Development and Implementation of Fitness Standards for Nuclear Security Officers and Response Force in Canada

Abstract of the technical paper/presentation presented at:
The Third International Conference on Physical Employment Standards
July 17–19, 2018

Prepared by:
Aaron Derouin and Patrick Adams
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission


Following the terrorist attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001, the CNSC, under section 47 of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, immediately issued an order to all nuclear facilities in Canada to implement appropriate security measures to minimize and protect against threats of intrusion, theft and sabotage. In parallel, the CNSC President ordered a complete review of the Nuclear Security Regulations, taking into account the findings of recent CNSC studies and the expectations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). As part of the IAEA’s subsequent amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, member states were advised on several fundamental principles, including defence in depth for physical protection. In satisfying the personnel and organizational elements of defence in depth for physical protection, the CNSC required nuclear power plant operators and nuclear facilities to establish onsite nuclear response forces to guard against intruders or invasions. To provide reasonable assurance with respect to the physical performance capabilities of security personnel, CNSC staff, in conjunction with a third party expert, developed and implemented physical employment standards for nuclear security officers and response force members. To ensure that the Canadian Nuclear Security Fitness Test (CNSFT) remains legally defensible, CNSC staff recently had the physical demands analysis updated for security personnel across all high-security nuclear facilities in Canada.

To understand what job-performance requirements had changed, job descriptions for each facility were reviewed and used to conduct targeted interviews with 157 security personnel. A focused physical demands analysis, including walk-downs of all equipment used in the course of normal duties, training, and tactical response activities, was conducted at each facility. Based on these assessments, the CNSFT was modified and new performance standards were established using a population of 95 security personnel.

Three of the four component tests within the CNSFT were revised, and performance-based time standards were established based on 67th-percentile heart rate data.

Incumbent testing with the revised CNSFT will be used to solidify the pass-fail performance criteria in REGDOC-2.2.4, Volume III and REGDOC-2.12.1, Volume I.

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