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Secretary of State consent for ONR's SyAP changes

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has received consent from the Secretary of State for revisions to its Security Assessment Principles (SyAPs).

The amendments were published last week, on Thursday 31 March, as part of ONR’s implementation of greater flexibility in its approach to nuclear security regulation and as it encourages more innovation in security solutions.

After the consultation period, one key agreed change was to the Fundamental Security Principle (FSyP) 3, with the foundations of competence management expanded to encompass the broader discipline of human performance management.

This should allow for a closer alignment and harmonisation of ONR’s regulatory approaches to safety and security.

Another change is the establishment of a new Key Security Plan Principle (KySPP 6), focused on managing changes to security standards, procedures and arrangements.

ONR’s goal is to introduce a system of flexible security permissioning which aligns with safety and will facilitate single sets of arrangements for both disciplines.

There is also a small change to the principles of categorisation and classification of security functions and systems, structures and components which will better align with the SyAPs security outcomes.

SyAPs were first introduced by ONR in 2017 as a pivotal shift away from prescriptive security regulation to instead enable dutyholders to deliver defined security outcomes.

ONR uses SyAPs, together with supporting Technical Assessment Guides (TAGs), to guide regulatory judgements and recommendations when undertaking assessments of dutyholders’ security submissions, including site security plans and transport security statements.

The principles provide the essential foundation for the introduction of ONR’s outcome focused regulation for all constituent security disciplines: physical, personnel, transport, and cyber security and information assurance.

The revised document of Security Assessment Principles for the Civil Nuclear Industry can be viewed here. (


- ONR's Civil Nuclear Security and Safeguards (CNSS) division is responsible for approving security arrangements within the civil nuclear industry and enforcing compliance to prevent the theft or sabotage of nuclear or other radioactive materials, the sabotage of nuclear facilities, taking into account the full spectrum of protective measures, including physical protection, personnel security, cyber security and information assurance.