First cohort from nucleargraduates

January 2013 saw attendees from nucleargraduates complete the first module of the Certificate of Nuclear Professionalism

A total of 39 participants took part in the two day Commercial Awareness module, to build their understanding of the key requirements involved when conducting commercial activity in the nuclear industry

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is the public body charged with the long-term management of the UK’s nuclear waste.  Its job is to decommission and clean up nuclear facilities and safely manage all waste products. The NDA launched its National Graduate Scheme “nucleargraduates” in 2007, in partnership with twenty leading companies and organisations operating in the UK nuclear industry.

The Scheme has been described as “the most comprehensive graduate scheme the industry has ever seen”, and featured in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employer category. The NDA was also instrumental in setting up the National Skills Academy for Nuclear to help improve professional development capability in the nuclear industry. The graduate-level Certificate of Nuclear Professionalism is one outcome of this collaboration. The Certificate incorporates seven modules designed to equip individuals with the necessary skills for today’s professional working within the nuclear industry. The Centre for Executive Development is providing faculty and content for three of the modules: Commercial Awareness, Project Management and Technical Leadership.

In partnership with the NDA, the Centre for Executive Development delivered the Commercial Awareness module on 17th and 18th January at Aston Business School.
For the first time the two day session involved the whole of the NDA graduate cohort.

Aston faculty members Matt Davies and Ian Cornelius of the Finance and Accounting Group delivered the module. In addition, Sean Balmer, NDA Commercial Director and Adrian Simper, NDA Strategy Director, contributed as co-tutors and industry specialists, providing colour and context to the best practice content.

The module is contextualised: participants learn new concepts, tools and methodologies and apply these to a case study based on a “real world” Sellafield decommissioning scenario. Participants are assessed through completion of a learning log and a reflective practice assignment, accredited by the Open University. The experience provides participants with a rigorous and practical grounding in some of the key knowledge areas and skills required for success in the nuclear industry.

Comments on the module, include:

A useful overview and refresher on accounting principles, followed by a considered approach to contracts within the nuclear industry, including differences and similarities between our industry and others.

I found the Commercial Awareness module of the Certificate of Nuclear Professionalism to be extremely useful. The module helped me to understand the structure of the nuclear industry, how money is sourced and how it is allocated to various decommissioning sites through the NDA.  Both Ian Cornelius and Adrian Simper’s expertise and enthusiasm were invaluable.

In conclusion I believe that the module is an invaluable source of information and skills that will help me in becoming a professional and commercially aware Nuclear Engineer.

The CONP Commercial Awareness sessions were both informative and engaging. The theoretical ideas were clearly explained and the practical examples from the NDA (i.e. from Adrian in my case) were interesting and really helped to illustrate the application of the financial concepts to the massive scale of finances in the nuclear industry.