New free tool to help waste management industry assess workforce competences

Glass recycling worker.

The Competence Assessment Tool has been developed by the SWITCH Forum (Scottish Waste Industry Training Competency and Health & Safety) to help managers, supervisors and team leaders in the waste management industry to assess individuals and their teams against a range of competences and skills relevant to their job roles.

It is now available to download from Zero Waste Scotland’s website and will shortly be available via the Chartered Institute of Waste Management Scotland website.

Charlie Devine, Head of Resource Management at Zero Waste Scotland, who chairs the SWITCH group, said:

“This is a simple, easy to use and free tool which will help assess both individual and team strengths and help employers to identify training and development needs.

“As an industry we need to work together to create a consistent approach to health, safety and competence and invest now in the skills that will be necessary for the workforce of the future.”

The SWITCH Forum is made up of over 30 organisations from the waste and recycling, education and skills industries. It aims to provide leadership by working together to raise standards of health and safety, training, learning, development and competence to promote the Scottish resource management industry as an attractive career choice.

February saw the official launch of the SWITCH Competency Framework in Scotland – the first of its kind in the UK – with the ambition of making the waste management industry a safer and healthier place to work. It focuses on a number of entry level roles, providing core competences for frontline staff in household, commercial and industrial waste management.

Based on the framework, the tool has been designed by the forum with wide consultation with the industry for six key roles and apply to the following job categories:

– Materials Recovery Facility
– Household Waste Recycling Centre
– Collection Crew
– Driving
– Manual Street Cleaning
– Plant and Machine Operators.

For more information and to download the tool, visit

To find out about how you can join the SWITCH network, email

You can also keep up to date with the Switch Forum on Twitter @switch_forum