Enterprise Risk - Summer 2022

Page 24




Designing and launching a competency development framework for risk management at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority helped it assess whether it had the right capabilities and provided some valuable insights along the way


oes your function have the capability to fulfil the organisation’s mission? This question was posed to the group risk and assurance leads of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), by their executive governance. At first glance, this is a simple question, and yet the more one considers it, the more complex the question really is. How do we define capability? What capability do we need? How do we capture it and measure it? How do we know our definitions are suitable for current and future use? In March 2021, a project was initiated to define a set of Enterprise Risk

competencies suitable for the risk and assurance function across the NDA. As a group of companies, wholly owned by the NDA, a public body, any capability definitions had to work across multiple different environments, from nuclear decommissioning projects to transport services and liabilities management. The decision was taken early in the project to engage with external specialists who had experience of designing and implementing competence frameworks in both nuclear and other infrastructurebased large project organisations. This turned out to be a very good decision in hindsight and brought benefits to the project which could

not be anticipated at the launch. In establishing the scope for the project, the first question was whether to address risk management and assurance in a combined framework, or to address them separately. Organisationally, they are two separate functions within the NDA; however, early discussions confirmed a combined approach would bring significant benefits. The aims for both functions were the same, and the technical skill set was thought to have some commonality and overlap, even if this turned out not to be the case once defined. In fact, on completion, the common ground was much 24