Office for Nuclear Regulation

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ONR NSS Overarching Procedure for the letting of work packages under the Technical Service Framework

RES/002 - Issue 4


The Nuclear Safety Studies (NSS) Programme is provided to ensure that there is suitable and timely external support for ONR assessors and inspectors. This support can take a variety of forms but is usually considered to cover the following:

An NSS Technical Support Framework (TSF) comprising of 31 technical support contractors (TSCs) has been set up to provide access to pre-tendered external contractors. This framework will complement support offered through the current HSE Framework Programme (TSD) (which terminates December 2010) and from the Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL). The TSF will provide GDA assessors and inspectors with ready access to contractors who have been assessed as meeting ONR defined standards in the 15 defined technical areas. See Annex 1 for a list of contractors in each of the 15 technical areas.

The creation of the TSF does not preclude the use of HSL or non-TSF contractors, though it is presumed that the TSF and HSL will handle the majority of NSS work packages and justification and sign off from Head of Division will be required for work not placed under the TSF.

The hierarchy of contractors is:

HSL or TSF =>TSD (while extant) => Other contractors [with suitable HoD justification and sign-off]

The TSF is expected to be used by non-GDA related work, through the standard NSS1 arrangements.

In these procedures references to the TSF includes HSL, as the procurement procedures are the same for the TSF contractors and HSL. Any differences in procedures are clearly stated.

Roles and responsibilities

Head of directorate (CI and DCIs)

ONR's Head of Directorate is ultimately responsible to HSE for the appropriate use of programme budget and signing off projects with a total value over 150,000. DCIs are responsible for approving their divisional programmes and signing off projects above 50,000.

Heads of division

Heads of Division are responsible for bidding annually for a programme of external support to meet defined business needs. Heads of Division should provide Division 6 Admin with an update on predicted out-turn at critical times during the annual cycle.

Finance manager (FM)

ONR's Finance Manager is responsible to the Head of Directorate for budgets and for advising on changes to the forecast outturn and budget profiles. As appropriate the FM may provide temporary support to NSS Admin Team on certain aspects of NSS budgetary management.

ONR Research Unit

ONR Research Unit is responsible for policy on external procurement.

ONR Research Unit:

NSS admin team

NSS admin team have responsibility for managing the invoicing of the work.

NSS admin team:

Unit heads:

Technical customer (divisions 1 5 inspectors)

The Technical Customer is normally the ONR Inspector who initiates the NSS project. Technical Customers are responsible for:

NB: Division 5 (OCNS) contracts operate under a different charging regime, although the letting mechanism is the same. Advice should be sought on expenses heads etc that need to be invoiced.

Nuclear topic groups and nuclear topic leads

The Nuclear Topic Groups (NTG), each led by a Nuclear Topic Lead (NTL), are to provide robust scrutiny of proposed work package specifications and ensure due consideration is given to the applicability of the proposed work across all of ONR Divisions.

Procedures (see Annex 2 for flow diagram):

Work package specification:

Contractor identification:

Proposal assessment:

<50k approval by Superintending Inspector
50k - 150k approval by Deputy Chief Inspector (or SCS)
>150k approval by Chief Inspector or Division 6 Director.

Identification of security and commercial issues:

Contract letting:

Work package execution:

Work package closeout: