Unit Head (Radiation Safety Technical Services Unit)

IAEA - International Atomic Energy Agency

Vienna, Austria

Organizational Setting

The Department of Nuclear Safety and Security (NS) formulates and implements the IAEA's nuclear safety and security programme, which encompasses the IAEA's activities to protect people and the environment from radiation exposure, and responds to the needs of its Member States related to nuclear safety and nuclear security.

The Division of Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety develops and maintains standards for radiation protection, radioactive waste safety, and safety in the transport of radioactive material that enable the beneficial uses of radiation to be exploited while ensuring appropriate protection of workers, the public, patients and the environment. It also assists Member States in the implementation of these standards and provides related services.

The Radiation Safety and Monitoring Section is responsible for the delineation of an international programme to protect workers, patients and the public from all types of exposure to natural or artificial radiation, in line with the most recent scientific knowledge and information. The Section is also responsible for the provision of radiation safety technical services to staff members and experts who may be exposed to ionizing radiation as a result of activities conducted by the IAEA.

Main Purpose

Reporting to the Section Head, the Unit Head assures the provision of duly accredited radiation safety technical support services required by the Directors of the organizational unit operating or conducting an Agency facility or activity (the Directors in Charge) in IAEA Departments in order for them to be able to fulfil their responsibilities for radiation safety. In addition, he/she shall also ensure the provision of technical support services and radiation protection and safety-related information to the IAEA Radiation Safety and Nuclear Security Regulator (the Regulator), and to the IAEA Medical Director if required. He/she shall also participate in the development and implementation of Section programmes and methodologies related to the provision of radiation technical support, taking into account recommendations of the ICRU on radiation related quantities and units, terminology and measurement procedures. He/she leads the Unit's activities in these areas to ensure the efficacy and timely provision of radiation safety technical support services and is responsible for the management of the Unit's financial and human resources. The Unit Head is required to balance his/her work time between two duty stations: the IAEA's headquarters in Vienna and the IAEA's laboratories at Seibersdorf.


The Unit Head is: (a) a team leader and manager in a specialized, multilateral environment, ensuring the efficient and effective management of the assigned staff and financial resources including procurement for laboratory operations; (b) a technical specialist ensuring the IAEA's radiation safety technical services are provided in accordance with IAEA safety standards and applicable international standards; (b) an adviser, providing analysis and background information to Section Head on the strategies, programmes and policies related to the Unit's technical responsibilities and facilitating their implementation; and (c) a facilitator of cooperation with other IAEA Departments and in particular with the Directors in Charge and with the Regulator to ensure the Unit provides the appropriate technical support for them to carry out practices in accordance with the IAEA's Radiation Safety and Nuclear Security Regulations.

Functions/Key Results Expected

  • Advise the Section Head on the formulation, development and provision of the IAEA's radiation safety technical services programme, as based on the up-to-date scientific knowledge and information in this area, and contribute to establishment and maintaining IAEA as a model for Member States in area of providing radiation safety technical services;
  • Promote high level of radiation safety for IAEA staff;
  • Develop and/or maintain and improve the infrastructure for the IAEA's radiation safety technical services with a view to establishing a service that fully complies with the IAEA safety standards and provides an assurance of a high level of safety for IAEA staff and experts involved in IAEA’s operations with radioactive sources;
  • Manage the Radiation Safety Technical Services Unit, including the management of staff and financial resources and the procurement of laboratory equipment necessary for the provision of the service;
  • Ensure the completeness of the service for all operations including a regular review of the IAEA training programme for radiation safety with special attention to its completeness with respect to the nature of the relevant hazards, protection and safety and its frequency;
  • Build and maintain strategic partnerships across organizational areas in the IAEA to ensure a harmonized approach to the utilization of radiation safety technical services required by the Directors in Charge (i.e. registrants and licensees) to enable them to fulfil their responsibility for radiation safety as laid out in the IAEA's Radiation Safety and Nuclear Security Regulations;
  • Lead the development of new service agreements and the regular review of existing service agreements with IAEA divisions to correctly reflect the support required;
  • Act as the interface between IAEA’s Radiation Protection Officers in IAEA Departments and the Unit to foster safety culture in IAEA activities and to ensure an appropriate flow of information between the Service and the implementing Divisions;
  • Identify and follow up on actions needed to retain the accreditation of the IAEA's Testing Laboratory, including the implementation of the quality management system to ensure compliance with the ISO/IEC17025 quality system.

Competencies and Expertise

Core Competencies

  • Planning and Organizing: Sets clearly defined objectives for himself/herself and the team or Section. Identifies and organizes deployment of resources based on assessed needs, taking into account possible changing circumstances. Monitors team’s performance in meeting the assigned deadlines and milestones;
  • Communication: Encourages open communication and builds consensus. Uses tact and discretion in dealing with sensitive information, and keeps staff informed of decisions and directives as appropriate;
  • Achieving Results: Sets realistic targets for himself/herself and for the team; ensures availability of resources and supports staff members in achieving results. Monitors progress and performance; evaluates achievements and integrates lessons learned;
  • Teamwork: Encourages teamwork, builds effective teams and resolves problems by creating a supportive and collaborative team spirit, remaining mindful of the need to collaborate with people outside the immediate area of responsibility.

Functional Competencies

  • Leading and supervising: Serves as a role model when leading and supervising others. Provides his/her team with clear direction, promotes a dynamic working climate and empowers others. Is open to new ideas and demonstrates creativity in search of excellence;
  • Partnership building: Identifies interests and goals common to the Agency’s partners and its stakeholders to foster partnership building. Promotes collaboration with partners, colleagues across teams and stakeholders;
  • Technical/scientific credibility: Provides guidance and advice in his/her area of expertise on the application of scientific/professional methods, procedures and approaches;
  • Judgement/decision making: Consults with and seeks advice at the appropriate managerial level when making complex decisions. Facilitates dialogue and development of best practice to support judgement/decision making, in full compliance with the Agency’s regulations and rules.
  • Client orientation: Examines client plans and develops services and options to support ongoing relationships. Develops solutions that add value to the Agency’s programmes and operations;
  • Analytical thinking: Applies business analytics to establish programme priorities. Makes rational judgements from the available information and analysis.

Asset Expertise

  • Experience in maintaining the accreditation and identifying on actions needed to retain the accreditation of the IAEA’s Testing Lab, including the implementation of the QMS to ensure compliance with the ISO 17025 quality system;
  •  Experience in using and/or introducing On-Line Information Management System in the testing laboratory;
  • Experience in managing la aboratory which provides external dosimetry services;
  • Experience in managing a laboratory which provides internal dosimetry services, including using whole body counter;
  • Experience in working in la aboratory or facility dealing with general aspect of occupational radiation protection, and knowledge of relevant radiation protection standards for protection of workers;
  • Experience in working in a laboratory or facility dealing with various types of radiation measurements;
  • Knowledge or experience with providing radiation safety technical services in a facility in decommissioning;
  • Knowledge or experience with providing radiation safety technical services;
  • Experience in managing laboratory which provides workplace monitoring services.

Qualifications, Experience and Language skills

  • Advanced University Degree in science, technology or engineering;
  • Experience in management of services of personal dosimetry and workplace monitoring, including systems for dosimetry data processing and record keeping;
  • Experience in accreditation and working in the testing laboratory accredited according to ISO/IEC17025 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories;
  • Proven experience in managing staff in a laboratory environment;
  • Experience in interactions with senior counterparts concerned with the provision of radiation safety technical services at the international level, and with relevant international and specialist organizations desirable;
  • Excellent oral and written command of English. Knowledge of other official IAEA languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish) is an asset.

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