Auckland Council and WSP Opus are teaming up to launch the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) in this country.
The NGICP is a US-based scheme offering a credential for the construction, installation, inspection and maintenance of green infrastructure (GI). It is designed to meet international best practice standards and provides a base-level skill set for entry level workers. It verifies that they have the required knowledge to build, inspect and maintain sustainable GI systems.
Auckland Council is taking a lead role in developing the next steps. It has undertaken ‘train the trainer’ courses for selected individuals. And it has been provided with toolkits, modules, quizzes, exams and other information to help it launch the programme under James Reddish from WSP Opus who will lead individuals and groups to help them execute a training plan.
The NGICP can be used to meet a wide range of needs, including professional development for existing GI professionals and as part of a larger workforce development to provide candidates with the technical skills necessary to enter the green workforce.
Dwane Jones, the director of the Center for Sustainable Development and Resilience at the University of the District of Columbia based in Washington, DC, in the US, was a keynote speaker at the recent 2019 Stormwater Conference in Auckland. He spoke with Water New Zealand board member Troy Brockbank about his passion, learnings and his work with Auckland Council.
The NGICP certifying body is Water Environment Federation (WEF), a not-for-profit technical and educational organisation of 33,000 individual members and 75 affiliated member associations (including Water New Zealand) representing water professionals around the world.
The NGICP Certification Council is charged with setting up the programme governance for the NGICP, and is supported by a Technical Advisory Group, overseeing the development of the technical components of the NGICP, and a Strategic Advisory Group, developing the vision and the implementation plan for the national (USA) rollout of the NGICP.
This programme was first launched in Washington DC by DC Water and partnering organisations, including the Water Environment Federation, a non-profit association of about 22,000 members worldwide that focuses on water issues.
The NGICP is rapidly advancing internationally to places like Canada, Spain, Brazil, and, here in New Zealand.
It is understood that some elements of the NGICP will need to be adjusted to better align with the local New Zealand context.
This article was first published in the July 2019 issue of NZ Local Government Magazine.