The purpose of DOE-HDBK-1080-97, Guide to Good Practices For Oral Examinations is to
provide DOE nuclear facilities (and others) with guidance that can be used to incorporate
oral examination techniques and processes into their training programs. The oral
examination in some form is an integral part of any qualification process. The contents of
this handbook can help training organizations more effectively use oral examinations in their
qualification programs. Knowledge of a subject (theory, operational interrelationship, etc.)
is always required for qualification, and oral examinations are an effective method to
determine whether the person understands the job, the task, or the evolution.
This handbook has been developed on the basis of experience in the nuclear industry and
incorporates information from civilian, military, commercial and DOE nuclear sources. Oral
examinations (e.g., oral checkouts, knowledge requirements in on-the-job training,
knowledge of system operation during facility walkthrough, etc.) are used in qualification
programs throughout not only the Department of Energy, but industry as well. In keeping
with industry practice, DOE 5480.20A, Personnel Selection, Qualification, and Training
Requirements for DOE Nuclear Facilities, incorporated the use of oral examinations of
different types in individual qualification. The different types of oral examinations are
addressed and discussed in this handbook.
This handbook is intended to provide guidance to DOE facilities relative to using oral
examinations in their training programs. Facilities are encouraged to review existing oral
examination practices against the good practices in this handbook and implement the
desired changes to their procedures or policies. DOE 5480.20A requires that personnel in
the operating organization at DOE nuclear facilities are qualified to perform their jobs safely.
Examinations are an integral part of qualification and oral examinations of one type or