INMM 2006 Oral Presentation - Paper Number 268

Tools for Trainers: Secrets of Safeguards Documentation

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Ottawa, Canada

Eton Systems, Ottawa, Canada


As part of its mandate, the Canadian Safeguards Support Program (CSSP) is responsible for providing documentation and training assistance to the IAEA. These “knowledge transfer” activities often follow the introduction or enhancement of safeguards equipment and procedures. From time-to-time, an ad-hoc request or sudden procedure change requires the rapid production of new materials. In this paper, the authors describe some of the lesser-known software tools they use to rapidly produce high-quality training documents.

Software-based control, measurement, and surveillance systems are common in the safeguards field. Rapidly preparing comprehensive and easy-to-follow training and documentation materials for these systems is a challenge. In two previous papers presented at INMM Annual Meetings, the authors advocated “guerilla knowledge gathering” and “guerilla knowledge sharing” – using low-cost, low-tech methods to gather and share valuable corporate data. The authors now focus their attention on “guerilla production” – showing some simple, low-cost tools and techniques that can improve any documentation or training package. The authors also describe how they set up a stable and repeatable test environment for running new safeguards software.

Although many of these tools and techniques are used by professional writers and producers, anyone who is ever called upon to make a PowerPoint presentation will find tips that will make their next presentation stand out. The tools are easier to use than email, and are of value to anyone doing software documentation for any purpose. Before-and-after examples of simple changes show how to make training materials more informative and lively. A series of “rules of thumb” will help you decide when (or if) to use different types of graphic enhancement – recognizing that the objective is greater reader engagement and better retention of the material.

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Page last modified by Neil Herber, July 12, 2008, at 05:59 PM