Competence Management System (CMS)

A recent Amendment to the Environmental Permiting Regulations requires permitted site operators to provide details of their Technical Competence arrangements in their quarterly waste returns starting with Q2 2019. This can be satisfied with appropriate WAMITAB cover or CMS. Where the site cannot demonstrate that its cover is as required, the Agencies have the power to suspend or revoke permits.

This can now be applied to satisfy site competence management requirements in Northern Ireland (6 Dec 2022).

The EU Skills Competence Management System can now be used in Northern Ireland to satisfy the technical competence requirement of a waste management licence.  The Waste Management Licensing (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2022 have been enacted to bring in this change.  NI was the last devolved area to bring in this change, meaning that the CMS system is now available for waste management companies across the UK. 

360 Environmental Ltd is one of the first consultancies to offer implementation of the UKAS accredited Competence Management System to meet the technical competence requirements of an Environmental Permit. With 6 completed, the first being in 2014, 360 has unique expertise in CMS delivery.

How can 360 Environmental LTD help you with CMS?

  • If you think that Competence Management Systems are of interest to you and your business, then contact us today for a telephone chat on 01509 812 052 or email [email protected].   We will explain how it works and what the benefits will be.

  • The whole process is a bespoke approach tailored specifically for your needs and requirements to reach full technical competence at the corporate or business level.

  • If you decide that CMS is for you the CMS experts at 360 Environmental Ltd will come to your site and undertake a one-day full gap analysis of your systems to ascertain the scope of work needed to implement the system. Currently we are offering a discounted price for those who decide to proceed with the implementation of the system through 360 Environmental Ltd.

  • From the gap analysis we can determine the timescales and training needed, before arranging for LRQA to visit and audit the site systems. You may well find that your business is well on the way towards meeting the standard and so implementation may mean some simple adjustments, making accreditation more achievable than you first anticipated.

  • Once your business achieves full accreditation, 360 Environmental Ltd will provide annual assessments and legislative updates and training.

Read on to find out more

CMS is an alternative to the WAMITAB Certificate of Technical Competence scheme and enables businesses to satisfy their CoTC requirements as a corporate body rather than being reliant on a single person with the WAMITAB qualification.

Alongside its EMS and 14001 capabilities, 360 can now implement CMS to provide cost effective compliance with technical competence requirements.

360 Environmental has worked closely with the Energy and Utility Skills Council in the development of CMS which is now UKAS accredited and recognised by Defra, the Environment Agency and National Resources Wales.

Lloyds Register is the first auditing body to take up CMS with UKAS accreditation for their systems certification.

The first LRQA accredited CMS was obtained by Northern Power Grid in November 2018, demonstrating that the CMS standard is now the standard of choice for environmental compliance.

What is CMS?

  • The Competence Management System scheme was approved by Defra and Welsh Government on 21st July 2009. The scheme enables operators to demonstrate technically competent management of permitted activities by establishing and maintaining a system that is independently certificated as meeting the requirements of the standard set out in the CMS.

  • CMS enables operators to demonstrate technically competent management through corporate competence as well as employees’ individual competence.

  • Individual competence remains a key component with each employee having the relevant technical competences required to carry out their role.

  • The scheme allows operators to organise their resources more effectively whilst deploying them in a way that ensures the site operation is technically competent at all times. 

  • CMS complements and embeds with existing management systems – enabling a systemic approach to competence.

The Standard

  • Sets out requirements of a competence management system. 

  • Is consistent with other recognised management system standards such as ISO 9001 and 14001 but provides requirements for the development and demonstration of competence.


  • Operators are required to achieve and maintain certification of their CMS against the standard.  

  • Certification services will only be provided by Accredited Certification Bodies (ACBs) who are accredited to ISO17021* by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).


  • Operators notify EU Skills of successful certification and any subsequent withdrawal, which will be recorded on the EU Skills’ Register and available to EA/NRW.

  • The EA/NRW Inspector will see a copy of the current CMS certificate on prominent display at the site, to provide confidence that the site has a robust system for managing technical competence, including technically competent persons, support systems, and controls.

Benefits of CMS

  • offers business benefits through effective deployment of competent resources

  • incorporates current practice in workforce development and management

  • encourages recruitment, training and career development, 

  • reflects established good practice in management systems

  • reinforces operators’ commitment to and investment in management systems

  • enables a coherent combination of individual and corporate competences, at all levels

  • delivers continuing competence through the embedded workforce development practices

  • is proportionate – technical competence is tailored to reflect the requirements of the activities

  • enables better regulation – operators are accountable for compliance monitoring and audit, allowing Agency inspection resources to be optimised and targeted towards the highest risks


  • The Competence Management System scheme enables operators to demonstrate technically competent management of permitted activities by establishing and maintaining a competence management system that is independently certificated as meeting the requirements of the CMS Standard.

  • Technical Competence is assured by:

    • The comprehensive, rigorous but appropriate requirements of the CMS standard 

    • Formal certification through independent audit by an ACB, that the operator’s CMS meets the requirements of the standard

    • Regular audit by the ACB to identify non-conformances by qualified and experienced auditors

    • Withdrawal of certification when non-conformances threaten adequate protection of human health and the environment.