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Training Reciprocity Achieves Greater Consistency, Saves Time and Money for Idaho, Other DOE Sites

November 26, 2013 - 12:00pm


IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – Contracting companies supporting EM’s cleanup program at the Idaho site volunteered to be among the first to use a new DOE training reciprocity program designed to bring more consistency to health and safety training across the complex, reduce redundancy and realize savings and other efficiencies.

The DOE Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS) program is meant to eliminate the need for Department employees and contractors to take redundant training when they move among multiple sites in the complex.

In the program managed by the DOE National Training Center (NTC), training is independently evaluated against structured criteria for validation that it conforms to required DOE training elements, resulting in a recommendation for reciprocity. Officials at DOE sites may then decide whether courses are acceptable for reciprocity. DOE has approved two training courses — Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response and Radiological Worker Training — for the program.

Employees with the Idaho site contractors’ training departments provided feedback to NTC on the reciprocity program, which is voluntary and growing in popularity.

Following a visit from NTC, officials determined the Idaho site contractors satisfied the criteria for Radiological Worker Program reciprocity last month. As a result, individuals from DOE sites participating in the reciprocity program will not need to re-take this training when visiting or beginning employment at the Idaho site.

The reciprocity program has already proved successful. Recently, Idaho Cleanup Project (ICP), led by CH2M-WG Idaho, sent a small group of engineers to perform short-term work at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) in New Mexico. The reciprocity program allowed the engineers to bypass a three-day Radiological Worker Program at SNL nearly identical to training they recently completed at ICP.

In addition, five contractors who joined the Idaho Treatment Group, which manages the Idaho site’s Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project, were granted Radiological Worker Program training qualifications through the reciprocity program.

In related news, Idaho National Laboratory recently launched the new Idaho General Employee Training module. A successful effort of the Idaho site contractors, the module includes training on the Idaho site commitment to safety and safety programs, quality assurance and environmental protection and the right to a safe and healthful workplace, among other topics. This course was developed to reduce redundancy in reciprocity efforts.