Skip navigation
Nuclear Safeguards Education Portal

Analysis of Self-Assessment Findings

While the outcome of the self-assessment process may be a final report, the purpose of the process should not be simply to produce a report of the findings and check the box. Since the question of culture is primarily a question of the human element within the organization, the self-assessment team must use their own intuition, experience, and interpretation to analyze all of the data collected throughout the self-assessment process to try to identify weak and strong areas or underlying problems within the organization. 

The IAEA uses the following case study to illustrate how the analysis process would use the self-assessment data to come to conclusions about an issue that was identified through a survey:

Case Study 1: Assume that in a survey a sizeable number of respondents disagreed with the statement: "Security is a clearly recognized value in the organization." Such a response carries clear cultural implications and was selected for further analysis. It sends the message that this group doubts the existence of a threat or the importance of nuclear security, the underlying beliefs and attitudes of nuclear security culture. In their efforts to understand the cultural root causes of this reaction, the assessment team reviewed responses to similar statements and comments that may provide clues. The initial list of hypotheses included: (a) inefficient lines of communication have kept management from delivering a clear message; (b) the training programme places too little emphasis on security; (c) security arrangements are a low priority in the organization's budget, downgrading its importance in the eyes of the staff; (d) policies pertaining to career advancement ignore security performance; and several others. To narrow the list to a few working hypotheses, team members used interviews, reviewed documents and discussed their observations with managers. As a result, the self-assessment team arrived at a shorter, better validated list of hypotheses with only two remaining: (a) inefficient lines of communication; and (b) career advancement ignores security performance. Upon further elaboration, team members agreed that because of poor coordination, management's messages about the importance of nuclear security fail to reach all workforce groups. In the absence of consistent policies and efficient use of communication channels, there is a growing trend among the workforce to relegate nuclear security to a secondary role and treat it accordingly. (21-22 IAEA, Self-Assessment of Nuclear Security Culture in Facilities and Activities that Use Nuclear and/or Radioactive Material)

In this case, the problem identified through the survey could have many root causes.  The self-assessment team then uses other data collected throughout the process to determine which of these root causes is the real reason for the apparent breakdown in the security culture so that the root cause can be addressed. 

The following diagram shows how the analysis should incorporate both the quantitative data (surveys) and the qualitative data (interviews), along with document review and observation, in order to arrive at a final "Three-Tiered Model of Self-Assessment Outcomes."

Use -of -quantitative -and -qualitative -data

Source: Self-Assessment of Nuclear Security Culture in Facilities and Activities that Use Nuclear and/or Radioactive Material

Page 35 / 43