National Water Hygiene

 About National Water Hygiene

Our National Water Hygiene (‘Blue Card’) scheme plays a vital part in ensuring the protection of public health and promoting good water hygiene practices. The scheme has been developed in collaboration with all UK water companies.

All UK water companies require individuals entering clean water sites or working on the clean water network – known as ‘Restricted Operations’, to hold a National Water Hygiene EUSR registration.

‘Restricted Operations’ includes working on service reservoirs, water pumping stations, water treatment works, wells, springs, boreholes as well as working on the network of water mains and service pipes.

It’s not just water company employees.  If you are working on a ‘Restricted Operation’ on behalf of a water company subcontractor or other organisation, such as Self-Lay Organisation (SLOs) – then you need a National Water Hygiene EUSR registration.

Once you have successfully completed your National Water Hygiene training and assessment, you will understand the vital part you play in maintaining clean and safe drinking water and protecting public health. All new and renewal National Water Hygiene EUSR registrations are issued with a virtual card instead of the previous plastic card (also known as the ‘Blue Card’). Virtual cards mean you can never forget or lose your card and are easily accessible on any smartphone, tablet or iPad using the Vircarda app. Click here for a guide to Getting Started.

Watch our Video about Water Hygiene

What’s covered?

The National Water Hygiene scheme is developed in collaboration with all UK water companies and key stakeholders from across the water industry, so you can be confident that the content covers all the required knowledge and awareness of good water hygiene practices:

There are four modules:

Module 1:            The importance of water

Module 2:            Water as a carrier of disease

Module 3:            Potential contamination and its consequences

Module 4:            Preventing contamination

Delivery models

The 2023 NWH scheme consists of the following:

 2023 NWH (Face-to -face) training  

2023 NWH (Remote/e-Classroom) training

2023 NWH (e-Learning/e-Assessment) programme


All NWH training is assessed through a multiple choice question test.  The test contains 25 questions.

Quality Assured Routes to Registration

There are 3 routes to registration for National Water Hygiene:

  • Face-to-face training
  • Remote/e-Classroom training
  • e-Learning & e-Assessment

The first two options are delivered by approved trainers either in person (face-to-face training) or virtually via online software (e-Classroom). All Trainers delivering National Water Hygiene must be approved by us and have appropriate and recent water industry experience and competence – as well as training or assessment qualifications and experience.  Our ongoing quality assurance, through monitoring and audits, ensures high quality training and a very positive learning experience.

The third option, e-Learning (with associated e-Assessment), can be accessed via our XAMS e-Learning portal. The content and usability of the programme is carefully reviewed and approved by our quality assurance team. E-Learning offers a flexible and cost-effective way to achieve an EUSR registration.

EUSR Registration

Completing a National Water Hygiene training programme and assessment results in an EUSR registration for three years.

EUSR is the energy and utilities sector register for skills, training – and sometimes authorisations and qualifications.  Available online 24/7, it is used by employers, and individuals, to verify skills and training.

Registration on EUSR reduces duplication of training for those who work at more than one location – saving you and your employers, time and money.

Health Screening

A health screening questionnaire must be completed by all individuals prior to the training and assessment. In this questionnaire, you must declare whether you have, or have had in the preceding 12 months, any of these illnesses:

  • Typhoid
  • Paratyphoid
  • Dysentery
  • Persistent diarrhoea or vomiting
  • Jaundice or Hepatitis (A or E)
  • Prolonged unexplained fever

If you have, or have had, any of these illnesses, then you must get written confirmation from a medical practitioner, for example your GP, that you are illness and symptom free before you can be registered for National Water Hygiene on EUSR.

Re-Registration on EUSR

When your National Water Hygiene (“Blue Card”) EUSR registration has expired, you will need to renew it by re-taking the training and assessment, either face-to-face, e-Classroom, or e-Learning & e-Assessment – this will depend on whether you are directly employed by a water company and also the approval status of the Trainer.

CITB Short Course

Energy & Utility Skills is a recognised Approved Training Organisation (ATO) for CITB and the UK construction industry. Our National Water Hygiene scheme is recognised by CITB for short course duration funding. If you are a Levy paying employer, to find out more about these grants, click here.

Drinking Water Inspectorate

Milo PurcellDeputy Chief Inspector of the Drinking Water Inspectorate has stated  “The Drinking Water Inspectorate welcomes this update to the Scheme, which covers a core competency for all those involved in the provision of water supply to the consumer’s tap. Participation in the Scheme helps promote high standards of hygiene and safety, ensuring that drinking water remains clean and safe, and that consumers are protected.”

“The updated National Water Hygiene Scheme is founded on the best practice enshrined in the water industry’s Principles of Water Supply Hygiene. It provides personnel in the sector with knowledge and awareness of the public health implications of their roles and enables water companies and contractors working on water supply systems to demonstrate their commitment to the promotion of a public health culture in delivery of routine activities.”

Find Out More

If you would like to get trained in this scheme, please use our scheme search to find a trainer. If you are a trainer and would like to deliver this scheme, please see our guidance on delivering passport schemes.

If you have any queries relating to EUSR or the evidence requirements for any of our schemes or programmes, please contact the EUSR Support team. We are available Monday – Friday, 8.00am – 5.00pm via email or tel: 0121 745 1310.