each level being based upon increasing competency in process kinetics, process control parameters, safety and management. The challenge with maintenance certification was to develop a program that could capture the diverse disciplines of welder, plumber, pipe fitter, machinist, electrician, and other trades under one umbrella.

Maintenance certification provides an objective means to validate competency levels and a structure for career advancement. The successive levels aid the individual in achieving multi-skilled knowledge and a high level of expertise in the areas of corrective, preventive and predictive maintenance and maintenance management as well as process control fundamentals.

The most exciting aspect of DCWASA's innovative maintenance certification training program is that the morale and enthusiasm of maintenance personnel have increased significantly. As employees become increasingly connected with the overall mission of efficient facility operation there has been a marked improvement in DCWASA's competitive status.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2002-01-01

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