The NIPS training programme is addressing specifically the skills needed for implementation, i.e. the planning and management of implementation action plans in respect of the Directives.
Certain technical and legal understanding is of course an essential basis for this, being covered right at the start of the curriculum: but we place the greater emphasis on developing skills in:
- Strategic planning and programme management, including effective teamwork (which is part of making skills sustainable); and
- Procedures and the associated working culture needed to institutionalise such skills and make them truly sustainable.
The curriculum of the training programme is grouped under the three following main topics:
- Tools and Techniques (five courses)
- Strategic Planning (four courses)
- Institutional Embedding (five courses)
Tools and Techniques is about making sure that everyone involved in implementation of the UWWTD and DWD understands what the Directives aim to achieve, why they aim to achieve it, what are the basic assumptions that the Directives make and what is actually involved in implementing them.
Strategic Planning addresses the project planning and management skills needed in order to ensure that an implementation plan is realistic, properly co-ordinated and managed, and kept on track once implementation commences.
Institutional Embedding addresses the need to convert individual skills into sustainable institutional capacity that is not dependent upon trained individuals continuing in post. It introduces people to the concept of management procedures and the institutional culture needed in order to make them effective, in the context of implementation.