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[Envrionmental Permit] Competence Management system

Published by the Energy & Utiltieis Skills Group, the The Competence Management System (CMS) Standard is a management system-based Standard  which is approved by Defra, SEPA, the EA, the Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales as a method of demonstrating technical competence of permitted waste sites. It can be used by any company, from any industry, that is required to demonstrate technical competence for their environmental permit as required by the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2007

Why should you choose this standard?

The most widely used method of assuring the regulators that a waste management organisation complies with the competencies requirements of their permit is the existing Certificate of Technical Competence (COTC) system, WAMITAB scheme.

The big disadvantage to this is that it is a person, not an entity, that is certified. When they leave, so does that assurance for the regulator.

Waste plastic image

Following demand from the waste management sector the Energy & Utilities Skills Group developed & published the Competence Management Scheme.

Being certified (by a UKAS accredited certification Body) means you are no longer dependent on individual(s) to keep their WAMITAB certification current, or leaving you needing to find a replacement should they leave.

To speak to an expert to discuss your requirements call us on 0113 801 9001 or email us at info@episodeltd.com

Key benefits

By adopting the Competence Management System [CMS] standard, an entity:

  • Doesn’t solely rely on an induvial - it recognises that all employees on a site contribute to the overall performance of the site.
  • Ensures competence is embedded throughout the company rather than in one person
  • Make sure employees undergo training that is relevant to their role and the activities and processes carried out on the site.
  • Increases employee's awareness of environmental issues, permit requirements and how their role may impact on the permit.
  • Increased awareness of emergency situations for all employees, reducing incident response times and the risk of site downtime
  • Includes all those acting on behalf of an Operator e.g. visitors, contractors, sub-contractors and agency staff which minimises risk
  • Removes reliance on specific individuals that can leave or be unavailable due to sickness and holidays.

Case Study - SAR Metals

Episode has worked with SAR Metals for several years. We helped them become to be certified to three standards, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 45001. We continue to provide service throughout the year helping the SAR team get the most from the system and retain certification.

SAR Metals logo

It was identified as part of the strategic planning done by SAR that there was a critical dependency on the Chief Compliance Officer, Dave Marsden. Should he be off work for an extended period of time, the company would potentially be in breach of their environmental permit.

SAR recognised that a more effective way of ensuring permit compliance was to adopt the CMS standard. Not only was it far more cost-effective than having other staff members WAMITAB certified, it also meant that they no longer dependent on individual staff members.

By intent the competence management standard is written in with the same structure as ISO 14001, environmental management. As such we were able to integrate the CMS into the integrated management system seamlessly.

SAR is now certified by LRQA, a leading ULAS accreited certification body.

Dave commented that

"We have always valued Episode's support as they understand us as a business, and they keep things a simple as possible. We also knew that with their help it would be a relatively easy process, given how we already place emphasis on staff development as part of our quality management programme. They managed the whole process, allowing us to focus on running the business. "

Your Competence management system certification journey

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Getting Started

  1. Provide a comprehensive briefing of what the standard asks you to do in simple to understand terms
  2. Begin to understand in detail how you operate
  3. Set a timetable and stick to it
  4. Decide what you want covered by the certificate – which sites, products and services.
  5. Put the right resources in place
  6. Collect all existing documentation
  7. Establish a dedicated client portal on our collaboration and document sharing platform
  8. Work with our Environmental Permitting consultancy partner, DJM Consultants, to identify the competencies needed by your permit
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  1. Establish a detailed project plan in our online project management platform (and stick to it)
  2. Decide with you what you need operationally
  3. Complete a gap analysis between what the standard requires and what you have/do already
  4. Implement the system
  5. Submit the system to Episode Head Office for final QC checks
  6. We return it to you for your final approval
  7. Separate consultant internally audits the system
  8. Carry out a management review
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  1. Work with you to select and appoint a UKAS accredited certification body
  2. Be onsite throughout the certification process
  3. Address any issues that arise during the audit
  4. Brief you on post-certification activity:
    a. 3 year cycle of annual surveillance audits and
    b. what you need to do throughout the year to maintain the system
  5. Agree where the finished, certified system should be housed

Episode guarantees certification

When done correctly, gaining and maintaining ISO certification is not as complicated as most think. Trust Episode to make ISO work for you, not the other way around.

Contact us today on 0113 8019001 or click here to email us


It was only by utilising the expert guidance and experience of Episode that Thurston Group was able to attain certification within an exceptionally challenging time frame. We therefore offer our thanks to Episode Ltd. For the diligent and professional services provided. We also look forward to working with them again soon and would not hesitate to recommend their services."

Peter Spieight, Senior Divisional Director, Thurston Group, Wakefield

Roger's support was invaluable in terms of gap analysis, recommendations for improvement, and facilitation of the certification process. I would strongly recommend Roger to any organisation wishing to develop or improve its management systems, in a way which minimizes bureaucracy, and focuses on best serving the needs of the organization.

Gary Evans, Flour Corporation, Abu Dhabi

Roger and Sandy at Episode were  great in helping us achieve not only one but two ISO standards 9001:2015 and 14001:2015. Episode were extremely helpful from the onset, they were able to break down the ISO standard so they were easily comprehensible and well applied to our business in a sustainable manner.  They are a company that offers a guaranteed certification at the end of the process and they delivered it.  I believe that the work completed during this process was key to us having won the Leeds Bid contract.

Harvey Mills, Managing Director, Forge Recycling, Leeds. 

If Sandy hasn’t already updated you we are delighted to say we passed the transition audit for ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.  Sandy did an absolutely fab job and all credit to her, we have loved having both of you here it’s been a pleasure.

I have had a brief chat with Morgan[the CEO] about the next steps and how we manage things going forwards.  Morgan will be in touch with you soon about this and getting Episode/Sandy back in on a regular basis. Once again many thanks for everything and especially to Sandy!!

Morag Tearne, HR and Health & Safety Manager, H. Slingsby plc, Shipley

Episode is always prepared to go the extra mile. When in a tight spot the lead consultant carried out an audit for us at very short notice (on a Sunday afternoon) to keep us on track. What is important to us is the advice they give us is practical and tailored to us. The quality of output Episode produces is very high. 

This has resulted in us having a multi-year managed service from Episode so as a company we know our ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 integrated system is up to date and working for us. 

Gareth Walters, Financial Controller, Sports Turf Research Institute, Bingley.

When asked by Episode what three things they do well, and what three things they could improve upon, my answers were:

Done well

1. Client Communication, responded to queries very quickly

2. Requirements of the standard were communicated in a simple manner.

3. Assistance from initial implementation to date of assessment was very good.

I can honestly there is nothing I feel they should improve upon.

Paul Hunneybell, Operations Manager, Fenland Fire Contracts Limited, Luton

The consultant worked with the team in Scott Bader Middle East Ltd. to completely re-engineer our Integrated Management System incorporating ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. Until then we were slaves to the ISO audits, with the systems not adding much value beyond certification. Now we have a business management system that really works for us and is truly integrated into our operations. We were also successfully re-certified along the way.

John Kemp, CEO Scott Bader Middle East, Africa and Asia

The consultant really focused on making our systems and processes work better for us, not just help us comply with ISO 9001. He was able to work with Department Heads and Senior Management to shape their strategic thinking about quality and business objectives without telling them what they had to do because the standard says so.

Karim D'Alessandro, HSE Director, Shelf Drilling Inc.