Cooperative Engagement, Communications, and Flexibility
The N&S Process is based upon the principle of cooperative engagement, which involves two
The right parties are involved in the Process. As stated in the N&S Manual: "To
establish a basis for agreement, all parties who must agree on the set of standards shall
participate in the Process planning." Additional Stakeholders and Interested Parties are
always invited to contribute to the Process.
The identified Agreement Parties "agree to agree" at the outset. They recognize that
they are engaged in a common task and focus their efforts on finding ways to reach
Cooperative engagement is sustained through a sense of partnership among those involved
and affected by the work to be performed. The relationship requires communication and a
shared vision of the work outcome that includes commitment to reasonable assurance of
adequate protection of the workers, the public, and the environment. Process effectiveness
improves in direct measure to the degree of communication and shared vision among the
participants. Cooperative engagement by senior management, designated representatives on
the Convened Group, and the various team members is the backbone of successful application
of the Process.
The N&S Process is not intended to be a task or "project" that DOE assigns to a contractor and
reviews after completion. The N&S Process is intended to engage DOE, its contractors,
Stakeholders, and Interested Parties (as determined by the likely effects of the actual work and
hazards) in a cooperative and constructive dialogue that leads to greater mutual trust in the
pursuit of a common goal. There is no single recipe or step-by-step procedure for application of
The N&S Process is designed to be rigorous yet flexible and to require thoughtful application.
The N&S Process is also designed to achieve final agreement through iteration. Results from
one process element may indicate a need to revise or expand information from a previous