As an international organization—and one applying for nuclear licensing in France—ITER is required to have a well-documented management system, with approved procedures describing the process flow for every area of the project.
Since 2008, the Quality Assurance Division has been developing the Management and Quality Program (MQP), a process-based system that organizes ITER's management documents into a structure governing relations, procedures, and working instructions.
"The written procedures contained in the MQP program basically instruct end users how to do their work," says Florence Tadjer, who joined the Division in April. "But of course it is not enough that these documents exist: they must also be well understood and applied throughout the project."
As MQP Liaison Officer for the Administration and Plasma Operation Directorates, Florence will work in an advisory role with process "owners" on management documents, ensuring that the proper rules are followed to write documents, and deciding whether the document contains the type of guidelines that should be incorporated into the MQP framework or not. "In fact, not every departmental document needs to be part of the MQP," says Florence. "On the other hand, it is also my role to identify those documents that should be incorporated."
Florence comes to ITER from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), where she was a quality manager in the laboratory responsible for analyzing safeguard samples from nuclear facilities. It was her responsibility to maintain the laboratory's quality certification by updating the quality management system and conducting regular audits in order to make sure that the quality system was well implemented in all areas of the laboratory.
"Training and auditing are part of the quality manager's job," insists Florence. At ITER, the team of Liaison Officers will work to improve the MQP documentation, and expend a lot of effort to communicate about the program and make sure that training is offered on the implementation of the system.
"ITER is a young organization and things are still evolving. A lot remains to be done and I know I'll enjoy the lack of routine!"