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Safety Culture Continuous Improvement Process (SCCIP)

The SCCIP assists Member States in strengthening and maintaining their safety culture. The process involves training that enables staff from a receiving organization to use safety culture assessments to improve safety culture, to develop effective improvement programmes and to create effective and sustainable organizational change. The trained staff members, who should represent different departments and different levels, form a safety culture improvement team with in-house expertise.

The IAEA defines a strong safety culture as the assembly of characteristics and attitudes in organizations and individuals which establishes that, as an overriding priority, protection and safety issues receive the attention warranted by their significance.

The SCCIP is suitable for operating organizations and regulatory bodies in countries that are developing nuclear power as well as those with established nuclear power programmes.

In order to improve safety culture, a thorough understanding of the organization’s overall culture is needed. A safety culture self-assessment helps the organization identify attitudes, underlying beliefs and assumptions that drive behaviours. These findings enable the organization to highlight strengths and weaknesses and lay the basis for creating an effective programme to improve safety culture.

The SCCIP training team comprises IAEA senior safety officers and other experienced international experts. In addition to the IAEA safety standards, the service also uses good practices and lessons learned, in particular those from the 2011 accident at Fukushima Daiichi, as a basis.

The SCCIP comprises four steps that assist in the building of the organization’s ability to assess and improve safety culture.

  • Step 1: Workshop for Senior Management: This provides an understanding of safety culture and how it is linked to safety performance. Senior management commitment and support is essential for the success safety culture improvement programmes. The workshop lasts two to three days.
  • Step 2: Safety culture self-assessment training: A safety culture improvement team is selected and trained in using interviews, surveys, focus groups, document reviews and observations to collect data about the organization’s culture. Further training enables the team to analyse the data to extract cultural themes. The training lasts five to 10 days.
  • Step 3: Conduct self-assessment: The safety culture improvement team performs a safety culture self-assessment and communicates the results. The IAEA can provide tailored support based on the organization’s needs.
  • Step 4: Finalize the self-assessment: The safety culture improvement team, supported by the SCCIP training team, analyses assessment results and proposes improvement activities and programmes to the organization’s management.

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