ARPANSA licence holder forums
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ARPANSA conducts regular forums with stakeholders as a means of sharing useful information about changes to regulatory practices, the inspection program, compliance issues, as well as highlighting good practices.
ARPANSA held its annual licence holder forum for the first time as an online event due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and uncertainties around nation-wide travel. The forum was broadcast from the studios of a service provider specialising in the management of webinars and digital events. This year 158 people registered for the forum from across Australia. The forum was hosted by our Regulatory Services Branch Head, Jim Scott.
The feature topic for this year was ‘Optimisation’.
Optimisation is about determining what level of protection and safety can make exposure levels as low as reasonably achievable taking into consideration economic and societal factors. Optimisation is one of the fundamental principles of radiation risk management. The level of protection achieved under an optimisation model should be the best available under the circumstances and should provide for an adequate margin of benefit over harm. There is a potential for the principle of optimisation to be misunderstood as implying the need to minimise exposures regardless of cost. The optimisation principle, however, takes a graded approach to the management of radiation risks and focuses on achieving an ethically and legally acceptable outcome based on balancing risks and benefits.
The keynote speaker on the topic of Optimisation of Protection was CEO of ARPANSA, Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson.
In his presentation, Carl-Magnus discussed the usefulness (and limitations) in using optimisation to provide equitable protection. He also emphasised:
- optimisation is part of the design (safety, security and protection by design) but is sometimes considered when major design decisions have already been taken
- optimisation is a multifactorial concept that always includes a risk component
- 'doses are ALARA' (as low are reasonably achievable) is an often-used phrase but not appropriate or enough
- let constraints (reference levels) be guided by the risk assessment, not by what is ‘doable’
- avoid ‘evaluating away’ the likelihood of an event
- apply a graded approach
- effective dose remains an appropriate risk-related quantity that supports optimisation, but variations (for example age- and gender-related) can be large and require consideration.
Other presentations at the forum were:
- Optimisation of Practices in Medical Exposures Situations – Brent Rogers (Radiation and Laser Safety Officer, NSW Health)
- Optimisation of radiation protection in practice: an ANSTO perspective – Andrew Popp (Manager, Radiation Protection Services , ANSTO)
- Optimising Radiation Safety Management in CSIRO: A Progress Update – Sheridan Martin (Chief Radiation Safety Officer, CSIRO)
- Regulatory Services branch updates:
- Regulatory Services – Jim Scott
- iAuditor – Chris Nickel
- Inspection outcomes – Chris Nickel
- ARPANSA regulatory guides – John Ward.
Although in-person events are favoured by most, the success of the 2021 Licence Holder Forum has proven the viability and effectiveness of sharing information through a virtual media platform.
The 2020 Licence holder forum did not take place due to COVID-19 restrictions.
ARPANSA held its annual licence holder forum in Canberra on 4 September 2019. Approximately 118 licence holders attended the forum which was hosted by the Australian National University (ANU) and facilitated by our own Jenni Stiffe. The forum provided a great opportunity for participants to share and discuss new initiatives and good practices from across the Commonwealth.
The feature topic of the forum was ‘culture for safety’. Culture for safety is an aspect of our socio- technical environment that affects safety. It is a subset of organisational culture that determines how we go about our business. If our culture for safety is positive we tend to work more safely and are better able to deal with problems that put us off track and into danger. Over the last couple of years we have seen a number of stakeholder incidents and accidents where investigation has found weaknesses in safety culture. Therefore, with these incidents and accidents to draw on, culture for safety was a topical subject that grabbed people’s attention.
Our keynote speaker, Dr Deborah Cleland from the ANU, spoke about ‘Compliance culture of regulated entities’. A key message from this talk was understanding the various ways that the regulated community respond to regulation. Deborah explained that there were broadly five responses to regulation: commitment, capitulation, resistance, disengagement, and game-playing. A number of strategies that regulators can use to achieve positive relationships with regulators were outlined.
This presentation was followed by a panel discussion on ‘How do we influence safety culture in the workplace?’ which was a chance for licence holders to learn from each other and share their experiences. The panel included:
- Dr Deborah Cleland, ANU
- Ms Jenny Baxter, CSIRO
- Ms Karen Wolfe, ANSTO
- Mr Tony Mills-Thom, Defence
Other key presentations included:
- Learning from experience – how incidents can drive change, by Hefin Griffiths (ANSTO)
- Radiation Safety in CSIRO - legacy radiation issues and organisational initiatives, by Jenny Baxter and Sheridan Martin (CSIRO)
- A session on inspection outcomes, by Chris Nickel (ARPANSA)
- A session on ARPANSA’s safety culture assessment outcomes, by John Ward (ARPANSA).
The day Included of a series of coffee corners which covered the following topics:
- IRRS Outcomes – Ryan Hemsley
- Emergency Exposure Guide – Marcus Grzechnik
- NRWMF – Julie Murray
- ANRDR – Cameron Lawrence
- I-Auditor – Chris Nickel
Learning from experience – how incidents can drive change – Hefin Griffiths, ANSTO*
Safety Culture Assessments Outcomes – John Ward, ARPANSA*
Radiation Safety in CSIRO – Jenny Baxter and Sheridan Martin*
*Please contact us if you would like a copy of these presentations.
We held our largest licence forum yet, in Canberra on 20 September 2018. Over 100 licence holders attend the forum, hosted by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and facilitated by our own Shailla Van Raad. The forum provided a great opportunity for participants to share and discuss new initiatives and good practices from across the Commonwealth.
The feature topic of the forum was 'risk'. We chose this as our inspection findings suggested that management of risk, and the effectiveness of risk communication to workers, was an important topic that deserved more attention. An area of particular interest was the oversight and management of changes, and the use of operational experience to review assessments and controls.
Our keynote speaker, Mr Peter Wilkinson, General Manager Risk at Noetic Solutions, spoke about the Critical Control Approach (CCA) to process safety management to improve the implementation of those risk controls that really make a difference to accident prevention. A key message from this talk was that despite having good knowledge of the types and causes of incidents, and of the controls needed to avoid them, we continue to experience accidents due to a failure to properly implement known controls for identified risks. Mr Wilkinson explained that effort should be concentrated on the critical controls that really make a difference. It is important to make clear who must carry out and supervise the controls, and that managers must ensure they have systems in place to monitor the implementation of the control – and do monitoring themselves. The presentation was followed by a panel discussion, which was a chance for licence holders to learn from other industries and share their experiences. The panel included:
- Mr Peter Wilkinson, Noetic Solutions Pty Limited
- Ms Jen Baxter, CSIRO
- Mr John Ward, ARPANSA.
Dr Rick Tinker (ARPANSA) spoke about risk perception and communication and how people perceive risk through instinct and conscious reasoning. Dr Tinker explained that it was very important to convey information on risk that was understandable to the intended audience in order to achieve desired behaviour. A model being developed by ARPANSA to communicate the risk to the public was presented. This model identifies the level of risk and a measure of ARPANSA’s confidence in the underlying science used to calculate risk. This will help people understand radiation risk and assist them to make informed decisions. The session was also followed by a panel discussion comprised of:
- Dr Rick Tinker, ARPANSA
- Mr Riaan Bredell, ANSTO
- Ms Bronwen Jaggers, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Other key presentations included:
- a session on using science to manage risk, by Dr Kim Ritman of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
- a session on our inspection objectives and observations, by John Ward (ARPANSA)
- a session on changes to the annual licence charges, by Jim Scott (ARPANSA).
The afternoon included of a series of coffee corners which covered the following topics:
- Department of Agriculture and Water Resources – Sue Hayes
- Emergency Exposure Guide, Guide for Radiation Protection in Existing Exposure Situations and the Code for Disposal Facilities for Solid Radioactive Waste Disposal Guide – Dr Rick Tinker and Julia Carpenter
- Regulatory Administration Database (RAD); digital interactions with licence holders – Chris Nickel
- National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) – Julie Murray
- Transport risk – Samir Sarkar
- Updates to regulations – Gemma Larkins
- Australian National Radiation Dose Register (ANRDR); planned improvements and requirements – Cameron Lawrence
- New Lab Standard AS2243.4:2018; transition from old to new – Stephen Long.
- Science Managing Risk – Dr Kim Ritman, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
- ARPANSA Inspection Outcomes 2018 – Mr John Ward, ARPANSA
- Process Safety Management – an unconventional approach – Mr Peter Wilkinson, Noetic Solutions Pty Limited
- Risk Perception and Communication – Dr Rick Tinker, ARPANSA
- ARPANSA’s Annual Licence Charges – Mr Jim Scott, ARPANSA
This year our licence holder forum was held in Canberra on 28 June 2017. The Australian National University hosted the forum at the School of Music. Facilitated by Ms Tone Doyle (ARPANSA), the forum provided an opportunity for licence holders to meet with each other and ARPANSA staff. We shared useful information about changes to regulatory practice, the inspection program, compliance issues, as well as highlighting good practices.
Our feature topic for the forum was ARPANSA’s new Code for Radiation Protection in Planned Exposure Situations (2016). Mr Keith Dessent (ARPANSA) presented an overview of the code, followed by a panel discussion with representatives from our licence holders. The panel comprised:
- Mr Robin Foy, ANSTO
- Dr Gillian Hirth, ARPANSA
- Mr George Bailey, Australian War Memorial
- Mr Neil Webster, CSIRO
- Mr Tony Mills-Thom, Department of Defence
The panel discussion provided a chance to learn from other licence holders by sharing their experiences and how the changes have affected their agencies.
There was a presentation from Professor Tim Senden of ANU who spoke about the uses of radiation by the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.
Mr John Ward (ARPANSA) presented a session on the Inspection Program overview, which included common findings and feedback.
During the afternoon tea break there were a series of interactive coffee corners which covered the following topics:
- Australian National Radiation Dose Register (ANRDR) – Mr Cameron Lawrence and Mr Ben Paritsky, ARPANSA
- Australian Radiation Incident Register (ARIR) – Mr Chris Nickel, APRANSA
- ARPANSA Regulatory Services Branch overview – Mr Alex Kalaiziovski and Mr Vaz Mottl, ARPANSA
- National Radioactive Waste Facility (NRWMF) – Ms Julie Murray and Dr Samir Sarkar, ARPANSA
- Cost Recovery Project Update – Ms Valerie Villiere, ARPANSA
- Tour of ANU’s Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility – Dr Steve Tims, ANU
- Regulatory Performance Framework – ARPANSA Self-Assessment – Mr John Ward, ARPANSA
- Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office (ASNO) – Ms Lyndell Evans and Ms Rebecca Stohr, ASNO
Based on initial feedback the forum was a huge success and helped to build stakeholder relationships, cooperation and learning across the Commonwealth agencies that are regulated by ARPANSA.
In 2016, we held two licence holder forums - one in Canberra hosted by CSIRO on 16 March and the other in Sydney on 17 March. These forums provided an opportunity for licence holders to meet with ARPANSA staff and other licence holders to share experiences and discuss issues of regulatory interest or concern.
Both forums were facilitated by Ms Susan Fleming from Acting Consulting and Training (ACT) Australia, who used theatre-based workshops to highlight real scenarios involving radiation safety and regulatory issues.
There were two keynote speakers at each forum – Mr Adi Paterson, CEO of ANSTO who spoke about effective regulation and an overview of the work ANSTO is currently undertaking; and Dr John Loy, former CEO of ARPANSA who spoke about his regulatory experiences in the UAE.
There were a series of Coffee Corners during the morning and afternoon tea breaks which covered the following topics:
- Changes to the ARPANS Act and Regulations – Selva Kumar, ARPANSA
- Trusted International Standards – Peter Colgan, APRANSA
- ARPANSA’s guidance to licence holders – John Ward, ARPANSA
- Security – Loch Castle, ARPANSA
- ANSTO’s Training Program – Lauren Bladock and Linda Fox, ANSTO
- CSIRO’s experience with ANRDR – Kaylene Pickering, CSIRO
- Defence radiation safety assurance activities – Tony Mills-Thom - Defence
There was also a session from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science on the National Radioactive Waste Management Project.
Based on initial feedback the forums were a huge success and helped to build stakeholder relationships and cooperation and learning across the Commonwealth agencies that we regulate.
This year ARPANSA held two licence holder forums - one in Sydney on 16 June and one in Melbourne on 18 June. These forums provided an opportunity for licence holders to meet with ARPANSA staff and other licence holders to share experiences and discuss issues of regulatory interest or concern. Licence holders also had a chance to meet the head of Regulatory Services Branch and Chief Inspector, Mr Jack Dillich.
There were two keynote speakers at each forum – Dr Stephen Koukoulas, one of the most experienced and highly regarded economists in Australia, who spoke on the Economics of Effective and Efficient Regulation, and Mr Donald Hoffman the President/Chief Executive Officer of Excel Services Corporation, who gave a presentation on recent international developments in nuclear regulation.
Among the topics presented by ARPANSA were Cost Recovery, ARPANSA’s Delivery Model, proposed changes to the Regulations, Radiation Incidents and the Australian National Radiation Dose Register. In addition, there were presentations by guest speakers from ANSTO, the Australian Synchrotron and CSIRO.
- ANSTO Nuclear Saftey Management – Hefin Griffiths, ANSTO
- Australian National Radiation Dose Register – Ben Partisky, ARPANSA
- Australian Radiation Incident Register – John Ward, ARPANSA
- Australian Synchrotron – Dean Morris, Australian Synchrotron
- Changes to regulations – Selva Kumar, ARPANSA
- Cost recovery – Jack Dillich, ARPANSA
- Delivery Model – Jack Dillich, ARPANSA
- Lasers: Aren't always what they seem – Neil Webster, CSIRO
- New application fees and other important changes from 1 July 2015 – ARPANSA
- Nuclear regulations - recent international developments – Don Hoffman, Excel Services
The 2013 licence holder forum was hosted by the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on 30 October 2013. There were 44 attendees, representing 13 licence holders.
The CEO of ARPANSA, Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson gave the opening address. There were presentations by ARPANSA on annual licence charges and cost recovery, introduction of the Licence Administration Database, an update on codes and standards, and radiation incident reporting which included workshop activities. A guest speaker from ANSTO gave a presentation on safety culture.
- ARPANSA Licence Charges and Cost Recovery - 2013 - Martin Dwyer, ARPANSA
- Licence Administration Database - Diane Harrison, ARPANSA
- Codes and Standards update - 2013 - Alex Kalaiziovski, ARPANSA
- Incident reporting - John Ward, ARPANSA
Note: The documents on this webpage are provided in PDF only. If you have difficulty accessing PDFs, please contact us to arrange an alternate version.
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