In order to give nuclear utilities confidence in the skill sets of their temporary workforce, and to reduce the cost of redundant site training for routine maintenance tasks that are common to all utilities, EPRI developed a standard series of evaluations that have been vetted by industry groups, such as the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators (INPO), that can be used for standardized testing of RP technicians. A set of guidelines for administering performance evaluations, the Administrative Protocol for Portable Practicals (AP3), was developed to ensure the consistent appraisal of RP technicians’ skills.
In October 2016, as a provider of RP technicians, RSCS engaged EPRI to participate in administering task evaluations as an AP3 provider. On October 17, 2018, the final step in this process was complete, a quorum of EPRI members made up of nuclear operators, international unions, and nuclear supply and services vendors voted unanimously to assign RSCS AP3 Certification. This certification recognized RSCS as one of a very limited group of companies that have demonstrated the appropriate administrative controls, processes, and expertise to implement STEs. This certification enhances RSCS’ status as a vendor of choice for RP technician support, as our capacity to offer pre-qualified RP technicians reduces in-processing time and related costs. The successful completion of STEs, which may only be conducted by AP3 Certified organizations, allows RP Technicians to attain various task qualifications that will be accepted throughout the nuclear industry.
The AP3 process includes a periodic renewal assessment. In June of 2023, an “on-site” renewal assessment occurred. This assessment was performed by a team of four EPRI and industry observers, who attended a STE demonstration conducted by RSCS at the RSCS Home Office. The attainment of this AP3 Certification Compliancy Renewal is one more example of RSCS’ commitment to supporting safe nuclear operations in the US.