2017–18 Annual Report - Part 3: Report on performance

Annual Performance Statement

Introductory statement

I, as the accountable authority of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), present the 2017–18 Annual Performance Statement of ARPANSA, as required under paragraph 39(1)(a) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). In my opinion, this annual performance statement is based on properly maintained records, accurately reflects the performance of the entity, and complies with subsection 39(2) of the PGPA Act.

Carl-Magnus Larsson
Accountable Authority
7 September 2018

Purpose

ARPANSA’s vision and purpose are supported by our commitment to achieve our six strategic objectives. Our vision, purpose and strategic objectives can be found in Part 2 - agency overview.

Overarching analysis of performance against ARPANSA’s purpose

The ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–2021 provides the underlying framework for our annual performance statement. The corporate plan brings together the measures and projects supporting the achievement of our purpose and strategic objectives.

Over the course of the 2017–18 reporting period, ARPANSA achieved or partially achieved 38 measures and completed three projects. One measure was not achieved. However, alternative actions had been implemented that made it possible to achieve the objective captured under that measure. We took many steps forward in contribution to delivering enhanced radiation protection and nuclear safety outcomes to the Australian community and environment. Highlights include:

  • We published the Guide for Radiation Protection in Existing Exposure Situations (RPS G-2). We also published associated radon advisories informing nationally uniform approaches to radiation protection in existing exposure situations in Australia.
  • We made significant progress to implement the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Safety Requirements (GSR) – Part 7 on Preparedness and Response for a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency (GSR Part 7). This included ARPANSA hosting a regional workshop on GSR Part 7 in cooperation with the IAEA and a national workshop for stakeholders in Australia. This work was followed by the release of the draft Guide for Radiation Protection in Emergency Exposure Situations (RPS G-3). The draft RPS G-3 facilitated the national hazard assessment which was extended to the public for comment in April 2018. All of these actions support progress towards national uniformity in emergency preparedness across Australia.
  • ARPANSA was awarded a $5 million capital injection to install a modern advanced linear accelerator. This represents the largest cash injection into the agency in a decade. It will ensure we can continue to provide dosimetric certainty for patients undergoing advanced radiation therapies.
  • We issued a licence to the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) in April 2018 to operate the ANSTO Nuclear Medicine Molybdenum-99 (Mo‑99) facility. This was issued after a year-long assessment process. The application for the facility was assessed against international best practice in radiation protection and nuclear safety, to assure protection of people and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation.
  • We have now gone through two years of planning and self‑assessments, and we are now poised to receive an Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This is the first full mission since 2007. The IRRS will review Australia’s legal and regulatory framework for radiation safety against the IAEA’s General Safety Requirements.
  • We undertook a sustainability and funding project to deliver a diversified revenue generation model. This included strategies that preserve the agency’s financial position and delivery on its statutory obligations.

We have made the following progress despite some challenges along the way:

  • We delivered rapid changes in digital technologies. This included cloud services, data and analytics, and the renovation of legacy systems which are currently presenting digital transformation issues for the agency.
  • We prioritised the investment in projects that will deliver long-term benefits in our sustainability capacity. These were approved against a backdrop of managing further efficiency dividends.
  • We flat-lined revenue generation within our fee‑for-service activities.
  • We developed a cost recovery model for our regulatory licence charges. These will not come into effect until the 2019–2020 financial year.

Summary of results

A summary snapshot of ARPANSA’s non-financial performance results are provided in the table below. Our detailed performance measures, results and analysis of performance are presented in the following pages.

No. Measure Result
1.1 Ultraviolet (UV) radiation monitoring network data availability to public target achieved or exceeded, project on track
1.2 Monitor radiation doses to occupationally exposed workers including uranium mining workers target achieved or exceeded, project on track
1.3 Number of organisations submitting worker exposure records to the Australian National Radiation Dose Register (ANRDR) target achieved or exceeded, project on track
1.4 Publication of existing exposure guide project complete
1.5 Publication of National Radon Action Plan target partially achieved, minor issues with project
1.6 Publication of study on brain cancer in relation to mobile phone use target partially achieved, minor issues with project
1.7 Strengthen national partnerships in relation to skin cancer programs target achieved or exceeded, project on track
2.1 ARPANSA is prepared for a radiological or nuclear incident or emergency target achieved or exceeded, project on track
2.2 Publication of national hazard assessment for emergency management target partially achieved, minor issues with project
2.3 Publication of emergency exposure guide target partially achieved, minor issues with project
2.4 CTBTO1 monitoring stations1 target achieved or exceeded, project on track
3.1 Number of Diagnostic Reference Level surveys per annual survey period target achieved or exceeded, project on track
3.2 Percentage of Australian radiotherapy providers subscribing to the national dosimetric auditing program target achieved or exceeded, project on track
3.3 Percentage of Australian radiotherapy providers covered by ARPANSA dose calibration services target achieved or exceeded, project on track
3.4 Installation of a new linear accelerator target partially achieved, minor issues with project
3.5 Publication of medical code target partially achieved, minor issues with project
4.1 Reduced radiation exposures of workers at licensed Commonwealth facilities target partially achieved, minor issues with project
4.2 Inspections are conducted in accordance with established inspection schedule target not achieved, major issues with project, or significant reprioritisation made to achieve the objective
4.3 Applications are assessed within agreed timeframes target achieved or exceeded, project on track
4.4 Information sharing meetings are held with licence holders target achieved or exceeded, project on track
4.5 Inspection schedule is risk informed and reviewed annually target achieved or exceeded, project on track
4.6 A graded approach is applied to compliance monitoring and enforcement actions target achieved or exceeded, project on track
4.7 Actions are initiated within three months of the identification of an area for improvement target achieved or exceeded, project on track
4.8 Information is shared with collaborating regulatory agencies  target achieved or exceeded, project on track
4.9 ARPANSA’s risk framework, the basis for regulatory decisions, and the outcomes of compliance monitoring are published on the web target achieved or exceeded, project on track
4.10 Stakeholders, including the public, are consulted on the development of codes and guidance publications target achieved or exceeded, project on track
4.11 Feedback from licence holders is encouraged and feedback received is positive, constructive and drives improvement target achieved or exceeded, project on track
4.12 Improvements identified through internal or external reviews, self‑assessment or feedback, are implemented effectively target achieved or exceeded, project on track
4.13 Promote the use of international best practice across Australia target achieved or exceeded, project on track
4.14

Integrated Regulatory Review Service mission

  • complete self-assessment
  • receive mission

 

  • target partially achieved, minor issues with project
  • target achieved or exceeded, project on track
5.1 Provide timely advice and reporting target achieved or exceeded, project on track
5.2 Compliance with reporting under the terms of international conventions target achieved or exceeded, project on track
5.3 Percentage increase in social media interactions annually target achieved or exceeded, project on track
5.4 Undertake NRWMF2 stakeholder engagement activities target achieved or exceeded, project on track
6.1 Employee engagement score achieved in annual Australian Public Service (APS) employee census target partially achieved, minor issues with project
6.2 Number of ARPANSA breaches3 identified in radiation safety and security compliance assessments target partially achieved, minor issues with project
6.3 Develop a learning solutions framework Project complete
6.4 Develop and implement an Integrated Management System target achieved or exceeded, project on track
6.5 Review and update the Digital Strategy target partially achieved, minor issues with project
6.6 Develop and implement a Research and Innovation Strategy target partially achieved, minor issues with project
6.7 Develop a cost recovery model for Commonwealth licensing activities Project complete

Objective 1 – Protect the public and workers from harmful effects of radiation

No. Measure Target or estimated completion Source Annual Result
1.1 UV monitoring network data availability to the public >95% Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) 2017–18, page 234 target achieved or exceeded, project on track
1.2 Monitor radiation doses to occupationally exposed workers including uranium mining workers Annual reporting of trend in radiation doses received by workers, determined from quantitative dose measurement, provides evidence of optimisation of radiation protection PBS 2017–18, page 234 target achieved or exceeded, project on track
1.3 Number of organisations submitting worker exposure records to the Australian National Radiation Dose Register (ANRDR) 10 ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 13 target achieved or exceeded, project on track
1.4 Existing exposure guide

Develop national uniform guidance for radiation protection of occupationally exposed persons, the public and the environment in existing exposure situations

December 2017

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 13 Project complete
1.5 National Radon Action Plan

Develop the National Radon Action Plan outlining the framework for hazard identification and risk mitigation to reduce radon‑induced lung cancer in Australia

June 2018

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 13

target partially achieved, minor issues with project

Draft plan completed but not yet published. This measure has been carried over to the new reporting period

1.6 Mobile phones

Study on mobile phone use prevalence and time trends in brain tumour incidence in Australia

June 2018

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 13

target partially achieved, minor issues with project

Study completed but not yet published

 

1.7 Skin cancer programs

Build partnerships with national non‑governmental organisations to develop multi‑component programs to influence the behaviour of the Australian public in order to reduce the incidence of skin cancer in Australia

June 2019

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 13

target achieved or exceeded, project on track

See case study 1

Analysis of performance against purpose and program objective

In 2017–18 ARPANSA continued to provide advice, specialised resources and services to support protection of the public, workers and the environment from the harmful effect of ionising and non-ionising radiation. ARPANSA achieved this by:

  • upgrading the ultraviolet radiation (UVR) network hardware and software, including a new monitoring site on the Gold Coast, and redesign of the UVR index on our website
  • publishing Australian National Radiation Dose Register (ANRDR) in Review, the annual report of the ANRDR (August 2017)
  • increasing the number of organisations submitting worker exposure records to the ANRDR from eight organisations to ten
  • responding to 461 Talk to a Scientist program phone call enquiries during the program hours and 392 emails within five working days
  • publishing the Guide for Radiation Protection in Existing Exposure Situations (RPS G-2) (September 2017)
  • developing the Draft National Radon Action Plan outlining the framework for hazard identification and risk mitigation to reduce radon-induced lung cancer in Australia
  • preparing the research paper: Mobile phone use has not increased the incidence of brain tumour histological types, grading or anatomical location: A population‑based study, which has been submitted for publication
  • strengthening partnerships with national non-governmental organisations to develop multi-compartment programs to influence the behaviour of the Australian public in order to reduce the incidence of skin cancer in Australia, including becoming a SunSmart workplace endorsed by the Cancer Council Victoria and Victoria Health
  • processing 145 034 dose monitors; issuing 14 008 dose reports; calibrating 1122 electromagnetic radiation monitors; testing 2267 sun protective materials; and issuing 3 606 000 swing tags on consumer products with information on their sun protection properties
  • releasing the draft Code for Disposal of Solid Radioactive Waste (RPS C-3) for public comment, to be tabled at Radiation Health Council for consideration and approval for publishing in July 2018.

Objective 2 – Promote radiological and nuclear safety and security, and emergency preparedness

No. Measure Target or estimated completion Source Annual Result
2.1 ARPANSA is prepared for a radiological or nuclear incident or emergency Emergency preparedness and response systems for field, network and laboratory measurements, and information management and decision support systems are available, calibrated, tested and aligned with national planning PBS 2017–18, page 234 ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 15 target achieved or exceeded, project on track
2.2 National hazard assessment

Deliver a report that will identify and assess hazards associated with facilities, activities or sources and the potential consequences of an emergency

June 2018

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 15 target partially achieved, minor issues with project
2.3 Emergency exposure guide

Develop national uniform guidance for radiation protection in emergency exposure situations providing a tool for preparedness and response

June 2018

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 15 target partially achieved, minor issues with project
2.4 CTBTO monitoring stations

Deliver, in cooperation with the CTBTO, upgrades to the Darwin radionuclide monitoring station

June 2020

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 15 target achieved or exceeded, project on track

Analysis of performance against purpose and program objective

ARPANSA’s commitment to test the adequacy of our emergency preparedness arrangements and capability by participating in exercises both internally and with other agencies has remained strong in the 2017–18 reporting period. Our commitment was demonstrated and our capabilities tested through participation in a number of exercises and proficiency tests including:

  • IAEA Convention Exercises: ConvEx-1b (August 2017), ConvEx-2b (December 2017), ConvEx-1a (April 2018) and ConvEx-2a (March 2018). These convention exercises vary in complexity and are designed to test that National Warning Points are available continuously, that National Competent Authorities can promptly respond to received notifications and complete required reporting forms in response to a simulated emergency. The ConvEx-2b focused on specific aspects of the practical implementation of Article 2 of the Convention on Assistance in Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency (Assistance Convention)
  • Proliferation Security Initiative Exercise Pacific Protector 2017 (September 2017), part of Asia Pacific Exercise Rotation. ARPANSA provided training to regional partners and participated in a whole-of-government demonstration with Department of Defence, Australian Border Force and ANSTO
  • IAEA Response and Assistant Network Joint Assistance Team deployment exercise to Japan. This included testing field measurements teams from ARPANSA and ANSTO (October 2017)
  • an agency-wide telephone exercise activation of ARPANSA’s Incident Management Plan was undertaken. Approximately 30 staff members were contacted (June 2018)
  • meeting performance targets in five proficiency testing programs, designed
  • to assess our performance in conducting radioanalytical test methods against other laboratories that participate worldwide in the same programs.

Other ARPANSA activities that promoted radiological and nuclear safety and security and emergency preparedness included:

  • jointly hosting a regional workshop with the IAEA on the IAEA General Safety Requirements (GSR) Part 7: Preparedness and Response for a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency (October 2017)
  • releasing the draft Emergency Exposure Guide (RPS G-3), including National hazard assessment for public comment (April 2018)
  • commencing a project to establish an automated radiological monitoring system, which will remotely monitor gamma dose at nuclear powered warships ports and ANSTO
  • promoting the Australasian Radioanalytical Laboratory Network resulting in increased collaboration and methodological harmonisation
  • operating seven particulate radionuclide monitoring stations and two noble gas monitoring stations that form part of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) International Monitoring System with >95 per cent data availability.

Objective 3 – Promote the safe and effective use of ionising radiation in medicine

No. Measure Target or estimated completion Source Annual result
3.1 Number of Diagnostic Reference Level surveys per annual survey period 1200 PBS 2017–18, page 235 ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017-21, page 17

target achieved or exceeded, project on track

2757

3.2 Percentage of Australian radiotherapy providers subscribing to the national dosimetric auditing program provided by the Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service 50% PBS 2017–18, page 235 ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017-21, page 17

target achieved or exceeded, project on track

98%

3.3 Percentage of Australian radiotherapy providers covered by ARPANSA dose calibration services 70% PBS 2017–18, page 235 ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017-21, page 17

target achieved or exceeded, project on track

72%

3.4 New linear accelerator

Delivery and installation of a new linear accelerator to ensure that
ARPANSA and Australia have the tools required to ensure the safe delivery of radiation therapy to the Australian population

June 2018

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 17

target partially achieved, minor issues with project

ARPANSA has contracted a company to deliver a modern linear accelerator and associated building works. The commissioning of the new linear accelerator is expected to be delivered by 30 June 2019. This measure has been carried over to the new reporting period

3.5 Medical code

Develop a national uniform medical code for acceptance by the Radiation Health Committee

June 2018

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 17

target partially achieved, minor issues with project

The Radiation Health Committee approved the release of the medical code for public comment. The code has not been finalised and therefore this measure has been carried over to the new reporting period

Analysis of performance against purpose and program objective

In 2017–18, ARPANSA promoted the safe and effective use of ionising radiation in medicine. The main work programs, Diagnostic Reference Level (DRL) surveys, dosimetry auditing by the Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service (ACDS) and the maintenance and dissemination of the primary standard for ionising radiation are all designed to proactively mitigate patient risk.

All programs have been developed with and operate successfully through ongoing interaction and engagement with the medical professionals and clinical staff who perform and supervise the treatment and imaging procedures. During the reporting period, there were a number of activities that promoted the safe and effective use of ionising radiation in medicine:

  • a liaison panel with representatives from relevant professional bodies and industry associations was formed during the reporting period to consider revised recommendations to the adult computed tomography (CT) DRLs based on analysis conducted by ARPANSA
  • revised DRLs for adult CT being published on the ARPANSA website in June 2018 and coming into effect from 1 July 2018. This work is achieving the aim of improving the health and safety of patients as evidenced by the reduction in doses for the surveyed procedures over the period 2011–17
  • a user-pays funding model for the ACDS with more than 98 per cent of clinics across Australia participating in service level agreements for the provision of dosimetric audit services
  • ACDS performing 110 audits resulting in 38 recommendations to Australian clinics. This has led to changes in equipment and clinical practices and audits of new radiotherapy technologies have been developed and deployed
  • International benchmarking for the national standard being maintained through membership of and active engagement with the International Committee for Weights and Measures - Consultative Committee for Ionizing Radiation
  • publication of such articles as Survey of 5 mm small‑field output factor measurements in Australia4 and Dosimetric end-to-end tests in a national audit of 3D conformal radiotherapy5. This has ensured that ARPANSA has become the recognised national authority on small field and advance therapy dosimetry
  • facilitating the annual Practical Reference Dosimetry Course for external beam radiotherapy in March 2018
  • engagement with stakeholders to develop, jointly with the Radiation Health Committee, an updated Code for Radiation Protection in Medical Exposures (RPS C-5) which was released for public comment. The new code is intended to replace the existing Code for Radiation Protection in the Medical Applications of Ionizing Radiation (RPS 14)
  • tendering and finalising the contract for the building and installation works for a new linear accelerator.

In turn, ARPANSA has seen an increase in stakeholder engagement, in the form of:

  • seventy-two per cent of Australianradiotherapy providers being covered by ARPANSA dose calibration services carried out by the radiotherapy section
  • DRL surveys of radiation exposures in medical imaging greatly exceeding the target with 2757 DRL surveys collected in 2017–18 compared with 1550 in the previous reporting period
  • national demand and participation in ARPANSA’s calibration services exceeding the target during the reporting period recognising its fundamental contribution to high quality and safe patient treatment.

Objective 4 – Ensure risk informed and efficient regulation

No. Measure Target or estimated completion Source Annual result
4.1 Monitor doses to radiation workers at licensed Commonwealth facilities and influence doses in a downward manner The radiation doses of the 100 most exposed workers at licensed Commonwealth facilities trend downwards over time PBS 2017 18, page 236 ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 19

target partially achieved, minor issues with project

Only three data points have been able to be collected up to the present time. Whilst the general trend has been downwards, the last data point exhibited a slight increase

4.2 Inspections are conducted in accordance with established inspection schedule >85% PBS 2017–18, page 236 ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 19 Regulator Performance Framework (RPF) KPI 1

target not achieved, major issues with project, or significant reprioritisation made to achieve the
objective

72% (31 of 43)

The Inspection schedule adherence target was met in three of four quarters (Q2 - 100%, Q3 - 92%, Q4 - 88%). The first quarter results (46%) were impacted by the transition to a new source inspection program

4.3 Applications are assessed within agreed timeframes >75%

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 19

RPF KPI 1

target achieved or exceeded, project on track

84%

See case study 2

4.4 Information sharing meetings are held with licence holders >20 meetings

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 19

RPF KPI 2

target achieved or exceeded, project on track

38

4.5 Inspection schedule is risk informed and reviewed annually Risk-based scheduling of inspections

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 19

RPF KPI 3

target achieved or exceeded, project on track
4.6 A graded approach is applied to compliance monitoring and enforcement actions Graded approach to monitoring and enforcement

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 19

RPF KPI 3

target achieved or exceeded, project on track
4.7 Actions are initiated within three months of the identification of an area for improvement >50%

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 20

RPF KPI 4

target achieved or exceeded, project on track

57%

4.8 Information is shared with collaborating regulatory agencies Collaboration with regulatory agencies

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 20

RPF KPI 4

target achieved or exceeded, project on track
4.9 ARPANSA’s risk framework, the basis for regulatory decisions, and the outcomes of compliance monitoring are published on the web Transparency in dealings with regulated entities

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 20

RPF KPI 5

target achieved or exceeded, project on track
4.10 Stakeholders, including the public, are consulted on the development of codes and guidance publications Consultation with stakeholders

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 20

RPF KPI 5

target achieved or exceeded, project on track
4.11 Feedback from licence holders is encouraged and feedback received is positive, constructive and drives improvement Score >75% and qualitative data

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 21

RPF KPI 6

target achieved or exceeded, project on track

87% overall satisfaction recorded from 43 post inspection surveys

4.12 Improvements identified through internal or external reviews, self-assessment or feedback, are implemented effectively Identity and implement improvements

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 21

RPF KPI 6

target achieved or exceeded, project on track
4.13 Promote the use of international best practice across Australia Promote international best practice

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 21

RPF KPI 6

target achieved or exceeded, project on track
4.14 Integrated Regulatory Review Service Mission

Benchmark Australia’s radiation and nuclear safety framework against the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safety requirements, by participating in an Integrated Regulatory
Review Service (IRRS) mission to Australia.

  • Complete self‑assessment of ARPANSA’s and participating states’ and territories’ framework for radiation and nuclear safety, and prepare draft action plan.

June 2018

  • Receive IRRS mission coordinated by IAEA, finalise action plan and commence implementation.

2018–19 (and beyond)

PBS 2017–18, page 236 ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 21

 

 

target partially achieved, minor issues with project

The IRRS self‑assessment module responses were not fully complete by the end of the reporting period. Three modules are currently outstanding but are expected to be completed by August 2018.

target achieved or exceeded, project on track

Analysis of performance against purpose and program objective

Many of the performance measures above are also reported under the Regulator Performance Framework (RPF), a Commonwealth-wide initiative that helps regulators report objectively on their efforts to administer regulation fairly, effectively and efficiently. As such it also helps regulators to identify opportunities for improvement and to better target regulatory resources for greater impact. RPF performance indicators cover issues like communication, risk-based and proportionate approaches, transparency, avoiding unnecessary regulatory burden and continuous improvement. Although the RPF measure for conducting inspections in accordance with the established inspection schedule was not met, the change in the source inspection program in the first quarter of the reporting period allowed for more educational and safety awareness activities to occur. The safety objective of the program was thus met.

ARPANSA first obtained ministerial approval and implemented our RPF measures and targets for 2015–16, and subsequently each year performs a self-assessment against the targets. This year ARPANSA met or exceeded 11 out of the 12 RPF measures, and made significant progress towards achieving the final one.

In addition to regulatory activities as reported under the RPF, ARPANSA has undertaken a number of projects and activities that will further improve our performance, including:

  • issuing a limited operating licence to the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) to operate the ANSTO Nuclear Medicine Facility, allowing commissioning tests to be performed using irradiated target plates and extracting molybdenum-99 from them
  • extensively preparing for the IRRS mission planned for November 2018 by conducting self-assessments and drafting an action plan for ARPANSA’s framework for radiation and nuclear safety
  • developing the background security checking protocol in partnership with the Radiation Health Committee (RHC). A new working group has been formed to report on progress against this initiative in particular and establish what legislative actions may be required for such a framework to exist
  • actively engaging in the international sphere including attending meetings on safety standards, incident and trafficking, nuclear security, leadership for safety and safety culture
  • revising and reissuing guides including:

Objective 5 – Strengthen engagement with community and government

No. Measure Target or estimated completion Source Annual result
5.1 Timely advice and reporting Advice and reports provided in accordance with requirements and schedule ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 23 target achieved or exceeded, project on track
5.2 Compliance with international conventions Compliance through international conventions and codes through submitting national reports to review meetings as per schedule ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 23 target achieved or exceeded, project on track
5.3 Percentage increase in social media interactions annually >20% ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 23 target achieved or exceeded, project on track
5.4 NRWMF stakeholder engagement Undertake stakeholder engagement activities for the proposed NRWMF. This will include at least three community outreach visits prior to the receipt of a potential licence application. ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 23

target achieved or exceeded, project on track

See case study 3

Analysis of performance against purpose and program objective

ARPANSA has strengthened engagement with community and government during the reporting period through a number of activities and initiatives, including:

  • undertaking two visits to Kimba, Hawker and Quorn communities in South Australia in December 2017 and March 2018. Both visits were comprised of a combination of one‑on‑one meetings with interested individuals and groups and a community drop-in meeting in each town. Due to the number of visits ARPANSA has undertaken to date (five in Hawker and two in Kimba) we have been able to establish effective relationships that enables contact outside of face-to-face visits. Through these phone and email interactions, we have been able to respond to requests for information, generally within 24 hours and to the satisfaction of our stakeholders
  • performing a holistic review of all memoranda of understanding (MoU) with domestic and international partners that led to the development of a MoU register
  • leading the preparation of the Australian National Report and delegation to the Sixth Review Meeting under the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management that was held in Vienna, 21 May – 1 June 2018. The Australian National Report (arpansa.gov.au/jointconvention) included input from the States and Territories, as well as other Commonwealth agencies with an interest in radioactive waste, such as ANSTO, the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office, the Department of Industry,Innovation and Science, and the Department of Environment and Energy. Our report went through a process of international peer‑review and received positive feedback when presented at the Review Meeting. Australia received recognition in four areas of ‘good performance’. ARPANSA also provided staff as a Vice-President of the Review Meeting and as the Rapporteur of a Country Group
  • participating in a range of Australian Government inter-departmental committees on topics of direct relevance to ARPANSA, that allow the agency the opportunity to participate in the shaping of whole-of‑government policy and remain informed of new developments. During the reporting period, these included management of the Australian Antarctic Territory and exploration of possible nuclear verification scenarios on the Korean Peninsula
  • tabling all quarterly reports on the activities of the agency in Parliament, as required by legislation, and in line with legislative timeframes
  • exponentially increasing engagement through our social media pages. Specifically, our Facebook likes have increased 328 per cent. Our Twitter followers have also increased by 141 per cent.
  • responding to 95 per cent of media inquiries within two days.

Objective 6 – Enhance organisational innovation, capability and resilience

No. Measure Target or estimated completion Source Annual result
6.1 Employee engagement score achieved in annual Australian Public Service (APS) employee census >6.0 ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 25

target partially achieved, minor issues with project

73%

During the reporting period the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) revised the unit of measurement for the employee engagement score and as a result our annual result cannot be compared to the annual target.

This target will be amended in future reporting periods.

6.2 Number of ARPANSA breaches identified in radiation safety and security compliance assessments 0 ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017 21, page 25

target partially achieved, minor issues with project

One minor breach

A radiation safety inspection found ARPANSA to be in breach of subsection 31(2) of the ARPANS Act. The regulator considered the breach to be administrative in nature as there were no significant safety or security implications. ARPANSA has rectified the non-compliance to the satisfaction of the regulator.

6.3 Learning solutions framework

Develop a learning solutions framework to provide ARPANSA employees with learning and development programs that clearly link to our objectives and to support employees in developing and refining skills critical to succeeding in their role as they progress within the Agency

June 2018

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 25

project complete

See case study 4

6.4 Integrated Management System (IMS)

Develop and implement a framework to establish an IMS. The IMS project will support ARPANSA to deliver products and services to the Australian community and Government in the most effective and efficient way.

October 2018

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 25 target achieved or exceeded, project on track
6.5 Digital Strategy

The Digital Strategy will be updated to reflect the results from proof of concept and pilot initiatives and in consideration of agency and technology needs to ensure continual alignment with ARPANSA’s strategic objectives

June 2018

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 25

target partially achieved, minor issues with project

Draft completed but not finalised within the reporting period

6.6 Research and Innovation Strategy

Develop and implement a research and innovation strategy. This strategy will provide a framework for ensuring high quality research and innovation within ARPANSA to support its radiation protection and nuclear safety programs, as well as its regulatory activities

June 2019

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 25

target partially achieved, minor issues with project

During the reporting period the Research and Innovation Strategy was released Implementation of this strategy will take place in the next reporting period. This measure has been carried over to the new reporting period

6.7 Cost recovery of Commonwealth licensing activities

Develop a funding model to achieve appropriate cost recovery of Commonwealth licensing activities

June 2019

ARPANSA Corporate Plan 2017–21, page 25 project complete

Analysis of performance against purpose and program objective

ARPANSA’s supporting functions provide insight and expertise to the agency on a daily basis. By integrating this expertise with developing practices and approaches and aligning these with the strategic objectives of the agency, we provide the internal capability needed to successfully build and deliver innovative and streamlined programs and services.

During the reporting period ARPANSA has enhanced organisational innovation, capability and resilience through a number of activities and initiatives:

  • ARPANSA is on track to implement the Integrated Management System (IMS) project by October 2018. Once implemented, the IMS will connect all of our systems and processes into one complete framework to support achievement of our strategic objectives. It will capture all regulatory processes as well as processes that support regulatory activities, such as quality, safety, security, risk, compliance and corporate governance. Key components of the IMS delivered this reporting period include implementing an overarching framework to integrate ARPANSA’s governance, compliance and risk functions, and achieve harmonisation of our quality management systems. Furthermore, our new project management framework that was delivered in the last reporting period has been embedded across the agency in 2017–18 and integrated into the annual planning and budget cycle to inform project investment and support improved governance of agency projects.
  • In line with the Energy Efficiency in Government Operations, ARPANSA commenced the implementation of recommendations identified in the 2017–18 energy audit in the Yallambie site. In the 2017–18 financial year ARPANSA undertook seven projects that optimised opportunities relating to electricity and natural gas.
  • The APS employee census is an annual employee perception survey of the APS workforce. In 2018, over 140 000 employees from 101 agencies were invited to participate. In the 2018 APS Employee Census held in May and June, 83 per cent of ARPANSA staff participated, compared with an overall APS participation rate of 74 per cent. While the census reports on a number of topics, one of the key figures reported is the employee engagement score. The APSC defines employee engagement as the extent to which employees are motivated, inspired and enabled to improve an organisation’s outcomes. In 2018, the​​​​​​​ ARPANSA employee engagement score was 73 per cent, compared with the APS overall average of 71 per cent.
  • A new learning strategy was launched in November 2017. The objectives of the learning strategy are to:
    • enable the capability, productivity and performance required to achieve​​​​​​​ ARPANSA strategic objectives
    • enable high quality, purposeful and application-ready learning and knowledge sharing experiences
    • leverage a wide range of leading practice learning and knowledge sharing methodologies.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
  • ARPANSA implemented a new online learning management system (LMS) in February 2018. The new LMS, LearnHub, includes access to APS courses, ‘ARPANSA Knowledge’ and other resources such as SkillSoft and Lynda.
  • A new Regulatory Cost Recovery model has been developed. In 2018–19 reporting period, ARPANSA will engage with licence holders and communicate the proposed changes. The first opportunity to undertake this engagement and communication will be at the ARPANSA licence holder forum in Canberra in September 2018.
  • The ARPANSA Research and Innovation Strategy 2017–2021 was released in January 2018.
  • ARPANSA has developed a strategy for growing its financial position for the purposes of continuously improving delivery against its statutory obligations. This strategy has specifically invested in enhancing the agency’s revenue-generating activities including but not limited to regulatory cost recovery models and strategies for increasing both revenue and profitability of services provided to external stakeholders.
  • A revision of the Digital Strategy 2017–2021 was created incorporating feedback received from external and internal committees and proof of concept initiatives. The document was redrafted in natural and engaging language and was slightly delayed due to staff absences. In addition to the revision of the Digital Strategy, the Digital Technology section made progress in a number of other areas including:
    • development of a three-year Digital Technology Plan that provides technology roadmaps and investment schedules to help the agency meet future capability requirements
    • migration of UV legacy data to data.gov.au which is progressing well
    • replacement of end of service life multi‑function device and video conferencing equipment which has been completed.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) monitors for nuclear explosions on the Earth’s surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground.

The NRWMF refers to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) proposed establishments of a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility. ARPANSA is responsible for the licencing of any future NRWMF.

Breaches identified under the ARPANS Act and Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF).

4http://doi.org/10.1002/acm2.12259

5https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phro.2018.03.006