Working Group on Human and Organisational Factors (WGHOF)


The main mission of the Working Group on Human and Organisational Factors (WGHOF) is to improve the understanding and treatment of human and organisational factors within the nuclear industry in order to support the continued safety performance of nuclear installations, and improve the effectiveness of regulatory practices, in member countries.

The Working Group shall report to the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) and assist that Committee with its work. The Working Group shall prepare an integrated plan for its activities consistent with the mandate as well as proposed CSNI safety issues, and shall update this at regular intervals. The Group will also collaborate with, and respond to requests from, the Committee for Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) and other working groups of the CSNI. The WGHOF programme of work will be approved by CSNI.

In delivering its mission, WGHOF will seek to address the challenges identified in the joint CSNI/CNRA Strategic Plan and to implement the CSNI Operating Plan. WGHOF will:

  1. Constitute a forum for exchange of information and experience about safety-relevant human and organisational issues in member countries, thereby promoting co-operation and maintaining an effective and efficient network of experts.
  2. Identify and prioritise current and emerging human and organisational safety issues.
  3. Identify human and organisational factors methodologies and practices where further work and research are needed.
  4. Identify those issues which appear most suitable to be addressed by WGHOF in a co-ordinated way across the international community.
  5. Facilitate international convergence on safety issues related to human and organisational factors and, where practicable, seek to develop a shared understanding and common positions on important issues.
  6. Compare, and where possible benchmark, practices and methodologies currently applied by member countries in the assessment of safety-relevant human and organisational issues.
  7. Prepare technical reviews of human and organisational factors work where such reports are needed for further development and to assist the application of human and organisational factors methods in member countries.
  8. Collaborate with, and support cross-cutting initiatives proposed by, other CSNI/CNRA groups. Ensure that CSNI, CNRA and other organisations are consulted as appropriate when potential cross-cutting work on human and organisational factors is proposed by WGHOF.
  9. Sponsor specialist meetings, workshops and other means of fostering international collaboration with nuclear and other industries, where appropriate, to further its objectives.

Programme of work

WGHOF provides a forum for international exchange of experience in the rapidly developing areas of human and organisational factors. The group seeks to achieve a balance between top-down work which addresses the safety issues identified in the CSNI Operating Plan, and bottom-up work which may be raised by WGHOF members in response to developing safety issues that they believe warrant international attention.

WGHOF work proposals are generally raised during its meetings, which include a standing agenda item to examine "hot potatoes" or topics that are pressing and likely to be of international interest.  This part of the meeting enables WGHOF members to seek advice and support, and to alert colleagues to issues that might be relevant to them.  It thus assures that WGHOF members remain familiar with recent developments, and allows the group to respond in a timely way to matters of current concern.  An example of this is WGHOF's 2008 workshop on identification of methods and approaches used to assess the suitability of licensees' organisational structures, which was arranged in response to members' concerns about the potential safety impact of downsizing, restructuring and the use of contractors within the nuclear industry.


NEA/CSNI/R(2004)17 Proceedings of the NEA CSNI WGOE/SEGHOF Workshop on Modifications at NPP – Operating Experience, Safety Significance and the Role of Human Factors & Organisation, Paris, OECD Headquarters, 6-8 October, 2003
NEA/CSNI/R(2005)10 Safety of Modifications at Nuclear Power Plants – The role of minor modifications and human and organisational factors
NEA/CSNI/R(2006)1 State-of-the-Art Report on Systematic Approaches to Safety Management
NEA/CSNI/R(2006)7 Proceedings of the Workshop on Better Nuclear Plant Maintenance: Improving Human and Organisational Performance, Ottawa, Canada, 3-5 October, 2005
NEA/CSNI/R(2007)8 Proceedings of the Workshop on Future Control Station Designs and Human Performance Issues in Nuclear Power Plants – Halden, Norway 8-10 May, 2006
NEA/CSNI/R(2008)10 Proceedings of the Workshop on Maintaining Oversight of Licensee Safety Culture - Methods and Approaches, Chester, United Kingdom, 21-23 May, 2007
NEA/CSNI/R(2008)11 Technical Opinion Paper No. 10 – Role of Human and Organisational Factors in Nuclear Plant Modifications in printing
NEA/CSNI/R(2008)12 Technical Opinion Paper No. 11 – Better Nuclear Plant Maintenance: Improving Human and Organisational Performance in printing
NEA/CSNI/R(2009)7 Technical Opinion Paper No. 12 – on Research Program Topics on Human Performance in New Nuclear Plant Technology
NEA/CSNI/R(2009)11 Proceedings of the Workshop on Justifying the Suitability of Nuclear Licensee Organisational Structure, Resources and Competencies – Methods, Approaches & Good Practices
NEA/CSNI/R(2010)8 Proceedings of the Workshop on Identifying and Overcoming Barriers to Effective Consideration of Human and Organisational Factors in Event Analysis and Root Cause Analysis
NEA/CSNI/R(2011)13 Technical Opinion Paper No. 14 – Justifying the Suitability of Nuclear Licensee Organisational Structures, Resources and Competencies
NEA/SEN/SIN/WGHOF(2012)1 WGHOF Technical Note on Research in Human Factors for the Design and Operation of new NPP Technology
NEA/CSNI/R(2012)13 Oversight and Influencing of Leadership and Management for Safety, Including Safety Culture Proceedings of NEA/IAEA Workshop, Chester, UK, September 26-28 2011
NEA/CSNI/R(2015)16 Human Performance under Extreme Conditions with Respect to a Resilient Organisation

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Last reviewed: 26 January 2017