Language selection


Development and content of REGDOC-2.1.2, Safety Culture

Abstract of the technical paper/presentation presented at:
15th FORATOM–IAEA Management Systems Workshop
July 16–19, 2018

Prepared by:
Tanya Hewitt


This presentation outlines the development and content of REGDOC-2.1.2, Safety Culture. It covers the background of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s approach to safety culture, including seminal events within and outside the nuclear industry. It covers outreach and consultation activities, and how the CNSC arrived at the final publication. It describes the synergies between safety culture and security culture, and the motivations and science behind the approach taken to produce the regulatory document. It also covers the requirements and guidance set out in the REGDOC, including a synopsis of scientific and benchmarking literature. Regulatory culture and regulatory oversight of safety culture are also covered.

The objective of REGDOC-2.1.2 is to engage licensees in fostering, monitoring and assessing their safety culture. With only two requirements related to fostering and assessing, the majority of the REGDOC consists of guidance aimed at developing understanding, learning, and improving.

Safety Culture is informed primarily by the social sciences, not engineering or technical fields. This is a key challenge, as its value may not be recognized in highly engineering-based or technical-based organizations. Nonetheless, as many events have demonstrated, the importance of human and organizational factors should not be downplayed, and safety culture is often cited in accident reports as being either neglected or misunderstood.

Security culture is more recent in its development, compared with safety culture, but is no less significant. There is significant synergy between safety culture and security culture, and in the few areas where there are differences, it is all the more important to ensure that safety and security are addressed simultaneously.

The process of consultation is explained in this presentation, including the various activities and their impact on REGDOC-2.1.2. The main areas of contention are described, as well as how a solution was developed.

The simultaneous activity of assessing the regulator’s safety culture is addressed, including the potential impact the regulator’s assessment might have on the implementation of REGDOC-2.1.2, Safety Culture.

Leveraging what other regulators have published on their approach to safety culture oversight, the presentation addresses the various approaches to oversight, and reports on what would fit in a Canadian context.

To obtain a copy of the abstract’s document, please contact us at or call 613-995-5894 or 1-800-668-5284 (in Canada). When contacting us, please provide the title and date of the abstract.

Page details

Date modified: