The Aquasan Network in BiH recognizes the importance of introducing a process of certification of employees in the water services sector in BiH in order to ensure the sustainability of capacity building and, ultimately, to improve the quality of water services. The water services sector in BiH is generally facing operational, financial, legal and institutional challenges, and a comprehensive reform of the sector is needed to overcome this situation. One of the key elements of the reform is the training and certification of employees in the water services sector, which would establish a system for assessing and confirming that employees have the appropriate level of knowledge, education and experience to perform assigned tasks and define opportunities for their professional advancement and training.
Certified employees reduce the risk of public health risks, maximize the operation of water and sewage systems, ensure employee safety, optimize operating costs and protect the infrastructure for the provision of water services. Certification shows the commitment of workers and readiness for continuous learning. It contributes to strengthening the professional credibility of employees and reducing political interference in employment. By establishing a certification system in the water services sector, service users become confident that employees are able to manage water service delivery systems and identify and adequately respond to risks and incidents that may occur when providing these services.
Aquasan Network in BiH has prepared a document Concept for certification of operators in the water services sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was presented on February 15, 2022 to stakeholders from the FBiH and February 17 2022 for stakeholders from RS, ie representatives of relevant entity ministries, water agencies, environmental funds, associations of local self-government units, associations of water / utility companies and other participants, as well as representatives of international donor organizations based in BiH. On this occasion, participants were introduced to the background and the need to introduce a certification process in the water services sector in BiH, the reasons for establishing certification, an overview of the current situation and the conditions needed for a (good) certification program. Participants agreed that the introduction of a certification process is urgently needed and that the current reform of the water services sector is a great opportunity to lay the groundwork for establishing certification. Many issues related to the establishment process itself have been opened, such as the institutional framework for the implementation of certification as well as the operationalization of the process itself, which need to be considered and defined in the coming period.
The Concept Certification of Operators in the Water Services Sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina document, as well as both promotion events, were developed as part of the Regional Capacity Development Network (RCDN) project.