Training and development at NDA
A Nuclear Decommissioning Authority case study

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Page 4: Training

Training is the acquisition of knowledge and skills to enable a person to carry out a specific task or job. Training benefits employees in several ways:

  • It increases their sense of ownership in the business and encourages motivation.
  • Staff become more organised, productive and flexible and therefore better able to meet the needs of internal and external customers.
  • New skills and abilities in areas such as decision-making can empower staff, which makes them more effective.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority offers training in the form of induction, on-the-job and off-the-job training.


Induction training takes place for new employees. It helps them understand the workplace and how they fit into it. Examples of skills and knowledge required by a new employee may involve work rules, benefits or health and safety. These help them to carry out their jobs safely and efficiently. As part of the Energy Act 2004, NDA implemented induction training for new staff, alongside its programme of stakeholder engagement.


On-the-job training takes place at the workplace and is related to specific job roles. Basic training may be given by a member of the team already doing the job. The benefits of on-the-job training are that it is usually cost-effective and directly relevant to the employee's role.

Every employee develops a Personal Development Plan (PDP) that sets clear objectives. These relate not just to the individual's job, but also to the overall objectives the NDA sets with government for the whole organisation. PDPs have targets and 'stretch' targets. Achieving these has a direct impact on the amount of annual performance bonus an individual might receive. In this way, every employee understands how his or her job fits into the 'big picture' and has clear incentives to work to deliver results.


Some training may be off-the-job. This is undertaken away from the workplace by professional trainers. It may be provided by another organisation, a college or a university. For example, the National Skills Academy for Nuclear is part of Cogent, the relevant Sector Skills Council for the nuclear industry.

It works alongside NDA to provide careers advice and guidance on career progression, jobs and training. It covers aspects such as:

  • career pathways
  • up-skilling - i.e.focusing on addressing skills gaps by providing nuclear standards and qualifications. These include NVQs in Radiological Protection (Levels 2, 3 and 4) and Nuclear Decommissioning (Levels 2 and 3)
  • industry passports - used for nuclear site induction training and maintaining a record of achievements.

Some training programmes such as apprenticeships, combine both on-the-job and off-the-job training.

Entry routes

NDA provides entry into the company in different ways. Apprenticeships are offered through SLCs linking directly with local colleges, as well as through the NSAN linking with local sub-contractors and the NDA itself. These routes provide the opportunity of taking NVQs.

NDA's nuclear graduates programme offers a unique path to a long term career in the nuclear industry. This is supported by 20 of the UK”s leading businesses, including Rolls Royce, Toshiba and BAE Systems. This route provides support over two years, with three secondments, 300 hours of dedicated training and two dedicated mentors.

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority | Training and development at NDA