Excellent learning and peer-to-peer networking opportunities with a cross-section of the nuclear industry.
The world’s first certified professional development programme for individuals in nuclear security management.
An extensive archive of information on nuclear security, both from WINS and from external sources.
Helping licensees assess the maturity of their security programme and measure their security culture effectiveness.
Ina Grigalashvili is International Project Manager at the Agency of Nuclear and Radiation Safety – Regulatory Authority of Georgia and a Certified Radioactive Source Security Professional. We asked her about her experience with the WINS Academy and the benefits of an international network supporting radioactive source security professionals in their work.
What was your WINS Academy elective? Why did you choose it?
As an employee of the national regulatory authority with the responsibility of drafting regulations and policy documents, I always strive to acquire theoretical knowledge in the field of, inter alia, radioactive source security. Among the online courses I have come across throughout this process, the WINS Academy seemed to be the most comprehensive and adaptive course—even from the description provided with its content, materials, timetables, and the possibility of further development.
It is an undeniable fact that the course I took has met and even exceeded my expectations: There is nothing you can think of as missing in the courses offered by the WINS Academy. Further to that, the Academy offered a scholarship to give me the possibility of graduating without financial burden. This approach speaks a lot about the attitude, professionalism, and respect towards people with different backgrounds and challenges.
What was your most rewarding experience with the WINS Academy?
The flexible timeframe with the available materials sums up the rewarding experience I had with the WINS Academy. Being a practitioner with daily time challenges, I had all the flexibility I needed to cover not only the principal course, but also all the additional material referred to in the course. I was also provided with a hard copy of the textbook, which made it possible for me to study everywhere—at the airport, on airplanes, during breaks, etc.
I also had a fantastic experience with the examination process. It was delivered in a super professional and safe way, and I had the final result as soon as I finished answering questions. That meant that both the technical-logistical aspects and the content of the course were exceptionally convenient and flexible for me.
“The course I took has met and even exceeded my expectations.”
Who do you think would benefit from attending a WINS Academy programme in your region and country?
I believe all the stakeholders engaged in ensuring nuclear security and with responsibilities regarding radioactive sources would benefit from attending a WINS Academy programme. And with all stakeholders, I have in mind licensees, source holders, law enforcement officials, or regulatory authority staff conducting inspections, enforcement and/or expertise-related activities, etc.
It must be highlighted that besides the actual national regulations, it is also important to realise and have a good understanding of the essence and protective interest behind every regulation. Being delivered in a systematic manner according to the thematic areas, WINS Academy courses explain the context, background information and reasoning of each and every international standard applicable.
“WINS Academy courses explain the context, background information and reasoning of each and every international standard applicable.”
What advice do you have for current WINS Academy learners or those considering enrolling?
I encourage and support everyone who has an interest to become a WINS Academy alumnus. This programme is truly a meaningful step towards professional development and advancement. With the possibilities and courses offered, the confidence in performing either job responsibilities or academic work is guaranteed.
This pleasant journey doesn’t end with the completion of the particular course and granting of the certificate. You are offered a venue to share your knowledge, to encourage others, to proudly represent the Academy and even have the WINS logo in your signature.
“Being a practitioner with daily time challenges, I had all the flexibility I needed to cover not only the principal course, but also all the additional material referred to in the course.”
How do local and international networks help nuclear security professionals strengthen practices and systems in their own institution?
The importance of local and international networks is especially significant for a developing country that lacks the opportunity to generate knowledge and good practice at the national level. It is a well-evidenced fact that alongside with technical progress and the attached increasing risks, the demand grows for nuclear security professionals to constantly seek the best solutions and ways of ensuring security.
The challenges related to the implementation of international standards at the national level may vary between countries, however, sharing experience expands understanding and the sense of wide opportunities as well as motivating everyone to achieve the maximum possible. Speaking from the experience of Georgia, despite having no nuclear industry, the country is attractive for acts that test the national nuclear security regime, therefore, missions, meetings, and networking are the venues of priceless importance for strengthening the nuclear security framework.
“Missions, meetings, and networking are the venues of priceless importance for strengthening the nuclear security framework.”
From the Agency of Nuclear and Radiation Safety
How has your organisation benefited from Ina achieving Certified Radioactive Source Security Professional status?
Being responsible for working on strategic and policy documents in the field of radiation safety, nuclear safety and security, Ina recently participated in updating the International Nuclear Security Support Plan (INSSP) of the country. The professional development of the stakeholders is regarded as one of the main aspects of a sound and sustainable nuclear security regime. Since Ina was aware of the opportunities offered by the WINS Academy, she initiated the academy certification programme as a tool for improving the expertise and knowledge of the personnel engaged in ensuring nuclear security.
Further to that, the regulatory authority will surely benefit from Ina’s Certified Radioactive Source Security Professional status and the knowledge behind it, while updating national regulations in the relevant field, which is a continuous process.
“The professional development of the stakeholders is regarded as one of the main aspects of a sound and sustainable nuclear security regime.”
What role does WINS certification play in your institution’s professional development programme?
WINS certification already has a well-established role in the professional development of the regulatory authority – Agency of Nuclear and Radiation Safety, as it is part of the updated INSSP of Georgia. The staff of the regulatory authority have statutory responsibilities for ensuring nuclear security. This function applies to the different levels and covers not only inspecting the radioactive source holders, but also providing other authorities with expertise in case of relevant criminal acts. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to keep the knowledge of the staff up-to-date and reasonable to respond to the ongoing or new challenges.
The WINS Academy certification programme is expected to be applied in strengthening professionalism and expertise at the regulatory authority of Georgia.