What our inspectors look for

Each facility and site is unique. This is recognised in the ARPANSA inspection process through a graded approach that focuses on areas with the most safety significance for the site being inspected.

Performance objectives and criteria

Performance objectives and criteria (PO&C) are used by ARPANSA inspectors to support a consistent, transparent and rigorous approach to inspection that is consistent with the risk of a facility or source. PO&Cs provide a comprehensive list of features, controls and behaviours that contribute to safety. When considered with relevant codes and standards the PO&Cs assist the detailed planning and conduct of each inspection and support a qualitative assessment of safety.

Collecting evidence

In order to make an assessment about compliance with the Act, ARPANSA may gather evidence from a range of sources. This includes:

  • inspecting, examining, taking measurements or conducting tests of equipment or materials
  • taking photographs, video or audio recordings
  • any record or document which the inspector requests
  • speaking with staff and other people on-site.

In rare circumstances which involve hazardous situations, the inspector has the power to seize equipment or materials or may direct others to take appropriate actions.

Speaking with staff

The ability to speak freely with workers and ask questions at all levels in an organisation is a normal part of ARPANSA inspections. In addition to other forms of information, talking with workers during an inspection is useful to build an accurate understanding of an organisation’s safety performance and compliance. An open dialogue is in the interest of safety and offers an opportunity to discuss safety issues that may otherwise have been overlooked. To help workers not feel pressured, these conversations are typically done in private or in small groups and at a time and place that suits the workers. Inspectors will always take an individual’s privacy concerns seriously.