As part of the ABWA's mandatory inspection program, a member's manufacturing unit is requested to have one or more, Certified Plant Operator (s) to ensure its plant is following mandated regulations, schedules and continuously comply with standards.


The following sets out basic rules :

What is a Certified Plant Operator ?
A Certified Plant Operator means any person who qualifies to operate and maintain by experience, education and training, the facilities of a bottled water plant. Said person must hold a certificate demonstrating that he or she has successfully completed and passed the final examination of a technical training course such as the ABWA Technical Training Course. The certification examination must cover GMP's including source and products sanitation, water treatment technology, product quality and record keeping.

Why do I need a Certified Plant Operator at my plant ?
A Certified Plant Operator ensures that a production facility is under the supervision of an individual who has demonstrated a proficiency of knowledge in the areas of Good Manufacturing Practices, including treatment methods, sanitation and labeling. The certification promotes training and education, two areas which are vital to ensure that compliance is met in all phases of production.

What is the ABWA Technical Training Course ?
Available from ABWA headquarters, this self-study course is guided by an ABWA Authorized Trainer, and is designed to educate your plant operator in every phase of bottled water preparation from source through finished product. The course includes technical materials complete with a question and answer review section.

How does a plant operator become ABWA certified ?
Certification is gained through studying the ABWA Technical Training Course and successfully achieving a passing score of 75% on the final examination. The examination will be approximately 3 hours in length and the questions will be in a multiple choice format. The examination will be proctored by an ABWA staff member and only those personnel who pre-register at ABWA's assigned locations will be allowed to participate. No walk-ins will be accepted. Test sheets will be collected and scored and certificates mailed to those attaining a passing score. Successful candidate names and company names will be listed in ABWA's e-newsletter, in the Asia Middle East & Bottled Water Magazine in ABWA's website and in the local newspapers, budget permitting, as part of ABWA's public relations campaign. Those not attaining a passing score will be notified and allowed to retake the test at a minimum fee.

Who is eligible to become an ABWA Certified Plant Operator ?
Any employee of an ABWA Bottler member company. Employees of non-ABWA member companies may participate but will be eligible for a differentiated ABWA certification when they pass.

Where can a plant operator take examinations to become ABWA certified ?
Examination opportunities will be made available in pre-organized locations in Asia and the Middle East. There will also be an examination opportunity at the ABWA Conventions and training programs conducted in a number of countries in Asia. A program for this CPO, general training and quality training will be conducted annually.

How does a plant operator keep certification current ?

  1. Retakes the test every 3 years (or)

  2. Attendance and full participation at ABWA specified education programs amounting to a minimum of one-day seminar workshop (minimal 6 hours) or two half days (minimum 3 hours each) per year. Proof of attendance will be required. Or,

  3. Participate in approved ABWA courses conducted by the local authorities or certified organizations, and earn a minimum of 18 (eighteen) Continuing Educational Units (CEU) during this 3 years.

A Certified Plant Operator (CPO) trained and mandated to pass an internationally recognized examination will guarantee that your plant procedures are properly followed and implemented. This CPO certification from the industry is the only known tool in the industry for measuring one's in-depth know-how and capability of the bottled water production intricacies. As far as ABWA knows no other industry has this kind of a practical tool to measure one's capabilities in its line of manufacturing. Only huge multi-national companies may have this system in place as a result of their year-long acquired knowledge or through the purchase of an established industry system. The bottled water industry is fortunate in having this tool available for use by its members.



Program content:

     • Two one day session with an examination on the third day (half-day) or two full days session with an         examination at the end of the second day.

     • Program content:

          o Source, standards and definitions

          o Impurities or Undesirable Elements

          o Chemical and Organic Factors

          o Filtration

          o Storage and Transportation

          o Deionisation

          o Demineralising and Softening

          o Mineral Addition

          o Ozone Treatment

          o The Bottling Process

          o Labelling and Coding

          o The Plant: Construction, Design and Safe Operation

          o Plant Sanitation

          o Testing

        o HACCP

        o Watercooler Maintenance and Sanitation Standards

     • Questions and Review

     • A Glimpse about Marketing


The objective of this training program is to:

     • Increase the knowledge of Plant Operators, Supervisors and Management

     • Ensure that Plant people understand why different techniques and processes are

        used in the production of bottled water

     • Provide the basis for all Plant People to take responsibility for their actions

     • Share international best practice

     • Provide a forum for troubleshooting in a learning environment

     • Obtain an internationally recognized certificate


The Asia and Middle East Bottled Water Association (ABWA) requires a member to have at least one Certified Plant Operator (CPO) in their organization. An internationally recognized Certificate will be issued to each passing participant. The CPO program is also open for non-members.