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Occupational Certificate: Industrial Water Process Controller 
102578  Occupational Certificate: Industrial Water Process Controller 
Development Quality Partner - EWSETA 
-   OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
Occupational Certificate  Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology  Engineering and Related Design 
Undefined  251  Not Applicable  NQF Level 05  Regular-ELOAC 
Passed the End Date -
Status was "Reregistered" 
SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

The purpose of this qualification is to prepare a learner to operate as an Industrial Water Process Controller. An Industrial Water Process Controller controls, monitors and manages industrial plant to treat, store and distribute industrial water such as demineralisation, desalination, condensate polishing, chemical waste, environmental waste, cooling water, membrane technology and process water including water for human consumption, industrial use, and wastewater treatment and fire water for sustainable industrial water production.

A qualified learner will be able to:
  • Monitor compliance with water-related legislation, regulations, and standards on industrial water treatment plant operations and adherence to organisational policies and standard
  • Monitor, control, verify and manage the entire industrial water plant processes.
  • Monitor and implement safety protocols for the entire industrial water plant processes.
  • Communicate process parameters, conditions, workplan and plant status with relevant stakeholders.
  • Validate calibration of measuring equipment and instruments.
  • Manage stock of chemicals for industrial water treatment.
  • Perform plant related administrative and supervisory functions.

    Organisations in the industrial water and wastewater treatment industry are looking for qualified industrial water process controllers as the requirements for higher productivity are ever increasing in this industry. Growing demand for industrial water requires more efficient use of infrastructure and competent personnel including industrial Water Process Controllers who are expected to manage and control as well as cope with the complex nature of industrial water treatment processes to demonstrate job knowledge and skills to enhance the water industry performance.

    South Africa is facing high unemployment rates which require job opportunities. Education and training in the industrial water sector that is competency-based will have a positive impact on employability. This qualification will offer the learners an opportunity to access education and training in an integrated manner providing them with requisite competencies (knowledge/theory, practical skills, workplace experience and attributes) to cope with labour market demands in this industry.

    This qualification will facilitate the standardisation of competencies required in the industrial water treatment processes within the various sectors. The industrial water treatment process controller qualification forms the basis for career pathing for those working or intending to work in the industrial water sector.

    This qualification was developed with the participation of major stakeholders such as ESKOM, CHIETA, FESTO, WISA, Department of Water and Sanitation, Rand Water, Independent consultants, Skills Development Providers, Organised Labour (Unions) such as SAMWU, Mining industry (Aveng), academies and Technical, Vocational and Education and Training colleges either during the development or verification stages. 

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    RPL for access to the external integrated summative assessment: Accredited providers and approved workplaces must apply the internal assessment criteria specified in the related curriculum document to establish and confirm prior learning. Accredited providers and workplaces must confirm prior learning by issuing a statement of result or certifying a work experience record.

    RPL for access to the qualification: Accredited providers and approved workplaces may recognise prior learning against the relevant access requirements.

    Entry Requirements:
  • National Certificate: Water Care, Level 4. 


    This qualification is made up of the following compulsory Knowledge and Practical Skill and Work Experience Modules.
    Knowledge Modules:
  • 313203001-KM-01: Water chemistry and water treatment, Level 5, 10 Credits.
  • 313203001-KM-02: Optimisation and control of industrial water treatment processes, Level 6, 15 Credits.
  • 313203001-KM-03: Process Control and Instrumentation, Level 5, 10 Credits.
  • 313203001-KM-04: Troubleshooting, Level 5, 5 Credits.
  • 313203001-KM-05: Industrial water treatment plant supervision and control, Level 5, 5 Credits.
  • 313203001-KM-06: Safety and Emergency, Level 6, 8 Credits
  • 313203001-KM-07: Stock Control, Level 4, 5 Credits.
  • 313203001-KM-08: Storage and reticulation of industrial water, Level 5, 8 Credits.
  • 313203001-KM-09: Environmental Waste Management, Level 5, 10 Credits.
    Total number of Credits for Knowledge Modules: 76.

    Practical Skill Modules:
  • 313203001-PM-01: Evaluate, monitor, and optimise the performance of the industrial water treatment plant and process, Level 5, 20 Credits.
  • 313203001-PM-02: Interact and interface with site operations using control systems, Level 5, 15 Credits.
  • 313203001-PM-03: Monitor and implement health, safety, and environmental site specific procedures on operations, Level 5, 20 Credits.
  • 313203001-PM-04: Perform troubleshooting of the industrial water treatment process related deviations, Level 5, 10 Credits.
  • 313203001-PM-05: Control tactical and non-tactical maintenance operations, Level 4, 5 Credits.
  • 313203001-PM-06: Control chemical stock, Level 4, 5 Credits.
  • 313203001-PM-07: Monitor team members and measure effectiveness of subordinate performance, Level 5, 10 Credits.
    Total number of Credits for Practical Skill Modules: 85.

    This qualification also requires the following Work Experience Modules:
  • 313203001-WM-01: Automated interfacing within industrial water treatment processes, Level 5, 20 Credits.
  • 313203001-WM-02: Safety protocols and processes, Level 5, 15 Credits.
  • 313203001-WM-03: Gain exposure to the processes and procedures for preforming preventative maintenance of plant equipment in real life industrial water treatment environment over a period of six months, Level 4, 15 Credits.
  • 313203001-WM-04: Quality assurance in measurements processes, Level 5, 20 Credits.
  • 313203001-WM-05: Stock control processes, Level 4, 10 Credits.
  • 313203001-WM-06: Shift personnel management processes, Level 6, 10 Credits.
    Total number of Credits for Work Experience Modules: 90. 

    1. Analyse, interpret and apply legislation, regulations, and standards applicable to industrial water treatment.
    2. Apply safety and emergency protocols on industrial water treatment plant.
    3. Optimise, control and supervise all industrial water treatment processes.
    4. Use applicable control systems and online analysers to control the industrial water treatment plant. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Different legislation applicable to industrial water treatment processes are analysed and interpreted in terms of their application and relevance in own plant context.
  • All industrial water treatment operations are monitored to ensure compliance with applicable legislation, regulations, and standards.
  • Given industrial water treatment case scenarios, the application of relevant regulations and standards are demonstrated.
  • Implications of non-compliance to applicable legislation, regulations, standards, municipal by-laws and organisational policies are explained with examples in own plant.
  • Management controls required to achieve legal and regulatory compliance within the industrial water sector are interpreted and explained in accordance with standard operating procedures.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Safety protocols and processes applicable in the industrial water treatment plant environment are explained in accordance with organisational requirements in own plant context.
  • Given a scenario, hazards and risks identification and assessment is conducted applying the relevant principles, and a mitigation plan is developed to address the identified hazards and risks.
  • Using a case scenario, descriptions of safe working procedures, safety precautions and Personal Protective Equipment and Clothing required for work to be done in the plant including selective preventative maintenance tasks are accurate and complete.
  • Good house- keeping measures and maintenance of equipment are explained to minimise operational problems, health, safety and environmental-related incidents and accidents.
  • Given simulated scenarios, the correct emergency and/or evacuation procedures are followed in accordance with organisational requirements.
  • Issuing of work permit complies with organisational requirements and standard operating procedures.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Using given safe operating procedures, the operation, shut-down, isolation, preservation, stand-by making and start-up procedures for a specific section of the plant are explained with examples.
  • Discuss the principles for monitoring, controlling and optimisation of industrial water treatment processes, energy efficiency, and environmental impact.
  • Explain the different types of chemical reactions specific to industrial water processes in own plant or organisation.
  • Given a case study, calculations on water treatment including mass of chemicals, chemical dosages, species concentration, mass and volume of wastes produced are performed.
  • Identify the various types of scaling and corrosion and explain the methods used to prevent and control scaling and corrosion to protect plant and equipment.
  • The principles and process chemistry associated with potable water production, ion exchange, cooling water, acid mine drainage, firewater, membrane technology, wastewater treatment including oily water and/or effluent as well as distillation processes are explained to monitor and control the industrial water treatment plant.
  • Methods of recording and reporting plant performance in relation to raw water intake treated water produced and volumes of filter wash water, as well as stock control and water losses, are explained in accordance with organisational requirements.
  • Explain the different types of data including water quality, hydraulics, operations and maintenance, their sources and review functions and identify the parameters that may cause industrial water quality degradation.
  • Discuss the variables impacting on the quantity and chemical quality of water in the distribution system.
  • Factors influencing sedimentation/precipitation efficiency are explained in relation to feeding water quality optimisation.
  • Explain the effect of thermodynamics on Reverse Osmosis membranes/Normalized and Specific Flux or Differential Pressure and the drives in the Reverse Osmosis Process.
  • Manual and automatic control of all industrial water treatment plant is demonstrated using a simulated scenario.
  • Using a table, the functionality and operability of cross flow and end flow designs differences are explained.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Using simulation or real-life control room, the sequence of start-up and shut-down of the plant is controlled to enhance plant life.
  • Using simulation or real-life control room, the process is monitored and optimised using measurements during the operation.
  • Using simulation or real-life control room, troubleshoot deviations and control emergency conditions.
  • Using simulation or real-life control room, calibration is validated, and all data is recorded and reported to relevant stakeholders for information and/or action where required.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Integrated Formative Assessment:
    The skills development provider will use the curriculum to guide them on the stipulated internal assessment criteria and weighting. They will also apply the scope of practical skills and applied knowledge as stipulated by the internal assessment criteria. This formative assessment leads to entrance into the integrated external summative assessment.

    Integrated Summative Assessment:
    An external integrated summative assessment, conducted through the relevant Quality Council for Trades and Occupations Assessment Quality Partner is required for the issuing of this qualification. The external integrated summative assessment will focus on the Exit Level Outcomes and Associated Assessment Criteria. 

    The international comparability is based on a study conducted by Industry on qualifications developed for industrial water treatment operations functioning in an industrial environment, to reference best practice in countries considered to be the leaders in industrial water treatment processes. For this purpose, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand were utilised for comparison. Qualifications and/or learning programmes registered on the national qualifications framework including apprenticeships and short courses offered by accredited institutions were examined. The study focused on the nature of training and content covered including duration of training in the classroom, practically in a simulated environment, and workplace levels.

    The Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training.
    Bundesinstitut Berufsbildung (BIBB): Water Supply Engineering Technician.

    Germany was chosen as it is regarded as a pioneer of innovative technologies and system solutions for sustainable water management as has major expertise in the field and water technology is a major pillar of its exports. The findings revealed that Germany is one of the 126 countries that offer Competence-Based Vocational Training and Education (CBET) offering a dual system which targets professional competence. The Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training list 344 occupations covering a variety of sectors/fields and develop qualifications to be registered on the European Qualifications Frameworks (EQF). Most countries base their training programmes on the German training model and training approach which has both academic and vocational elements that include forms of work-integrated learning taking two to four years to complete leading to high rate of the employability of qualifying learners. Learners are expected to undergo external examinations through competent authorities (chambers). This programme is aimed at Water Supply Engineering Technicians who work in municipal and industrial water supply firms. The programme compares favourably with this qualification in terms of scope and content which focuses on competence standards combined with training modules as learning standards that constitute the building blocks of a modularised curriculum. It is an equivalent of the South African qualification as it provides the opportunity to equip learners with the knowledge, skills, and competencies required of an industrial water treatment process controller.

    The programme is comprised of the following modules:
  • Safety of persons and plants.
  • Water management.
  • Water condition and water treatment.
  • Water winning.
  • Promotion of drinking water, water storage and distribution of water.
  • Water testing.
  • Measurement technology, numerical control engineering, and control technology.
  • Electric plants of water supply.
  • Information and documentation, quality assurance measures.
  • Drinking water protection and installations for clients.
  • Customer orientation.
  • Storage, tools, and equipment.
  • Materials, ancillary materials and dangerous materials, dangerous working substances, materials processing.
  • Legal requirements and technical regulations.
  • Quality management.
  • Environmental management.

    New Zealand:
    National Diploma in Drinking Water - Water Treatment (Site Technician) - Level 5.
    Opus Environmental Training Centre.

    This is the highest level qualification for people working in, or progressing towards, a supervisory or management role in water treatment either for Local Government or industrial water supply systems. The compulsory core section is designed to recognise knowledge of the management of water treatment processes, preventative maintenance and monitoring of product standards, the Health (Drinking-Water) Amendment Act 2007, the management of water treatment plant waste processes, process control including Piping and Instrumentation (P and I) drawings and Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA), the Drinking- Water Standards for New Zealand (DWSNZ), Public Health Risk Management Plans (PHRMP), drinking-water contaminants of public health significance, and team leadership skills. The qualification compares favourably with the South African qualification in terms of scope, context, level, and content.

    Course content:
  • Workplace health and safety.
  • Communication and management skills.
  • Quality management.
  • Legal obligations.
  • Report writing.
  • Assessing a wastewater treatment plant for optimal output.
  • Process control and management of critical points.
  • Management of wastewater reticulation systems.
  • Managing sedimentation and floatation.
  • Preventative maintenance.
  • Oxidation ponds and aerated lagoons.
  • Activated sludge.
  • Fixed growth reactors.
  • Tertiary processes.
  • Sewage bio-solid and effluent disinfection management.

    NWP40107: Certificate IV in Water Operations.
    This qualification could be applied to the occupation Supervisor Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants. The qualification is appropriate for staff involved in the management of operational staff. Their role expects them to have significant input into implementation and co-ordination of monitoring and operations" within the work groups" opposed to "within the Organisation." The Australian qualification is at a slightly higher level and has a greater emphasis on management. Management will be accommodated at level five in the South African context. The fundamental components, reflecting foundational learning and generic skills and knowledge have been derived from registered, local adult education unit standards.

    The course content covers the following:
  • Implement and monitor the organisation's OHS policies, procedures, and programs within the work group.
  • Coordinate and monitor the application of environmental plans and procedures.
  • Investigate and plan the optimisation of potable water distribution systems.
  • Apply principles of chemistry to water systems and processes.
  • Coordinate and monitor the optimisation of water treatment processes.
  • Coordinate and monitor the optimisation of wastewater treatment processes.
  • Investigate and plan the optimisation of granular media filtration processes.
  • Investigate and plan the optimisation of dissolved air flotation processes.
  • Investigate and plan the optimisation of sedimentation and clarification processes.
  • Coordinate and monitor the operation of wastewater collection systems.
  • Coordinate and monitor asset construction and maintenance.
  • Develop work priorities.
  • Administer contracts.
  • Implement operational plans.
  • Apply quality management techniques.

    This qualification compares well in that a substantial degree of similarity was found in most of the qualifications examined in terms of the occupational and competency standards. The South African qualification is comparable with the New Zealand and Australian qualifications as they have similarities within their respective curricula in terms levels, scope, and range of competencies on water and wastewater required for an industrial water treatment. However, there is a slight difference with the German qualification as the wastewater competencies are covered in a different programme for specialised skills in wastewater. 

    Horizontal Articulation:
  • National Certificate: Water Care, Level 5.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • National Diploma: Water Care, Level 6. 



    Qualifying for external assessment:
  • In order to qualify for the external summative assessment, learners must have a copy of a completed and signed Statement of Work Experience as well as proof of successful completion of the following subjects and modules or alternative programmes where applicable.

    Additional legal or physical entry requirements:
  • The learner must complete the following legal requirements in order to support the successful implementation of the Industrial Water Treatment occupational qualification according to organisational requirements: Chlorine Awareness/Safe-handling of Chlorine Basic Fire Fighting First Aid Level 1 Safe Lifting Practice Electrical Hoist Operation Self-sustained Breathing Apparatus Working at Heights Confined Space Entry Working near Water Bodies Atmospheric/Gas Testing Dipotherine Splash kit Training (acid burn) Fatigue Management.

    Criteria for the accreditation of providers:
  • Accreditation of providers will be done against the criteria as reflected in the relevant curriculum on the QCTO website.
  • The curriculum title and code is Industrial Water Plant Controller: 313203001.

    This qualification encompasses the following trades as recorded on the NLRD:
  • This is not a trade qualification.

    Part Qualifications:
  • None. 


    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.

    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.