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Independent review completed of ONR's Security Assessment Principles (SyAPs)

In 2017, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) published its Security Assessment Principles (SyAPs) - the world’s first outcome-focused regulatory framework for nuclear security, mirroring its already well-established Safety Assessment Principles (SAPs). 

SyAPs were developed in consultation with industry representatives alongside ONR’s move to outcome-focused regulation of security and were a significant change as it looked to provide greater flexibility within the industry.  

ONR made a commitment to industry to review SyAPs and their implementation as part of its assurance and commitment to continuous improvement. 

In July 2022, ONR awarded a contract to Templar Executives Ltd to undertake an independent review of SyAPs following a competitive tender exercise.  

We asked Templar to produce a report comprising: 

  1. a comparative academic and practical (industry) study of nuclear security regulatory approaches and industry good practices in the UK and internationally; 
  2. evaluating whether the SyAPs approach and outcome-focused methodology represents an effective and efficient approach for nuclear security regulation; 
  3. evaluating ONR’s and industry’s competency to deliver an outcome-focused regulatory regime for security and opportunities for improvement; 
  4. evaluating whether the SyAPs approach appropriately enables improvements/innovation; 
  5. considering if the principles contained within SyAPs should remain or be streamlined/simplified, or otherwise amended, including how the methodology/SyAPs document presentation could be made more ‘user-friendly’; 
  6. analysing ONR’s delivery of SyAPs and how industry has responded to the outcome-focused approach; 
  7. evaluating ONR’s and industry’s current capacity and capability to deliver an outcome-focused regulatory regime for security; and 
  8. making recommendations for improvement in any or all topics outlined above. 

Templar has now completed the review and delivered its final report. ONR would like to thank all the dutyholders who took the time to contribute to this review. 

In the coming months, ONR will contact dutyholders to share the findings and discuss any next steps for the industry and ONR’s security regulation prompted by this SyAPs review. 

Paul Fyfe, ONR’s Director of Regulation, Civil Nuclear Security and Safeguards, said: “This report is an important milestone as part of our assurance and commitment to continuous improvement.  

"The review has highlighted many areas of good practice in our regulation of nuclear security and reflects positively on our implementation of SyAPs across the industry. 

"The findings of the review will help inform our approach to regulation of nuclear security going forward”.