Water Berlin 2017 – Kick of Meeting – New EWA (European Water Association) Working Group “EQF – European Qualification Framework in the Water Sector”

EWA EQF Kick Off meeting.jpg

Water Berlin 29.3.2017

During the Kick of Meeting of the new EWA Working Group “EQF in the European Water Sector” the following 13 countries joint the meeting.  From left represenartives from : Polen, Portugal, Spain, Norwey, Astria, Czech Republic, Finland, Slovenia, Albania, Netherland, Romania, Germany and Hungary. Additionally the BiBB (Federal Institute for Vocational Training, Germany and the Danube Projec, Austria send representatives.

We discussed the following four points:

1. Implementation of the EQF in the water sector in the various countries
How is the EQF introduced in the various countries?
A study with recommendations will be prepared and published in 2018
2. University Challenges of DWA during various IFATs in the world and Wetskill from
the Netherlands
How can we work better together in the area of Unversities?
3. Water Skills of DWA during the various IFATs in the world and the new Worldskills
International Initiative “Water Technology” starting in October 2017 in Abu Dhabi
How we can work together in the various Water Skills initiatives?
4. New Media
Various new media where shown by DWA: e.g. Training Boxes, QR-Code Feasibility
Study. E-Learining experiances where discussed

I´m now the chairman of this group and my aim is it to publish an European Study to show the actual situation and to make recommendations for the Water Sector in Europe to improve the mobility among the countries and to get an transparent picture of the various approches. I also talked with EUREAU Vice President Claudia Castell-Extner (DVGW) to avoid dublication and to get support and with Mr. Ulmer, DVGW chairperson qualification.

I´m also interested to get more cooperation for the various challenges for students and technicians during the trade shows in Europe and to develop an Euroskill and Worldskill competition with more countries.

That is all challenging but we will make it working in the next 3-4 years.
The start was very good and we had a very good discussion on the various topics. We know that some more countries will join like France, Swiss, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Rüdiger Heidebrecht


Curriculum of “Water and Wastewater Technician” in Germany


These two books contain the curricular, the regulations, the learning fields for the school and some practical hinds fot the water supply and wastewater engineering technician. It is an 3 years dual vocational education (work and school) finishing with a excamination on European Qualification Level 4.

The main learning fields for the vocational school will be shown below:

Common topic for both
1. Planning of an environmental concept
2. Handling of micro-organisms
3. Employ environmental chemicals
4. Operate pipeline systems
5. Examinate of the content substances of water and waste
6. Operate ans maintane machines ans installations
7. Operate and maintain electrical plant
8. Connect electrical equipment

Water Supply
9. Water Winning
10. Establish domestic connections
11. Investigate water characteristics
12. Condition water
13. Deliver, store and distribute water
14. Control and regulate water supply facilities

9. Operate drainage systems
10. Treat wastewater mechanically
11. Investigation of wastewater and sludge
12. Treat wastewater and sludge biologically and chemically
13. Maintain drainage systems and monitor indirect discharger
14. Control and regulate wastewater treatment facilities

I´m one of the author of the wastewater curricular in 2002.
A group of 6 people from the social partners (Union and employer group) worked on that paper. I was in the employer group.It took us 1,5 years to finish the work.

The curricular from 1984 was updated. At that time it took 12 years to get all the different interest group under one umbrella.

What was new in 2002?
More electrical work, more monitoring and control of the processes, more sewer system topics like CCTV inspection, less metal work.

Rüdiger Heidebrecht

Worldskills International supports the new Water Skill

During the last Worldskills International meeting early October 2016 in Canada it was decided to put the “Water Subject” on the new agenda as a new future presentation skill.

We are now looking foreward for the next Worldskills competition which will be in October 2017 in Abu Dhabi.

Germany started 1984 with the occupation in water and trained more than 20.000  people.
In 2002 I was one out of 6 people to write the new curriculum for wastewater technicians.

Rüdiger Heidebrecht

QR-Code Project for WWTPs are on the way


Hennef Feb. 2016

New Training System for Wastewater Treatment Plants WWTP.

Achim Höcherl, a senior wastewater operator from Bonn, took up the challenge to develop a new training system.
I’m coaching this project. With the help of QR Codes – quick resonse – learning material can be make available on your smartphone.
Individual plates for the different stages are placed at the different stages in 4 WWTPS.

New technicians using their smartphones, they go to the different stages and get the information. videos, audio files, text and a quiz at the end are available. The test will last till july this year. After that the new teachware will be translated into English. The system will combine new smartphones technology used by young staff and teaching material and is a new teachware for the future.

Rüdiger Heidebrecht 13.3.2016

Intercultural Training – big challenge well done


Frankfurt Feb. 2016

Have you ever trained 35 different professional people from 30 countries a day long?

I did it in Feb. 2016 in a bank in Frankfurt. A big challenge to find a good topic and the right method to keep them busy for a day.
We choosed the topic IWRM-Integrated Water Resource Management. The SDGs and the Climate Agend 2030 will add aditional work to these project managers in the years to come. I introduced a role game, put them in small groups, used the environmental cards from DWA and used the visualisation to create a discussion among themselve. Later on they showed their results and I could add the German way how we do things our thinking.
In the afternoon we visited the Frankfurt Wastewater Treatment Plant. To see modern treatment and the oldest (1867) wastewater treatment showed clearly the development during the last centuaries.
I liked that job very much and it was one of my best trainings I ever did. Such a inhomogeneous group, a big challenge I managed well.

Rüdiger Heidebrecht 13.3.2016

The Magnetic Traing Box – how that idea started in 2010


Achim Höcherl - founder of this new training box


Achim Höcherl - the founder of the magnatic training box wastewater technology

In summer 2010 I visited the wastewater treatment plant in Bonn-Duisdorf. I was planning an internal training for my staff. I met Achim, the senior wastewater master technician, the creative and engaged boss of that plant. We discussed the training in detail and he showed me his training room. He is the person incharge of the new and young wastewater technician of the city.

On his flipchart I shaw some funny magnetic ficures made out of wood. I asked him about this magnatic peaces. He told me that he is using that for training and to show different flow diagrams to his youngsters. I liked that idea and I told him we should make that better. So we did.

Now 5 years later, DWA has now 6 magnetic training boxes for the water sector and some more to come. Achim won a priece, opened a small part time company and developed couple of new boxes. Some of them are translated in various languages. Pleanty of them where sold, national and international and even now used in the official oral government tests and in the skills competition during IFAT Muenchen.

To grap these cards, read the basics text and place it to the right place in the flow chart stimulates the brain and keeps the facts in the memory. I works everywhere in the world. I love that methode and I use these boxes very often. Use all senses for learning!

Rüdiger Heidebrecht