Human resource development

The nuclear industry relies heavily on a specialized and highly trained workforce for its safety and sustainability. Effective human resource management ranges from education and training to the continual monitoring and improvement of the workforce’s performance.

Human resource management in the nuclear industry needs to be of a particularly high standard, both in terms of competence and performance. Developing the specialists needed in this field requires considerable effort and time. Nuclear industry experience shows that within nuclear power plants, 80 per cent of significant events can be attributed to human error. For this reason, monitoring and continually improving human performance has become one of the key challenges in the management of human resources for a nuclear facility.

The IAEA supports Member States that are operating, expanding or developing new nuclear power programmes in acquiring and maintaining competent staff for all nuclear organizations and for all phases of the life cycle of a nuclear facility. It provides human resources guidance documents and reports; organizes workshops; conducts review services; and helps develop and implement workforce and training planning tools, as well as e-learning modules. The development of such services and tools is guided by the IAEA’s Technical Working Group on Managing Human Resources.

The Managing Human Resources in the Field of Nuclear Energy publication gives guidance to decision makers and senior managers responsible for the development of a competent and sustainable workforce. The IAEA also offers expert missions and review services to help Member States develop and enhance their national and organisational human resources plans, to review their training arrangements and provide guidance for long term operation.

E-learning for Nuclear Newcomers

Based on the IAEA Milestones Approach, the Agency provides a set of e-learning modules for audiences from countries considering nuclear power or wanting to expand their nuclear power programmes. These audiences are often quite large and come with many diverse knowledge base levels. The tool allows students to learn at their own convenience and speed, and is ideal for taking learners to a common level of understanding before they participate in more advanced, group based learning activities. IAEA e-learning modules include Developing a Human Resource Strategy, which focuses on human resources management, and Systematic Approach to Training (SAT), which is internationally recognized as a key tool for ensuring the competency of all nuclear power programme personnel.

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