Office for Nuclear Regulation

Inspector roles and pay

Date released
2 August 2021
Request number

202107013

Release of information under
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)

Information requested

Please provide me with a breakdown of numbers in each pay band of male, female, average age and BAME numbers, as requested in my original FOI request for: 

You replied that the pay difference between specialisms is based on the scarcity of market skills, technical expertise and experience in the nuclear industry. When was the last time a pay review looking at these factors was carried out? 

Please provide me with a copy of the report from the last pay review looking at these factors. 

On your jobs website, under ‘Essential Qualifications’, most jobs require candidates to have a relevant qualification or professional experience as an alternative. Also, most jobs require membership of a professional body, the candidate to be working towards such membership or be able to prove that they are working at an equivalent level. For the two types of Nuclear Security Inspector jobs, there does not seem to be any flexibility as the candidate must have a Level 6 qualification and be a member of a security professional body. Are there any other inspector roles where relevant professional experience will not be accepted in lieu of a qualification and membership of a professional body?  

Your last annual report showed ONR as having 659 staff; is this still correct? If 382 staff are inspectors, what do the other 277 staff do? 

Information released

We confirm that under Section 1 of the FOIA, we hold the information relevant to your request. For ease, we have numbered each of your requests. Please find our response to each of your questions below.

1. Please provide me with a breakdown of numbers in each pay band of male, female, average age and BAME numbers, as requested in my original FOI request:

ONR’s pay structure consists of pay bands assigned to a number of job families (Nuclear Safety, Nuclear Security, Conventional H&S & Fire, and Safeguards). Within those families there are a number of sub disciplines (for example, Human factors being a sub discipline of the Nuclear Safety family and Cyber being a sub discipline of Nuclear Security). Irrespective of the discipline they form part of that job family assigned to the relevant pay band.

Therefore the original data provided in our response dated 6 July 2021 to FOI202106008 remains valid in terms of informing you of the headcount, gender and BAME declaration breakdown per job family broken down by relevant pay bands.

For your convenience, we have attached the relevant annex to our previous FOI202106008 response which sets out this information.

2. You replied that the pay difference between specialisms is based on the scarcity of market skills, technical expertise and experience in the nuclear industry. When was the last time a pay review looking at these factors was carried out?

The last pay review undertaken was in 2019. This was carried out independently by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), and the full report was shared with ONR staff.

3. Please provide me with a copy of the report from the last pay review looking at these factors.

Please find attached the full report referred to in our response to Q2.

4. Are there any other inspector roles where relevant professional experience will not be accepted in lieu of a qualification and membership of a professional body? 

Following a Benchmarking Report in May 2016 where a 14% uplift of salaries for the Civil Nuclear Security family was agreed, it was determined that for all future recruits into ONR in this family there would be a requirement for the Level 6 qualification and be a member of a security professional body. This approach underpins ONRs professionalisation agenda and to support the significant investment in this cadre. 

Currently there are no disciplines within the Nuclear Safety family that do not offer equivalent experience. However, this is reflective of a change that has occurred over a period of a number of years reflecting the difficulty in recruiting Nuclear Safety inspectors and has allowed us to maintain skilled capability to deliver on our regulatory programme.

5. Your last annual report showed ONR as having 659 staff; is this still correct? If 382 staff are inspectors, what do the other 277 staff do?

ONR’s total headcount as of 30 June 2021 is 654; 382 of those individuals are Band 1 to Band 3 Regulatory Specialists. The remaining cadre of staff are as follows:

243 individuals within ONR are deployed to administrative or corporate support roles across the organisation in bands SCS to Band 6.

Exemptions applied

N/A

PIT (Public Interest Test) if applicable

N/A