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«Managing Regulatory Body Competence IAEA SAFETY STANDARDS AND RELATED PUBLICATIONS IAEA SAFETY STANDARDS Under the terms of Article III of its ...»

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The objective of this Safety Report is to provide guidance based on IAEA safety requirements on managing the competence of the regulatory body in order for it to perform its functions. Additionally, this publication gives guidance on establishing training and development programmes for regulatory staff.

There is a wide range of management and regulatory styles among regulatory bodies, influenced by States’ legislation and culture, jurisdiction of the regulatory body and ways of working. The guidance provides advice commensurate with the requirements of these different styles and jurisdictions, and is broadly applicable to regulatory bodies responsible for all types of facility and activity.

1.3. SCOPE This Safety Report concentrates on managing the competence of staff members who perform primarily in the areas of review and assessment, authorization, inspection, enforcement, and development of regulations and guides, but it also considers other additional functions. It is possible to identify several categories of staff by virtue of their experience and capabilities: newly recruited staff (with basic knowledge); developing staff (working knowledge);

and established staff, experts and managers (advanced knowledge). The guidance in this publication is applicable to all these categories.

This Safety Report also addresses the regulatory body’s need to have adequate competence to make informed decisions when receiving external advice and to exercise an ‘intelligent customer’ capability when using external support.

The methodology in this Safety Report is not intended to cover fully, or be a direct substitute for, a regulator’s personnel recruitment and personnel development processes, where fair human resources practices need to be used in line with the States’ legislation and culture. However, this Safety Report may be used to inform such processes.

A number of embarking States are aspiring to develop nuclear power generation and this means that, among other things, regulatory bodies have to be established and rapidly expanded. This Safety Report provides guidance for such regulatory bodies in the initial establishment of competence management as part of their overall management system. Appendix V outlines an approach to building and to establishing the competence of the regulatory body while establishing the regulatory system.

The only mandatory statements in this text are the requirements quoted from the IAEA safety requirements publications, IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSR Part 1 [1] and No. GS-R-3 [2]. There are certain requirements in Refs [1, 2] that, when applied to specific practices, can be fulfilled mainly by means of one practical measure. In such cases, the relevant safety guides use a ‘should’ statement to indicate that this measure is recommended to be taken; if another measure is intended to be taken, an equivalent level of protection and safety should be achieved. In other cases, there may be more than one possible option which may be mentioned or described in a safety report.

Guidance provided here in the present tense indicative, describing good practices, represents expert opinion. This expert opinion is based on the work of the IAEA Steering Committee on Competence of Human Resources for Regulatory Bodies and of the IAEA Secretariat as well as on the contribution of senior experts from the Member States. It is also based on a research study conducted in 2010 within the Steering Committee and takes into consideration the answers of 20 regulators given in a questionnaire designed to identify best practices in regulatory training systems.


Section 2 describes the part of a regulatory body’s management system which integrates competence management. A competence model is described in Section 3, which is based on four major categories (quadrants) of competence areas for regulatory bodies. It can be used for the regulatory body as a whole or for any organizational subdivision, and it promotes a balanced approach to competence.

Section 4 describes a competence gap analysis whereby existing competence is compared with required competence. Existing competence is estimated, for example, through personal performance reviews, and required competence is determined from the regulatory body’s governance and planning processes. Managers prioritize the closing of gaps in the planning process. An IAEA assessment tool — Guidelines for Systematic Assessment of Regulatory Competence Needs (SARCoN) — is described, which automates the gathering of data and analyses.

Section 5 describes how, having established a gap analysis and the associated short and long term priorities, the regulatory body implements a programme for addressing the competence gaps. In general, in addition to possibly reallocating competence within the organization, three main methods of acquiring competence are available: training and development programmes, recruitment and outsourcing. Each regulatory body will have differing views on the mixture to use.

Appendix I provides examples of tasks related to the main regulatory functions. Appendix II provides examples of the quadrant competence areas typically required to perform the regulatory functions. Appendix III outlines a model for assisting in identifying training needs and designing, planning, implementing and evaluating training programmes. The systematic approach to training (SAT) [4] has been used in the last 20 years by several regulatory and governmental agencies, as well as several other organizations.

Appendix IV deals with the selection of options and methods of training and development of staff. In Appendix V, the needs of embarking States are considered in the context of IAEA Nuclear Energy Series No. NG-G-3.1, Milestones in the Development of a National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power [5], and, more specifically, of IAEA Safety Standards Series No. SSG-16, Establishing the Safety Infrastructure for a Nuclear Power Programme [6], which defines a three phase development of the legal and regulatory framework and the need for a competent regulatory body. Appendix V also provides specific considerations for embarking States related to the development of competences during the phases [5] and in the framework of the competence model described in Section 3.


The terms used in this publication have the meanings ascribed to them in the IAEA Safety Glossary: Terminology Used in Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (2007 Edition) [7], where applicable. Specific terms used in this

publication are defined below for the purposes of this Safety Report:

Competence is the combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSAs) (a) needed by a person to perform a particular job. All three are important and interrelate.

Knowledge is familiarity with something and can include facts, descriptions (b) and information acquired through experience or education. It can refer to both the theoretical and the practical understanding of a subject.

Skill is the learned capacity to perform a task to a specified standard.

(c) Attitude is the feelings, opinions, ways of thinking, perceptions, values, (d) behaviour and interests of an individual which allow a job or task to be undertaken to the best ability of that individual. Attitudes cannot wholly be taught directly and are partly a consequence of the organizational culture.

Audit is a documented activity performed to determine by investigation, (e) examination and evaluation of objective evidence the adequacy of, and adherence to, established procedures, instructions, specifications, codes, standards, administrative or operational programmes and other applicable documents, and the effectiveness of implementation.

Knowledgeable customer is a customer of services who knows what is (f) required, who fully understands the need for the contractor’s services, and who can specify the requirements, then supervise the work and technically review the output.

–  –  –

Regulatory bodies are required to have a management system for the organization and performance of their activities [2, 3]. The management of competence is a part of this and needs to be integral with the overall management of the regulatory body.



2.1.1. Management’s commitment In order to develop and to enhance a regulatory body’s competence to achieve its mission objectives with efficiency and effectiveness, senior management has to be committed to ensuring that the regulatory body has and maintains competence appropriate to its needs. In particular, since learning is a lifelong process, management needs to be committed to the ongoing development of a professional, competent, versatile and motivated workforce.

2.1.2. Competence policy

The senior management of the regulatory body needs to establish a vision and policy for competence management resulting in goals, strategies and plans for delivery. The competence policy is senior management’s primary means of communicating its commitment, expectations and strategies for achieving the organization’s objectives with regard to staff competence.

The policy needs to deal with establishing and maintaining adequate competences within the organization. It needs to deal with short and long term aspects of developing adequate competence to meet the overall strategic plan of the regulatory body and also to seek to meet the personal aspirations staff have for their own development.

2.1.3. Planning

Planning is to ensure that there is the right number of people with the right competences at the right time to ensure timely responses by the regulatory body.

The regulatory body needs to have an overall governance and strategic planning process [2, 3, 8].

A review of the functions that are required to be performed needs to consider both the external environment and factors within the regulatory body.

A determination of the size and composition of the regulatory body required to fulfil its obligations needs to be part of this strategic planning process. This process is applicable to both short and long term needs.

A strategic plan for developing and maintaining competence is typically an output of the planning process. It needs to cover training and development, staffing plans, use of external support and other methods of meeting competence needs — particularly to narrow competence gaps.

The training, development and learning element of the strategic plan needs to give special attention to circumstances where the long term planning and the associated long term gap analysis indicate the potential for the gap to widen, for example due to a planned increase of the facilities and activities. The strategic plan also needs to address and to indicate the mixture of the various training methods identified and the circumstances in which each method, or mixture of methods, is to be used. It also needs to identify the responsibilities and the project management arrangements for training.

For the training, development and learning element, some guiding

principles are:

(a) Enable employees to develop so that they are capable of carrying out their current job responsibilities to corporately established levels of competence.

(b) Provide adequate resources in the budget for training and development, and a demonstrable commitment from the regulatory body management.

(c) Establish relevant human and organizational arrangements for developing and maintaining competence.

(d) Position the organization and its employees in such a way as to meet future regulatory needs and challenges.

(e) Align learning activities with, and contribute to, the achievement of the regulatory body’s mission.

(f) Allocate learning activities in a fair and equitable manner in the light of priorities, operational needs, staff career aspirations and financial constraints.

(g) Ensure that training and development strategies enable staff, in particular expert staff and managers, to have equitable access to personal development opportunities.

(h) Use a variety of training methods.

2.1.4. Responsibilities for competence management

Regulatory bodies need to define the organization, levels of authority, responsibilities and accountabilities for competence management processes.

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