Circuit Rider Training Program
Trained water and wastewater system operators are key in helping First Nation communities to reduce and prevent risks to water and wastewater systems and to ensure safe drinking water.
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About the program
The Circuit Rider Training Program is a long-term capacity building program that provides training and mentoring services to operators of First Nations drinking water and wastewater systems.
Experts rotate through a circuit of First Nations communities, training the people responsible for operating, monitoring and maintaining drinking water and wastewater systems. These experts help First Nation operators get and maintain their certification, and may also give advice to chiefs and councils on how to develop and maintain safe water systems. In some regions, they also provide 24/7 emergency support to communities.
The goals of the program include:
- supporting on-reserve water and wastewater system operators in developing and maintaining the capacity to manage their systems, including on-the-job training
- improving the maintenance, management and effectiveness of on-reserve drinking water and wastewater systems
- reducing the number and duration of drinking water advisories
- helping First Nations communities to maximize the service life of their water and wastewater infrastructure
Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) provides financial support for the day-to-day costs to run and maintain water and wastewater systems. This includes supporting the training and certification of water and wastewater operators. ISC does not provide training directly. Instead, ISC provides funding to First Nations to enable water and wastewater operators to undertake training, and to organizations that provide operator training and support.
ISC supports various capacity building initiatives, through investments of approximately $20 million annually. This includes more than $12 million per year for the Circuit Rider Training Program.
Who can access
Any First Nation that operates a community drinking water system or wastewater system is automatically enrolled in this program. Any First Nations community can choose not to participate by informing their nearest ISC regional office.
There are no deadlines for this program, First Nations can join at any time.
How to take part
First Nations do not need to apply for this program. ISC's regional offices provide funding to organizations to maintain a roster of qualified experts who are available to support First Nation operators through the Circuit Rider Training Program.
For more information, First Nations can contact their nearest ISC regional office.
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