NEA Mandates and Structures

Working Group on Human and Organisational Factors (WGHOF)

Chair(s): Suzanne DOLECKI, Canada
Secretary:  Kamishan MARTIN
Vice-Chair(s): Lars AXELSSON, Sweden
David R. DESAULNIERS, United States
Member(s):All NEA member countries
Full participant(s): European Commission
Under the NEA Statute
Participant(s): India
Observer(s)(International Organisation): Halden Reactor Project (HRP)
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
By agreement
World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO)
Date of creation:30 June 1999
End of mandate:31 December 2020

Mandate (Document reference):

Mandate (Document extract):

Extract from document NEA/CSNI/R(2017)17


The main mission of the Working Group on Human and Organisational Factors (WGHOF) is to improve the understanding and technical basis for treating human and organisational factors within the nuclear industry in order to support the continued safety performance of nuclear installations, and improve the effectiveness of regulatory practices, in NEA member countries.

The multi-disciplinary field of Human and Organisational Factors focuses on the interactions between the elements of sociotechnical systems: the humans, the technology, and the organisation(s) (HTO). The WGHOF examines the complex and dynamic interplay of these elements with an aim of understanding the mechanisms of how these interactions and the resulting outcomes influence system safety and the safety of nuclear installations. Specific factors within these elements include human capabilities and limitations, work organisation and job design, procedures, design of technology, physical design of the work environment, decision making, leadership, safety culture, management system and the broader environment. 

The Working Group shall report to the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) and assist that Committee with its work. The Working Group will collaborate with other relevant NEA bodies, particularly the Committee for Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) Working Group on Safety Culture (WGSC), other NEA standing technical committees and international organisations. The WGHOF programme of work will be approved by CSNI.

In delivering its mission, the WGHOF will seek to address the challenges identified in the NEA Strategic Plan 2017-2022 [NEA/NE(2016)3/FINAL] and to implement the CSNI Operating Plan and Guidelines. In particular, the WGHOF will:

  1. Constitute a forum for exchange of information and experience about safety-relevant human and organisational factors issues in NEA member countries, thereby promoting co-operation and maintaining an effective and efficient network of experts.
  2. Identify and prioritise current and emerging human and organisational factors safety issues.
  3. Identify human and organisational factors methodologies and practices, where further work and research are needed.
  4. Identify those issues which appear most suitable to be addressed by WGHOF in a co-ordinated way across the international community.
  5. Facilitate international convergence on safety issues related to human and organisational factors and, where practicable, seek to develop a shared understanding and common positions on important issues.
  6. Compare, and where possible benchmark, practices and methodologies currently applied by NEA member countries in the assessment of safety-relevant human and organisational factors issues.
  7. Prepare technical reviews of human and organisational factors work, where such reports are needed for further development and to assist the application of human and organisational factors methods in member countries.
  8. Collaborate with, and support cross-cutting initiatives proposed by, other CSNI and CNRA working groups. Ensure that the CSNI, CNRA, other NEA bodies, international organisations and stakeholders are consulted as appropriate when potential cross-cutting work on human and organisational factors is proposed by the WGHOF.
  9. Sponsor specialist meetings, workshops and other means of fostering international collaboration with nuclear and other industries, where appropriate, to further its objectives.