Development of a Shared Competency Framework for Radioactive Substances Staff in SEPA, the EA and NIEA

June 2010


Background to research

The different administrations of the UK have developed distinct (although similar) regulatory approaches. This is a reflection of the slight variations in legislation applicable in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In this complex situation it is essential that the environmental regulators deploy persons in the regulation of radioactive substances who are competent. This project was intended to produce information to support staff development in all three agencies. As each agency is at a different stage of development of arrangements for staff technical competencies, their use of the outcomes of this project is expected to be different in approach. As a minimum it was clear that there was a need for a catalogue of the drivers for competencies deployed in radioactive substances regulation, and a competency framework that will be taken by each of the environment agencies and incorporated into their own staff development programmes. This framework will enable the environment agencies to ensure that appropriate training and development programmes are in place based on a systematic and shared analysis of need.

Objectives of research

The objective of this project is to produce a shared framework (populated with data about the drivers for staff competencies) such that environment agencies can maintain, develop and assess their own staff for competency in the regulation of radioactive substances, as appropriate.

Key findings and recommendations

Competencies required by the environment agencies with respect to radioactive substances, as well as related regulations and policy, derive from a very wide variety of sources, with each source having a variable impact on the overall regulatory competencies required by staff. A series of spreadsheets compiled into an Excel workbook has been developed to capture and clearly present all such competencies and sources in a format which should allow for and accommodate regular updates by the environment agencies.

The project specification required some consideration of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and this aspect is briefly discussed in the report.

Key words: radioactive substances regulation; regulatory competency; radioactive substances policy; regulatory obligations.

Copies of this report are available from the Foundation, in electronic format on CDRom at 20.00 + VAT or hard copy at 25.00, less 20% to FWR members.

N.B. The report is available for download from the SNIFFER Website