Sustaining Transformational Progress

On this page:


As we focus on preparing for the future as a modern, risk-informed regulator, we will continue to achieve mission excellence in a diverse, inclusive, and innovative environment with a highly skilled, adaptable, and engaged workforce.

The agency is now focused on using the foundation built during our transformation to continue to modernize and sustain innovation and progress.

Our focus for this year is on our organizational health, particularly in the areas of staff retention and engagement as well as recruitment and hiring.

A black circle; inside a white background with a red computer monitor that has icons of people with the words 'Optimize Hybrid Work Environment' written under; a multi-colored group of silhouettes with different colored gears under with the words 'Foster Employee Engagement and Connection' written under; a blue colored badge with the words 'Continue Recruitment and Hiring Efforts' written under.

To top of page

Transformation Focus Areas

The information below provides a brief update on the agency's transformation focus areas. As previously mentioned, the agency is now focused on using the foundation built during our transformation to continue to modernize and sustain innovation and progress.

On a white background, a wavey object that is colored from left to right; blue, green, purple, and red; with the words from left to right; 'BE RISKSMART', 'FOCUS ON PEOPLE', 'INNOVATE', and 'USE TECHNOLOGY'

To top of page

Our People

To achieve our vision, we will maintain an engaged and highly skilled workforce now and in the future.

The NRC's culture is shaped by its people. The NRC employs a leadership model to provide clear expectations regarding how every NRC employee individually and collectively demonstrates leadership in fulfilling the NRC mission. The Leadership Model is a roadmap for communicating the behaviors and attitudes that are expected and valued within the NRC.

The NRC strives to create a positive work environment where staff will feel engaged and empowered to lead during times of change and demonstrate behaviors that enable trust. The Culture initiative is an ongoing effort that focuses on aligning our culture with our transformation vision by assessing and identifying the behavioral norms and expectations that align with our Leadership Model and our vision of being a modern, risk-informed regulator.

To be a modern, risk-informed regulator, we need to intentionally manage our culture to ensure that we are consistently valuing and supporting behaviors and norms that help us best accomplish our mission. Culture sets the tone and expectations for how we interact with each other, how we make decisions, how we get work done, and how we are expected to innovate and collaborate with one another.

In spring 2020, the Agency Culture team launched a first-of-its-kind internal culture survey that assessed the agency's current culture and desired culture. In addition, the team analyzed the results from our agency's routine climate surveys and conducted several internal focus groups. This information was used to develop an internal culture improvement plan that described tangible actions to help the NRC workforce continue to meet our important safety and security mission while also making improvements. In spring 2021, the Agency Culture team launched a culture pulse survey to seek feedback regarding how the agency was doing with closing the gaps identified from the spring 2020 survey. The spring 2021 pulse survey showed slight increases in constructive behaviors: people feel like there is more of an expectation to encourage others, help others to grow and develop, and give positive rewards to others. There were also significant decreases in defensive behaviors: people feel like there is less of an expectation to look for mistakes, remain aloof, or do things for the approval of others – behaviors that can be detrimental when practiced in excess. Finally, there were improvements in measures of employee involvement, communication, and perceptions of the agency’s ability to adapt to change, consistent with our routine climate surveys and internal focus group feedback. Collectively, these results tell us we are heading in the right direction toward closing our culture gaps, but we still have room to grow and improve. The next culture survey was internally launched in February 2023. The NRC staff will assess the results and update the agency's internal culture improvement plan accordingly.

The NRC is also focused on recruiting the workforce of tomorrow. The Nuclear Regulator Apprenticeship Network (NRAN) recruits recent graduates with bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees and strong academic records to address expected skill needs of the agency. The members participate in focused training and real-world experiences through various apprenticeships working with technical experts. NRAN is a holistic apprenticeship that not only focuses on technical skills, but also personal and professional development. To learn more about NRAN, visit the NRAN FAQ Page.

To top of page


Being riskSMART is how we continue to use risk information, across all of our regulatory programs, to make sound decisions and meet our important safety and security mission. The Be riskSMART framework is a common language tool to internally align staff to the various risk information used across our corporate, technical, and legal programs. The framework ensures staff’s basic understanding of how risk information is applied across our different program areas and allows us to effectively communicate how we use risk information to make sound regulatory decisions without compromising our mission. The Be riskSMART framework includes guidance and steps for identifying and managing risk information (for issues where there is no pre-determined answer in a law, policy, or standard); performance metrics for how well we are considering risk information; and training to ensure a common understanding of how risk information is applied across our program areas. NUREG/KM-0016, "Be riskSMART: Guidance for Integrating Risk Insights into NRC Decisions" provides detailed guidance on using the Be riskSMART framework and contains case studies from across a series of disciplines.

To top of page


The NRC continues to leverage information technology to enable staff to efficiently complete their work, increase adoption of new and existing technology, and train staff to modernize the way they work. We have made great improvements using available technology tools to work smarter. We continue to increase our use of Microsoft Office 365 productivity tools to enhance collaboration among employees. In addition, we continue to host periodic training sessions and leverage our IT network of experts to share insights on the use of these tools.

To top of page


The NRC continues to support and sustain long-term innovation using an integrated, collaborative platform called IdeaScale. The IdeaScale platform, launched in summer 2020, provides a virtual, real-time way to collaborate and brainstorm across the agency. Two main features of IdeaScale are the Success Gallery and Challenge Campaign. The IdeaScale platform enables NRC employees to collaborate by submitting innovative ideas, finding transformative solutions through crowd-sourcing challenges, and showcasing innovation occurring throughout the agency. Since the launch of IdeaScale, there are more than 2,000 unique internal users, 530 innovations have been implemented that have helped NRC staff conduct their everyday work more efficiently, and more than 25 agencywide Challenge Campaigns have been launched, tapping the wisdom of the NRC staff to improve how our agency operates.

To top of page