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Capacity Building

The concept of Capacity Building is an ‘umbrella’ process consisting of the following four essential elements:

Education & training 

The establishment of sustainable education and training (E&T) infrastructures and processes is fundamental to the capacity building strategy of Member States. Education and training programmes provide a structured knowledge base for individuals involved in the utilization or control of nuclear technologies to develop their individual capacity, which by implication also means improving national capacity. During training, students and participants also develop personal networks among themselves and with the experts who provide the learning — a fundamental part of knowledge networking. E&T provides the basis for life-long human resource development.

Human resource development

This element deals with the development of an effective workforce at both the national as well as organizational level, by providing a structured approach to enable Member States to estimate the human resources needs for their programme, assess their existing capability, identify competences gaps and plan and implement activities to fill these gaps according to the nature and scope of their nuclear power programme

Knowledge management

An important element of effective human resource management is the management of knowledge. The knowledge that individuals need as part of the competence requirements for assigned tasks and the additional knowledge they acquire in carrying out those tasks needs to be preserved and shared widely. Knowledge management deals with capturing, structuring and transmitting this knowledge. Knowledge is the key resource of most organizations. Therefore managing knowledge effectively requires the understanding of and attention to the concept of organization knowledge rather than just traditional notion of individual knowledge.

Knowledge networks

Knowledge networks are established to promote the pooling, analysis and sharing of nuclear technical, safety and security knowledge and experiences at national, regional and international levels.

The concept is applicable at three levels


Since a nuclear power programme extends well over the mandate of any single government (it extends typically 100 years or more), it should be based on wide national consensus. This ensures that a country`s nuclear programme is not affected by eventual changes of governments. Therefore the “government” in this document is understood as the actual administration governing the country and accomplishing the tasks required by the country`s nuclear power programme. Governments have an essential role to play in the capacity building process to ensure a safe, secure and sustainable nuclear power programme. It is essential for the government to have a clear policy and strategy as well as to provide effective coordination for a sound capacity building programme and allocate resources for its effective implementation.


Organizations/Institutions have a dual role: (1) to communicate to government their overall human resource requirements and help to identify the necessary infrastructure to ensure the appropriate capacity is available to support a nuclear power programme, whether it is new, stable, expanding or being phased out, and (2) to make effective use of the available infrastructure to ensure the capacity and competence of their personnel. Hence organizations/institutions are pivotal in the process. In the context of Agency’s mandate and for the purpose of capacity building activities, the key relevant organizations are Government Ministries/NEPIO, regulatory bodies, operating organizations, technical support organizations and education & training institutions.


Individual ‘capacity building’ often refers to the development of individuals’ knowledge and skills to enable them to fulfill specific responsibilities in specific organizations. Hence, the implementation of individual capacity building is considered as part of the organisations’ responsibility in this process.

This concept is consistent with the human aspects of infrastructure development for newcomer countries, but is equally relevant for those Member States which already have nuclear power programmes.  For the concept to be implementable and sustainable it should be integrated into national and organizational management processes/systems and may need to be underpinned within the national legal framework.

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| Last update: Wednesday, 10 December, 2014.