Water Safety Plans
A Distance Learning Program

gushing pipe

Risk-Management for Drinking Water Supplies

The Water Institute has developed a distance learning course on Water Safety Plans (WSPs) aimed at those in the water industry with management, engineering, or operational responsibilities. Water Safety Plans represent a new approach to managing risks of water system failure that was developed by the World Health Organization and field-tested in the UK, Australia, Iceland, Nepal, and Uganda.

This Distance Learning Program offers:

  • Skill and capacity building in global best practice to ensure consistent safety and acceptability of drinking-water through WSPs
  • Flexibility to study from your own computer while on the job, so you can learn and apply WSP principles and practices where you work
  • Professional recognition of enhanced expertise

Information and Registration

Registration for the course will open in April.

The course will be scheduled on a recurring basis as enrollment of participants reaches the level of a working cohort. For any additional information about the course, email us at: waterinstitute@unc.edu.

Learning Approach

Throughout the course, key content information and problem-solving scenarios are presented in the context of case study examples and tools. A series of seminars synthesizes cumulative knowledge from the lessons and illustrates experiences gained in real-world WSPs. The course is overseen by a coordinator who provides overall continuity and personal interaction via email, and moderates a chat board that allows exchange amongst a cohort of participants.

The course material encompasses five main content areas:

  1. Preparation
  2. System Assessment
  3. Operational Monitoring
  4. Management and Communication
  5. Feedback and Improvement

Overview of the Course

This course covers ten weeks of material. The topics for each week are:

Week 1 Assemble the WSP Team
Week 2 Understand the water supply system
Week 3 Identify hazards and hazardous events and assess the risks
Week 4 Determine and validate control measures, reassess, and prioritize the risks
Week 5 Develop, implement, and maintain an improvement plan
Week 6 Define monitoring of the control measures
Week 7 Verify the effectiveness of the WSP
Week 8 Prepare management procedures
Week 9 Develop supporting programs
Week 10 Plan and carry out periodic review of the WSP; Revise the WSP following an incident

Professional Recognition

Upon completion of the 10-week course, participants will receive a certificate attesting to their program completion and the acquisition of understanding needed to develop and implement a water safety plan for their utility. The course offers 3 CEUs (Continuing Education Units).

Technical Requirements

  • An Internet Connection: The Water Safety Plans Distance Learning Program will be taught an online, and therefore all participants will need access to a working internet connection.
  • An Active Email Address: All course participants will need to provide an active email address to facilitate communication with the course instructor.
  • A Modern Internet Browser: The Water Safety Plan Course is taught using a web-based platform known as the Sakai Collaboration and Learning Environment. No downloads or software installations are required to use Sakai, as Sakai is entirely web-based. The Sakai Callaboration and Learning Environment is designed to work with modern browsers. You should be safe with the latest versions of Firefox (Mozilla), Safari (Apple), Chrome (Google), and with IE 9 (Microsoft Internet Explorer aka IE) and IE 8. Sakai CLE does not work with IE 7 and earlier nor with Firefox 10 and earlier.
  • A PDF Reader: Some course materials will be available via Adobe PDF. Participants will need to install a PDF reader, if they have not done so already, in order to view these materials offline. Adobe offers free PDF reader software download for PC, Mac, and Unix machines at the following site: http://get.adobe.com/reader/

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