Leadership and management for safety and security

Managers at all levels of any organization or facility involved in activities that could give rise to radiation risks or intentional acts that might harm people, society and the environment, must provide leadership and follow management systems that integrate both safety and security.

In the General Safety Requirements on Leadership and Management for Safety (GSR Part 2), the IAEA establishes requirements that support Principle 3 of the Fundamental Safety Principles, which focuses on leadership and management for safety. Principle 3 stipulates that leadership and management for safety, as well as an effective management system, are established, sustained and continuously improved. This is essential to foster and sustain a strong safety culture in an organization. 

Management systems should also be designed to integrate security, quality, human and organizational factors. The role of senior management in nuclear technologies and in applications where nuclear material or other radioactive material is used or transported requires them to ensure that, as an overriding priority, safety, security and physical protection issues will always receive the attention they warrant.

Taking into account their duties, the IAEA requires that managers at all levels in an organization set goals for safety and security that are consistent with their organization’s policy and demonstrate commitment to improving safety and security performance. They must also encourage and support all individuals in achieving these safety and security goals and ensure that their actions serve to encourage learning and continuous improvement among their staff. In addition, senior management needs to strive to correct conditions or acts that are adverse to safety and security.

Ultimately, senior management is responsible for ensuring that individuals are competent to carry out their tasks and that they are knowledgeable of the relevance and the importance of their activities to the achievement of their organization’s safety and security goals.

The IAEA provides tools and training to Member States to improve and strengthen their leadership and management of safety and security. This includes an annual workshop for senior and executive managers on leadership and culture for safety, workshops for middle managers on the systemic approach to safety and several tailored leadership and management support missions in the Member States.