The IAEA has a statutory function to establish standards for the protection of health, life and property against ionizing radiation and to provide for the application of these standards to peaceful nuclear activities. Education and Training (E&T) is one of the main mechanisms to provide support to Member States in the application of these standards.
Education and training actvities in the field of radiation, transport and waste safety are conducted on the basis of principles provided in the
Strategic Approach to Education and Training in Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety (2011–2020), submitted to the IAEA’s policy-making organs and noted by its Board of Governors on September 2010.
The Agency developed a
Strategic Approach for Education and Training in Nuclear Safety for the period 2013-2020 (herein after referred to as Strategic Approach) which was noted by the Board of Governors in March 2013. The Strategic Approach supports Capacity Building in line with the Nuclear Safety Action Plan. It builds upon the experience of the Agency’s education and training activities since 2002. The Strategic Approach identifies the following key components:
- "Establishing national strategies for building competence",
- "Capacity Building Mechanisms",
- "Effective use of networking, regional and international cooperation" and
- "Management systems, management of competence and knowledge management".
IAEA Safety Requirements on
Governmental, Legal and Regulatory Framework for Safety recommend that Governments establish a generic national policy and strategy for safety, and that this should include, inter alia, the need and provision for human resources.
A national strategy for capacity building needs to be developed, implemented and periodically assessed. According to the Action Plan, Member States with nuclear power programmes and those planning to embark on a nuclear power programme should strengthen, develop, maintain and implement their capacity building programmes. This includes education, training and exercises at the national, regional and international levels.
Capacity building as defined by the Agency within its support activities for the implementation of the Action Plan encompasses four main pillars: education and training, human resource development, knowledge management and knowledge networks. These four pillars are considered at a governmental level as well as for each of the ‘stakeholder’ organizations, such as the regulatory body, operating organization, educational institutions and technical support organizations.
More specifically, IAEA’s Strategic Approach to Education and Training recommends that Member States specifically develop a national strategy for education and training in the field. Such a strategy can be considered to consist of interlinked phases, where the outcome of one phase is the starting point for the next phase, with the loop being closed by evaluation and feedback.
IAEA provide direct assistance to Member States via a range of mechanisms, such as by offering appraisal missions, running educational and training events and developing standardized syllabi. It has also supported the establishment of training centres at regional level These and other mechanisms are described below. IAEA has developed a large portfolio of material to support the conduction of education and training activities.