COVID-19 – National Water Hygiene Update

The information below was correct at the time of publication. Our response with regard to NWH has now changed. Please visit www.eusr.co.uk/news for all our updates.

With the full impact of the Coronavirus as yet unknown, Energy & Utility Skills are working across its water industry partners to build as much resilience as is possible.

In response to industry questions regarding maintaining National Water Hygiene EUSR registrations that are expiring in the coming weeks and months, we have set out the following guidance. 

A valid EUSR National Water Hygiene registration is mandated by all water companies across Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England in cooperation with the UK drinking water regulators, and is a core requirement of the Principles of Water Supply Hygiene and Water UK Technical Guidance in order to protect public health. It remains a mandatory requirement for all individuals working on the public water supply within Restricted Operations.

As part of their contingency planning for the COVID-19 event, water companies will be required to have a more flexible direct and indirectly employed workforce working across their water assets. It is therefore more important than ever that anyone working within Restricted Operations is properly trained and assessed in how to observe best practice on site and maintain the high standards expected by every company and the UK’s drinking water quality regulators.  

“Hygiene at the moment is the highest priority for the health of individuals and the public and this does not reduce during this time but arguably becomes more important”.

Marcus Rink, Chief Inspector, Drinking Water Inspectorate.

Through discussion with the chairs of the Water UK Strategic Drinking Water Quality Network and National Water Hygiene Group we can confirm that throughout the COVID-19 event, the National Water Hygiene Scheme continues to apply as a mandated requirement and a valid registration must be maintained. It is vital that every person on site maintains the highest possible standards of hygiene, and no reduction in competence or compliance occurs.

Energy & Utility Skills are therefore working to help all organisations, where the current situation and restrictions could make it difficult for individuals to complete their renewal training and assessment before their expiry date or gain access to an Approved Trainer.  For a limited period, we are offering a Computer Based Learning (CBL) route for renewals of EUSR National Water Hygiene registrations. Organisations wishing to use the National Water Hygiene CBL registration renewal route will be asked to sign a ‘Declaration’ which sets out their roles and responsibilities.  This Declaration must be signed by a Senior Manager or Director and will include the following criteria for temporary National Water Hygiene CBL approval:

  • Approval is temporary and valid only up to and including 30 June 2020.
  • National Water Hygiene CBL is for renewal of EUSR registration only.  It is not available for individuals who do not already hold a valid EUSR National Water Hygiene registration.
  • The expiry date for existing EUSR National Water Hygiene registrations to be renewed must be between 19 March 2020 and 30 June 2020.
  • A CBL Administrator(s) will be appointed who will administer the scheme on behalf of the organisation – a registration form is required to be completed for each individual performing this role.
  • The CBL assessment must be delivered in the workplace and on a work computer.
  • Payment is by Purchase Order only and a credit account will be set up with Energy & Utility Skills.
  • By submitting an application for EUSR National Water Hygiene renewal, the organisation is confirming they have checked the individual’s identity and there has been no malpractice during the assessment, for example cheating or collusion.
  • EUSR National Water Hygiene registrations processed under this temporary measure will be valid for the usual 3 years.
  • EUSR National Water Hygiene registration renewal will be charged at the published list price – see www.eusr.co.uk.

Should you have any questions, please contact the EUSR Support, Monday – Friday, 8.00am – 5.00pm, email quality@euskills.co.uk or call us on 0121 745 1310 (option 1).