The First Train the Trainers Training (TTT) event, with participation of 22 national experts from Malawi, Seychelles, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya was successfully concluded. The TTT was organised at the Kenyan Radiation Protection Board (RPB) radioactive storage facility in Nairobi, Kenya from 11 to 22 March 2019. The TTT course was conducted by four instructors from ENCO, SCK●CEN and STUK.
The TTT course was conducted over 11 training days and contained 10 Modules as follows: 1) Basic radiation safety and radiation protection measures, 2) Management of radioactive sources, 3) Equipment used for radiation safety control, detection, search, identification and recovery of radioactive sources, 4) International recommendations on security of radioactive sources, 5) Carrying out the regulatory security inspections of radioactive sources, 6) International recommendations on the national legal and regulatory framework for nuclear security, 7) Prevention of illicit trafficking of radioactive and nuclear material, 8) International recommendations on the security of Uranium Oxide Concentrates (UOC), 9) International recommendations on the preparedness and response to RN emergency events and 10) Planning, preparing and conducting training courses.
The Days 1 and 2 were dedicated to Module 1 (Basic radiation safety and radiation protection measures) and Module 2 (Management of radioactive sources), during which presentations were given by the Consortium instructors. The Day 3 was focused on measurement equipment (Module 3), where presentations were first given to introduce the measurement principles and the measurement techniques. The presentations were followed by a demonstration by the instructors and then by practical exercises performed by the participants themselves in groups of 5-6 attendees. In addition, each group prepared a 10-minute demonstration of a chosen measurement instrument, followed by 5 minutes questions from the other groups as well as from the instructors.
The Day 4 was dedicated to Module 4 (International recommendations on the security of radioactive sources), during which presentations were given by the instructors. In addition, one Case study was provided to the participants to allow them to apply the given knowledge for a practical situation (enhancing the security measures of a hypothetical facility to reach the IAEA security sub-goals for the relevant security level). The participants were grouped by countries and assigned to resolve the case study. Each group was requested to prepare a presentation and show their results for the Case study. The presentations were made on Day 6 and were followed by a Q&A session.
The Day 5 was dedicated to Module 5 (Carrying out the regulatory security inspections of radioactive sources). Some presentations were given by the instructors and, in addition, the participants divided in country groups were requested to develop a Security inspection plan. On the Day 6, the presentations on Module 6 (International recommendations on the national legal and regulatory framework for nuclear security) were given by the instructors. Part of the Day 6 was also dedicated to the presentations of the Case study of Module 4.
During the Day 7, the remaining presentations of Module 6 (International recommendations on the national legal and regulatory framework for nuclear security) were given by the instructors. As part of Module 7, the participants were requested to develop the main items that would be in the Standard Operating Procedures for the Security inspections as part of their preparation of the exercise of a security inspection foreseen for the Day 8. The rest of the Day 7 was dedicated to part of Module 7 (Prevention of illicit trafficking of radioactive and nuclear material), where presentations were given by the instructors.
On the Day 8, the participants were divided in two groups, to perform an exercise of a Security inspection visit at the radioactive waste storage facility at RPB. Each group was accompanied by one Instructor and an RPB representative to guide the security inspection. The rest of the day was dedicated to the remaining presentations on Module 7 (Prevention of illicit trafficking of radioactive and nuclear material) and Module 8 (International recommendations on the security of Uranium Oxide Concentrates). During these two modules, presentations were given by the Instructors on these different topics. In addition, Case studies were performed by the participants on the themes of the Module 7, and subsequently presented.
During the first part of Day 9, each group of participants presented their results of their security inspection at the radioactive waste storage facility. The remaining of the Day was focused on Module 9 (International recommendations on the preparedness and response to RN emergency events), during which presentations on this topic were given by the instructors, and a Case study on this module was also performed by the participants.
The Days 10 and 11 were dedicated to Module 10 (Planning, preparing and conducting training courses). The focus of the activities was on participants’ individual preparation for their roles as future trainers. On their own choice of a topic, the participants were asked to develop the description, the agenda, the required entry knowledge, the objectives and the procedures to be followed in a one-day training. The participants reported on their preparations in the last day through a 10-minute presentation of the training course. In addition, each participant was requested to prepare a 10-minute presentation on a specific topic foreseen in their training course, which they also gave during the last day of the TTT course. The instructors as well as the other participants provided feedback, on both the content and the training skills.
Time was set aside during each training day for discussions on the themes of the training day. After each Case study or exercise presentation, the instructors gave recommendations to improve the results. The day following the completion of the presentations on each Module, a test was conducted to evaluate the knowledge acquired. The results of the test’s evaluation were then discussed with all the participants, to allow them to identify the elements on which they would need to further work to acquire the necessary knowledge as relevant for the specific Module.
On the very first day of the TTT, an entry test was conducted to assess the initial knowledge of all participants. At the end of the TTT course, a final test was conducted, showing the level of knowledge gained. The comparison between the average score for both tests clearly showed that the participants improved their knowledge quite significantly, rising from 40.7% to 61.4% on all the topics of the TTT course. When assessing only the security topics, the average score improved from 35.0 % (entry test) to 63.1 % (final test). For the remaining topics, the average score improved from 40.7% (entry test) to 61.4 % (final test).
All the participants were very interested in the training provided and generally hard-working. They invested themselves well, particularly during the Case studies, use of detection equipment, inspection activities, and related reporting presentations and during the last presentations on final day to demonstrate their skills as future trainers.