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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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Managers, with the help of those involved in competence management, need to establish a training programme which takes into consideration the gaps that exist between the current and desired competences. A combination of self-study, formal training courses, workshops, seminars and on-the-job training (OJT) is the platform for the regulatory training programme. Appendix IV provides an overview of training methods and options. Available training programmes (internal and external, national and international) need to be reviewed and updated and the appropriate form of training established.

Training alone cannot ensure the required competence. Necessary work experience, continuing professional development and refresher training need to be included in competence development plans for individuals. The systematic approach to training (SAT), described in Appendix III, is a suitable technique that provides a logical progression from the identification of the competences required to perform a job to the design, development and implementation of training to achieve these competences, and subsequent evaluation of this training.

Development of more experienced staff may include cultivating them into experts (or expanding the expertise of existing experts) through attendance at conferences, attachment to specialist organizations, secondment to other relevant organizations, and international cooperation, among other things.

Regulatory staff need to make a habit of continuing professional development throughout their careers — a philosophy of ‘lifelong learning’. As part of its training and development plans, the regulatory body needs to encourage such development by providing opportunities for staff to take appropriate courses, visit facilities and organizations, and participate in conferences and professional associations. Managers can take such development activities into account when making decisions on job assignments and promotions. Many States’ engineering and scientific institutions require continual professional development to maintain their members’ credentials.


An important method for acquiring knowledge and developing competence is the participation in knowledge networks. The IAEA, as well as other international organizations, and professional bodies and associations, facilitates networking, exchanging information and mutual learning based on good practices and experience from different States.

The regulatory body would benefit from participation in knowledge networks at the national, regional or international level. National knowledge networks may involve technical support organizations (TSOs), professional bodies and educational institutions. Regional networks have also proved to be very effective in sharing information and training. The Asian Nuclear Safety Network (ANSN), for instance, has built over the years the Topical Group on Education and Training (ETTG), which has developed a harmonized approach to training, based on the IAEA safety standards. The ANSN/ETTG is supported by a web based platform, which enables the sharing of training materials and learning aids on-line — including holding webinars. Networks such as the Ibero-American Forum of Radiological and Nuclear Regulatory Agencies (FORO) are also very active in supporting training and competence building, finding synergies among the States in the region and using the IAEA safety standards. Finally, the regulatory body’s involvement in international global nuclear safety frameworks provides opportunities for continual improvement and learning. For instance, the IAEA global nuclear safety framework fosters cooperation among Member States and facilitates participation of regulatory bodies in international peer review services, such as the Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS)2, or in networks such as the International Regulatory Network (RegNet)3 and the Global Safety Assessment Network (GSAN)4.


The analysis of competences required may show some competence gaps at an individual or subdivisional level, but no significant gap at the level of whole organization. Revising the division of responsibilities and tasks within the organization or placing staff members in new positions may provide a method to address competence gaps. However, reorganization is always a challenging task and needs careful consideration as well as honest and open discussions with all affected staff members in order to ensure an optimum outcome. It may well be that some staff — even though competent enough to take over certain tasks — might themselves wish different types of duties. Management also needs to be empathetic to requests from staff members to broaden their experience by taking on new duties. It needs to ensure that staff members remain well motivated when any changes in their work content are envisaged.


A second method of addressing competence gaps, particularly long term gaps, is recruitment based on established job specifications. The recruitment strategy within a regulatory body will depend on a number of factors. These factors are likely to change with time, and hence the regulatory body will need to review the strategy periodically to establish whether it is still appropriate and viable. Work experience, demonstrated competence, expert or specialist knowledge are important considerations in selecting personnel to staff the regulatory body.

If new, or relatively new, graduates or people from disciplines unrelated to nuclear facilities and activities are recruited, more extensive training programmes will be required to establish appropriate competences in scientific and technological areas. However, it is inevitable that all new staff will need training — even if they have the technical competences required by the regulatory body. This is because it is necessary to instil in such recruits the culture of the See http://www-ns.iaea.org/reviews/rs-reviews.asp?s=7&l=47.

See http://gnssn.iaea.org/regnet/default.aspx.

See http://gsan.iaea.org.

regulatory body and to establish in them some of the competences described in the competence model they may lack (particularly in Quadrants 1 and 3, see Section 3.1). Similarly, part of the overall strategy may be to move staff to new posts, but they may also need to acquire additional competences and appropriate training.

The availability of suitable candidates for recruitment may be limited due

to many factors, for example:

(a) The regulatory body is just being established, as will be the case, for example, in a State embarking on a nuclear power programme.

(b) The educational infrastructure is limited.

(c) The range or number of facilities and activities in the State is small.

When recruiting staff from organizations with regulated facilities or activities, consideration needs to be given to ensuring that they are not immediately placed in roles which might compromise the effective independence of the regulatory body. Sufficient time needs to elapse to ensure that the recruits no longer identify with the organization from which they were recruited.

Some States have an ageing profile of the regulatory body’s staff. It has been necessary to deal with this issue, and programmes for capturing knowledge have been established. Older and more experienced members of staff are often involved in training.

5.5. USE OF EXTERNAL SUPPORT The regulatory body needs to have the required competences to perform its functions. It may, however, be practicable for the regulatory body to use external

support in some cases. Examples include:

(a) Other governmental bodies, TSOs, technical societies or research institutes;

(b) Consultants or members of advisory committees of recognized skill and experience — as long as they are effectively independent of the operator or its contractors;

(c) Experts provided by, or under the auspices of, international organizations.

When using external support, it is important that the regulatory body have competences to enable it to be an ‘intelligent customer’ and to control the work done for it. It needs to have sufficient breadth and depth of knowledge and

experience to:

(a) Specify the work and devise project programmes;

(b) Assess tenders and proposals;

(c) Choose an appropriate contractor;

(d) Supervise and manage the work;

(e) Ensure contractor staff are suitably qualified, experienced and trained;

(f) Interpret the results in the context of regulatory control;

(g) Ensure the required product or work quality is delivered;

(h) Monitor the performance of the contractor, taking appropriate action if inadequate.

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As outlined in Sections 4.1 and 4.2, the systematic competence analysis requires the determination of the tasks associated with each function of the regulatory body and the competences required to perform each task. The first step can be done by analysing the processes related to the respective function.

An example of the outcome of a typical process based task analysis is given in the following tables for the main regulatory functions. It is worth emphasizing that such analysis strongly depends on the organization and management of the regulatory body and the regulatory approach adopted.

The next step is the identification of competences required to perform each task. The tables include an expert judgement of the main quadrant competence areas relevant to the identified tasks. Obviously, the level of competence required varies, but this is not included here.

At a more detailed level, the individual competences within each quadrant competence area are to be assigned to the specific tasks. SARCoN provides for this level of details (see Section 4). The four quadrant competence areas are of particular interest, since they are generally applicable to all tasks of the regulatory body. However, the Tables 1–5 highlight the ones considered most critical for the specific task.



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Even though no specific technical competences are indicated as required in this table, it is a expected that regulatory body staff in charge of enforcement have a baseline of technical skills.

Identify required inspections and their scope either 1.2 None 3.3 All as planned inspections, resulting from events or initiated through other regulatory processes

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Decide upon and initiate enforcement actions All None 3.4 4.1 because of non-compliances in a facility or activity (such as those cases identified in other regulatory processes or due to events) Determine whether other regulatory processes are All None 3.4 4.1 needed in order to support an enforcement action (such as inspection) Determine whether actions of, or liaison with, other All None 3.4 4.1 agencies are needed in order to support an enforcement action (such as evidence gathering by other law enforcement agencies, legal advice and other regulators) Make judgements on the significance for safety of 1.2 None 3.4 4.1 non-compliance and commensurate enforcement actions (such as requests for corrective actions, verbal or written notifications, penalties and prosecutions) TABLE 4. ENFORCEMENT (cont.)

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Even though no specific technical competences are indicated as required in this table, it is a expected that regulatory body staff in charge of enforcement have a baseline of technical skills.



–  –  –

Draft regulations and guides to meet technical and All All 3.5 All legal requirements in ways which are thorough, consistent, understandable and practicable

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The following tables provide an example of possible links between the functions of the regulatory body and the quadrant competence areas based on expert judgement. This link is useful when developing an initial overview of the quadrant competence areas required to perform the functions of the regulatory body before going into the detailed analysis of functions, tasks and KSAs described in Section 4.

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