Safety Performance Indicators (SPI)

Within any safety management system there is a requirement to monitor performance against health and safety goals. However for nuclear safety there may be many aspects for which performance indicators may be justified. The IAEA has provided guidance to utilities for the development of Safety Performance Indicators (SPIs) initially through IAEA-TECDOC-1141, 'Operational safety performance indicators for nuclear power plants', which provides a framework for the identification of performance indicators which have a relationship to the desired safety attributes 'Smooth Operation', 'Operate with Low Risk' and 'Operate with a Positive Safety Attitude'.


Jacobsen has provided support to the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and Licensees in developing and implementing SPIs based on a framework that is suitable for a wide range of nuclear facilities/licensed sites and expanded the framework to address some specific issues not considered to be covered adequately based on the UK site licences conditions and safety assessment principles. Jacobsen Analytics has assisted the ONR site inspectors and Licensees to identify SPIs based on a clear set of suitability criteria which meet the purpose statements defined for the strategic indicators applicable to the Licensee.

Specific algorithms have been defined to help in identifying short and long term trends and specifically changes in trends. A key element to the successful use of SPIs is the necessity to define thresholds which act as decision points for the organisation. The development and application of thresholds is also useful in helping identify the suitability of SPIs to support specific licensee improvement action strategies.

Jacobsen Analytics has developed specific software for the ONR to enable Licensees to monitor the performance SPIs on a unit, site or corporate basis. Several ways of presenting the data have been developed which enable detailed trend information to be presented for a single indicator, hierarchical charts which include aggregation of indicators to higher levels and summary charts that help obtain an overview for a fleet of sites or units, presenting the particular performance zone for a specific indicator and whether the trend is positive or negative.

Jacobsen Analytics has also been requested to provide support for developing indicators for other operational requirements.

Many lessons have been learned during the implementation of SPIs in identifying and using leading and lagging indicators and the experience of Jacobsen staff could provide you additional insights in developing a more effective set of SPIs or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your organisation. Whether a Regulator or Licensee, contact us if you have a requirement for monitoring SPIs / KPIS to allow us to discuss your needs and assist you in developing effective indicators and methods for monitoring performance.

SPI Figure

Useful links

Overview of several recent Safety Performance Indicator Resources

For further information please contact our Leatherhead office: