November 1, 2006


The purpose of the ISM Champions Council (Council) is to support line management in developing and sustaining vital, mature ISM systems throughout the Department so that work is reliably accomplished in a safe manner. The Council will promote continuous learning and improvement of ISM effectiveness throughout the DOE complex.

The Department established the Integrated Safety Management program in 1996 to integrate safety into all aspects of work activities to improve safety and work performance. The Department implemented the ISM program and declared initial implementation to be complete for most DOE activities in 2000. Through successive changes in Department leadership from 1996 to present, the Department has consistently indicated that ISM is its enduring safety management framework. DOE field office and contractor leadership have consistently supported the ISM framework, in part because it provides necessary flexibility to allow management systems to be tailored to local facilities and organizations. ISM provides a useful framework for understanding how
work can be accomplished safely and for focusing efforts toward continuous improvement in safe and reliable work performance.

In recent years, it has become evident that sustained DOE leadership attention and emphasis on ISM implementation is necessary to sustain mature ISM systems, capable of consistent self-generated improvements. In some areas, worthwhile improvement efforts have moved forward, yet improvement is needed in consistency of approach and priority throughout all DOE sites. Clear leadership focus and attention is needed to keep ISM vital and strong, and to achieve the objectives of ISM including continuous improvement. This Council is intended to support line management in keeping ISM as an active and
ongoing leadership value and commitment. The Council will also help facilitate a more integrated approach by the headquarters offices.

With the issuance of this Manual, the Department has a formal and rigorous mechanism for implementing ISM throughout the Department and identifying and sustaining continuous improvements. When the Council determines that its continued operations are no longer necessary or beneficial to building and sustaining the Department’s safety culture, the Council will recommend its discontinuance to the Deputy Secretary along with its basis for concluding that other existing mechanisms are adequate to sustain effective ISM implementation and improvement.

The DOE ISM Champion, who is designated to a one-year appointment (with an optional one year extension) by the Deputy Secretary, chairs this Council. To ensure the necessary leadership and commitment for reinvigorating and sustaining ISM implementation at all levels throughout the DOE organization, each DOE Secretarial office (NNSA, EM, NE, SC, HS) and field office will designate an ISM Champion to support them in ISM implementation activities and in promoting continuous learning and improvement of ISM effectiveness. In selecting ISM champions, organizations should bear in mind the ISM principle that line management is responsible for safety. ISM champions for program offices should be at least at the level of Deputy Assistant Secretary or equivalent. ISM champions for site offices (including operations offices, field offices, and service centers) should be at least at the level of Assistant Manager or equivalent. The ISM Champions Council will also include the Chief of Defense Nuclear Safety for NNSA and the Chief of Nuclear Safety for the Under Secretary of Energy.


  • Facilitate communications between DOE organizations regarding ISM implementation. Facilitate the identification of and sharing of lessons learned as the Department starts to implement the new requirements in the ISM manual.
  • Promote and facilitate continued learning about safety management from both inside and outside the DOE community. Identify safety management programs and practices that are exemplary and worthy of benchmarking by other organizations.
  • Sponsor and coordinate periodic ISM conferences as forums for DOE and contractors to share DOE expectations and guidance, disseminate best practices and lessons learned, develop consensus work products, and promote a robust safety culture for effective implementation of ISM systems. The Champions Council, in consultation with the Office of Health, Safety and Security, will determine the necessary periodicity and focus of these conferences; in general, the target is to hold DOE-wide ISM best practices workshop every 12-24 months.


  • As directed by responsible line managers, support responsible DOE managers in fulfilling their ISM responsibilities and requirements, and promoting effective ISM implementation and continuous improvement.
  • Provide input and feedback on ISM expectations, methods, and best practices. As requested, provide input and recommendations on effective integration of ISM with other management systems. As requested, provide input on the development and revision of DOE directives and standards regarding ISM implementation and effective integration of ISM with other safety and management programs.

The ISM Champion will report to the Deputy Secretary through the Chief Health, Safety and Security Officer, and provide such briefings and reports as requested by the Deputy Secretary to maintain awareness of ISM implementation and improvement activities.

The DOE headquarters and field organizations will support the Council in fulfilling its purpose and performing its functions.



James Dillard, 301-903-1165