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​Systematic Assessment of Regulatory Competence Needs for Regulatory Bodies of Nuclear Facilities (SARCoN)

A Regulatory Body’s competence is dependent, amongst other things, on the competence of its staff. A necessary, but not sufficient, condition for a Regulatory Body to be competent is that its staff has the competences they need to perform the tasks related to the functions of the Regulatory Body.

In 2001, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published a TECDOC entitled Training the staff of the regulatory body for nuclear facilities: A competence framework (TECDOC-1254) which examined the way in which the regulatory functions of a nuclear regulatory body result in competence needs. Using the internationally recognized Systematic Approach to Training (SAT), it provided a framework for regulatory bodies for managing training and developing, and maintaining the competence of its staff. It has been successfully used by many regulatory bodies all over the world including countries ‘embarking’ on a nuclear power programme.

The IAEA has also produced  Safety Reports Series No.79 entitled Managing Regulatory Body Competence of nuclear installations which provides generic guidance on the development of a competence management system within a regulatory body’s integrated management system based on IAEA safety requirements. Safety Reports Series No. 79 provides guidance on developing an adequate competence management system and it contains an appendix giving detailed guidance for embarking countries in different phases of a nuclear power programme.

In this context, SARCoN needs to be examined with regard to the process of establishing and building competence, in addition to maintaining competence.

Different Regulatory Bodies have different regulatory and national approaches. SARCoN is the result of years of experience and work of many experts. It has also been validated by the IAEA Steering Committee on Competence of Human Resources for Regulatory Bodies of Nuclear Installations.

SARCoN must be tailored and adapted to the particular situation of the regulator.