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Quality Organisation of the Year winners

A quality organisation

Progress indicator

Quality Organisation of the Year winners
Published: 3 Nov 2023

The team from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, UAE, took the honours as Quality Organisation of the Year at the International Quality Awards 2023 in June. Learn more about the organisation’s award-winning approach

The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) was established in the United Arab Emirates in September 2009 to conduct nuclear regulatory safety, security, and safeguards. The organisation fulfils the mandate to protect the public and its workers and, just as importantly, the environment.

Quality management plays a key role in the work of FANR, including integrated management system process development, both acquiring and maintaining ISO certifications, internal management system audits and maintaining the organisation’s risk register.

Between its establishment in 2009 and when the organisation lodged its IQA entry earlier this year, FANR had developed no fewer than 27 processes, with 107 subsequent procedures, governed by nine policies and five manuals. The organisation also had no major nonconformities raised during external audits between 2018-2022.

In 2021, the organisation launched its Business Process Reengineering project, which aimed to overhaul and simplify all of the organisation’s procedures, including moving document control to an automated, interactive e-system.

Core values

FANR launched its strategy for 2023-2026 under the slogan ‘Our vision, our promise’, outlining its commitment to maintaining its regulatory oversight in the nuclear and radiation sectors.

The strategy includes five core values, namely:

  • safety;
  • transparency;
  • collaboration;
  • independence;
  • excellence.

In 2020, the organisation established the concept of FANR Champions. A total of 46 champions were chosen across all departments, receiving intensive training sessions to support in executing the strategy plan.

"Over a relatively short timescale, the organisation has set up and established an excellent, comprehensive, and effective approach to quality, across the organisation."

International Quality Awards 2023 judges' comments

Strong communication

Good communication is key to organisational success, internally and externally.

To tackle internal communication, FANR introduced a direct feedback procedure, which helped to break down siloes between departments, ensuring increased transparency.

Externally, the organisation has instigated a customer relationship platform. Prior to this, there were multiple channels through which customers could communicate with the organisation, making it difficult to track data and collate meaningful statistics. The introduction of the new platform has streamlined the process by centralising the communication process, also allowing for tracked data.

Putting people first

Among the areas of focus that made FANR’s application stand out to the IQA judges was the organisation’s approach to people within its own organisation. The company is determined to be an employer of choice, placing emphasis firstly on recruitment and then on career path, to ensure the recruitment and retention of skilled staff.

Notably, in a sector where the global average for women working in nuclear organisations is around 15-20%, FANR is at 35%, actively participating with the non-profit organisation Women in Nuclear.

Employees are also encouraged to put forward their own ideas for improvement within the organisation, with a reward system playing a role in FANR’s idea-generation system, ‘Thoughts’. This is divided into two categories: ‘suggestions’, which are quick fixes or easy wins that can be implemented with little budget or consultation, and ‘ideas’, which may take longer to implement and could require more input.

All employees who put forward an idea or suggestion are awarded points throughout the year. At the organisation’s end-of-year awards, there is a category for Thoughts, acknowledging both the individual who collected the most points during the year, as well as the team that offered the most ideas and suggestions.

Another key area tackled by FANR is that of knowledge transfer, to ensure no knowledge is lost when an employee leaves the organisation.

Having carried out a knowledge-loss risk assessment, the team instigated a series of intensive interviews with the organisation’s experts to ensure their knowledge was captured and remained with the company if they should leave. In addition, the organisation has a succession-planning programme in place to monitor and coach any successors.

A role model

As the team said during its interview with the Quality Organisation of the Year judging panel, "Our aim is not just to work for FANR, it is to serve the whole country. We are just getting started and we will not lose momentum!"

The judges, in paying tribute to the enthusiasm of the team, said: "Over a relatively short timescale, the organisation has set up and established an excellent, comprehensive, and effective approach to quality, across the organisation, which is without doubt at role model level, involving everyone from leadership right across and through the organisation."

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