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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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Each manager needs to be made accountable for all aspects of staff competence building. A person, or team, needs to be appointed to be responsible for the processes of the competence management (see Section 2.2 for a definition of the competence management processes) in the regulatory body. Additionally, senior managers need to seek to foster an organizational culture which supports individual staff members to recognize that they are accountable for the development of their own competence and to contribute to the development of the competence of the organization as a whole.

Depending on the size of the regulatory body, it may be appropriate that those responsible for the processes of competence management have other responsibilities within the organization. A dedicated person, team or unit may be designated. Responsibilities need to be allocated for the person responsible for coordinating the process of identifying competence ‘gaps’ in the organization as a whole and for individuals. This person (or the leader of the team) is sometimes referred to as the training coordinator (TC). Similarly, responsibilities need to be allocated for filling gaps by recruitment, training or outsourcing, as appropriate.

The regulatory body also needs to recognize that organizational design is an important feature when considering its overall competence. This organizational design needs to be considered at the senior management level to ensure that the individual people working in the regulatory body are able to develop and to deploy their KSAs effectively. This is to ensure that overall the regulatory body is effective and efficient.

2.1.5. Prioritization of needs

The competence required in a regulatory body depends on a range of factors, including the regulatory approach adopted, the legal framework, and the types of facility and activity. A regulatory body performs a systematic analysis of competence gaps based on these factors. Senior management has to prioritize the needs identified from the gap analysis and the ways by which they have to be addressed in accordance with the perceived risk to the regulatory body’s objectives and the overall importance to safety.

2.1.6. Documentation for competence management

The regulatory body needs to establish a documentation system for its competence management processes and for the records that arise from them. Effective record keeping facilitates reviews and audits of the process implementation. The transparency of the overall process, and straightforward access to records, also provides staff with confidence in the fairness of the

system. The documentation system for competence management may include:

— Documented competences (i.e. necessary KSAs) for each task;

— Individual competence development plans;

— Competences possessed by individuals;

— Staff certification or qualifications;

— Records of training provided.


The regulatory body needs to develop processes for its competence management. Developing processes could be in two stage. The first stage includes the identification and definition of the processes necessary for the regulatory body to exercise its competence management. The second stage details and documents the content of each individual process in the context of the overall structure of the management system.

Competence management processes are part of, and interface strongly with, other processes of the regulatory body — in particular with strategic planning, human resources and management processes such as responsibility assignment processes and financial processes. Typical processes related to competence

management are:

(a) Processes related to competence analysis:

(i) Task analysis processes leading from the regulatory functions to the competences required to perform the task (Sections 4.1 and 4.2);

(ii) Gap analysis processes (Section 4.3):

— Personal performance review and assessment processes.

(b) Processes related to filling competence gaps:

(i) Personal development plans (Section 5.1, Appendices I and II).

(ii) Processes associated with reorganization (reallocation of duties within the organization or replacement of staff members) (Section 5.3).

(iii) Processes associated with recruitment (Section 5.4).

(iv) Processes related to managing the use of external support (Section 5.5).

(v) Processes related to training (Appendix III):

— Processes to establish training plans;

— Processes for the delivery of training activities;

— Processes for the evaluation of training activities.

(c) Processes related to measurement, assessment and improvement of competence management (Section 2.3).

(d) Processes related to knowledge capture and management, including participation in knowledge networks (Section 5.2).

The following sections elaborate on these processes: Section 3 outlines a competence model for the regulatory body; Section 4 addresses the competence gap analysis processes; and Section 5 addresses processes for filling the gaps.


2.3.1. Measurement Metrics to measure the performance of each process need to be developed,

in particular for the following:

— Effectiveness of training and development;

— Delivered training;

— Personal performance;

— Recruitment, reorganization and outsourcing;

— Reviews and audits.

2.3.2. Assessment Assessments relating to competence management need to take place at several levels: the personal level; the level of individual organizational subdivisions; and the level of the whole organization. Assessments use the metrics derived from process implementation measurement or subjective means to make judgements. They need to take place at periodic intervals and when substantial changes necessitate them. They need to feed back to the relevant processes of the regulatory body’s management system.

Personal performance reviews can be done in one-to-one meetings between staff and line managers, covering strengths as well as weaknesses. They may include an element of self-appraisal (because the person appraised is the person who has the greatest knowledge of what he or she has actually done), and are even more effective as part of a management framework in which there are frequent discussions on performance. They provide feedback to assist in motivation and can satisfy needs for information on progress and facilitate comparison with expected performance. Personal performance reviews are an effective vehicle for formalizing the gathering of information on individuals’ competences and identifying their further training needs and personal development requirements.

At the level of the unit and the organization as a whole, performance assessments may make use of metrics such as the efficacy and achievement of training, and may be based on sound judgement. Self-assessment and independent peer reviews are well established techniques which may contribute to these assessments. Those responsible for the processes of competence management need to coordinate and to facilitate these assessments.

Senior management needs to assess competence management in the organization and the achievement of its goals in order to find opportunities for improvement. The changing circumstances and challenges need to be examined.

These include in particular:

— Reorganization;

— Assignment of new regulatory functions;

— Recruitment of new staff;

— Changes in licensees’ activities;

— Life cycle of regulated installations;

— Technological development.

2.3.3. Improvement The regulatory body’s competence management objectives need to include the continual improvement of its processes in order to enhance the organization’s performance in competence management. Opportunities for improvement may

be identified from the following:

(a) Results of assessments, corrective and preventive actions, and reviews of competence management;

(b) Feedback from interested parties in competence management;

(c) Experience from outside organizations;

(d) Technological developments necessitating new competences.


This section describes a competence model for the regulatory body. It suggests a basis for assessing competence needs for both the near and the longer term. By mapping existing competences and comparing them with required competences, a gap analysis can be conducted and priorities for action developed.


Each regulatory body needs to establish its own sets of competences, levels of competences and standards for evaluation. This Safety Report adopts a general competence model for this purpose. This model is a valuable instrument for competence management in the regulatory body. It is a significant input into the development of an effective regulatory body that responds to internal and external environments and the associated challenges.

Competences comprise different sets of KSAs, and they need to be formally defined within the regulatory body. Levels of competences need to be established and communicated, as appropriate, to interested parties.

The competence model is based on a quadrant structure: Quadrant 1 contains the competences related to the legal, regulatory and organizational basis; Quadrant 2, the competences related to technical disciplines; Quadrant 3, the competences related to a regulatory body’s practices; and Quadrant 4, the personal and behavioural competences (see Fig. 1). Each quadrant comprises a set of competence areas with a set of specific competences (KSAs). Examples of these KSAs are given in the following subsections. The quadrant model described here is generally applicable to all regulatory bodies. However, the specific KSAs associated with the quadrant competence areas need to be tailored to the individual characteristics of each regulatory body.

–  –  –

The regulatory body’s practices referred to in Quadrant 3 are the operational processes, based on the State’s legal system, culture and regulatory philosophy, whereby the regulator delivers specific tasks to achieve certain regulatory functions.

3.1.1. Quadrant 1: Competences related to the legal, regulatory and organizational basis Legal basis This competence area is the knowledge of, and skills needed to comprehend and to use, relevant documents that establish the legal framework for regulatory control of facilities and activities. Typically, the regulatory body needs a certain

knowledge of, or laws related to:

— Radiation and nuclear safety;

— Environmental protection;

— Public health and safety;

— Labour health and safety;

— Criminal law;

— Rights of individuals;

— Nuclear law and liability.

The regulatory body may also need knowledge of relevant international

instruments and documentation such as:

— Convention on Nuclear Safety;

— Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management;

— Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident;

— Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency;

— Code of Conduct on the Safety of Research Reactors;

— Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources;

— IAEA safety standards.

Examples of KSAs could be:

— Comprehension of government laws and decrees relating to facilities and activities;

— Comprehension of other relevant laws and decrees;

— Comprehension of local authority laws and decrees relating to facilities and activities;

— Ability to apply legal provisions;

— Comprehension of the powers and authority of the regulatory body and its staff;

— Appreciation of the rights of all interested parties affected directly or indirectly by the provisions of the legal basis of the regulatory body.

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