In 2017, the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) began its journey to achieve independent accreditation of its Technical Qualification Program (TQP). The purpose of the direction from then-Deputy Administrator Madelyn Creedon was clear: NNSA needed a top-line TQP to ensure its senior workforce transferred their existing knowledge to a new generation with limited NNSA experience. To achieve this lofty goal, all field sites and headquarters offices involved in the management and oversight of the NNSA’s nuclear mission were asked to pursue and achieve accreditation of their existing TQPs.
This accomplishment speaks volumes to the quality of a training program that is timelier than ever in NNSA’s ongoing effort to transfer the knowledge needed in the Nuclear Security Enterprise now and for decades to come.
In September 2020, after three years of persistence, NNSA was awarded TQP Accreditation by Deputy Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes, with a unanimous recommendation from an independent Accreditation Board composed of senior managers from its field sites and DOE headquarters.
“The accreditation reflects the outstanding work by NNSA to ensure the technical expertise of all its personnel in positions that manage or oversee the critical national security missions of the NNSA,” said Jim McConnell, Associate Administrator for NNSA’s Office of Safety, Infrastructure, and Operations. “This accomplishment speaks volumes to the quality of a training program that is timelier than ever in NNSA’s ongoing effort to transfer the knowledge needed in the Nuclear Security Enterprise now and for decades to come.”
Before the TQP could achieve accreditation, NNSA was required to complete a rigorous self-assessment of its current TQP, and develop a corrective action plan to address identified shortfalls. An independent team also evaluated the Program following the self-assessment.
The benefits of accreditation are significant—it validates that the Program is both consistent and rigorous—and provides assurance that NNSA federal personnel are fully prepared for their responsibilities, which is a key attribute of NNSA’s Integrated Safety Management. A program’s consistency can be used to validate that its qualified personnel maintain the ability to execute their respective functions anywhere in the enterprise.
The TQP Accreditation is the first of its kind in DOE’s history.