Workforce Mobility in Water Network Construction - EU Skills

Workforce Mobility in Water Network Construction

Creating a Level Playing Field

Workforce Mobility in Water Network Construction

Ofwat has called for a ‘level playing field’ in accreditations to support an effective self-lay market and enhance workforce mobility. 

From April 2025, Ofwat require all individuals working on developer services contracts, including direct labour, framework partners and the supply chain to hold a Level 2 Network Construction Operations (Water) qualification. This will align with the current requirement for self-lay organisations under the Water Industry Registration Scheme (WIRS).

The new Energy & Utilities Independent Assessment Service (EUIAS) Level 2 Diploma in Network Construction Operations (NCO) for Water qualifications has been developed and designed to support the water industry meet this requirement. 

The qualifications focus on the technical activities required by the role, improving the efficiency of training delivery and assessment, and remove the additional pathways for self-lay and distribution so that all individuals are trained and assessed to the same standard.

The suite of NCO qualifications covers both water and gas, and include common core units – so an individual who completes the EUIAS NCO Water Main Layer qualification can then complete the NCO Water Service Layer qualification by only completing the additional service-layer units. These common core units are also part of EUIAS NCO Gas qualifications, reducing repetition in training and assessment for those individuals who operate across both gas and water.

The EUIAS Level 2 NCO Diploma for Water and Gas offers the potential for recognition of existing knowledge, understanding and skills, with specific guidance in assessing the training required available.  As a result, experienced individuals may not need to complete the full training to complete the full assessment for their NCO qualification.

“These qualifications ensure a robust foundation of knowledge and skills essential for competently carrying out mains or service laying, repairs, or maintenance on distribution networks. Flexibility provides the most efficient route to technical qualifications for the workforce and industry,” said Rachel Thomas, EUIAS Executive Director.

Specifications, assessment, and guidance materials support the efficient delivery of the Level 2 Diploma NCO Water and Gas qualifications, with the unique opportunity to register for both water and gas qualifications and pathways with one Awarding Organisation.

For more information on how to become an approved Centre with EUIAS to deliver the Qualification in Network Construction Operations Gas and Water Qualifications please contact or call 0121 713 8310 Option 2.