Back to Speakers

Bob MacNaught

UK Defence Ordnance Munitions and Explosives Safety Regulator

Bob MacNaught is the UK Defence Ordnance Munitions and Explosives Safety Regulator (DOSR) responsible for the regulation of OME safety across Defence activities in accordance with the Secretary of State’s (SofS) Policy Statement on Health Safety and Environmental Protection in Defence. As an independent regulator within Defence, he has powers of enforcement delegated to him from SofS through the Director General of the Defence Safety Authority.

His previous appointments in the Ministry of Defence (MOD) were Inspector of Explosives (Defence Equipment and Support), Technical Staff Officer to Director Defence Ordnance Safety Group and Emerging Technologies in Munition Health Management in the Munitions Corporate Business Unit.

Prior to joining the MOD, Bob served 30 years in the Royal Air Force as an Engineer Officer (Aero systems/Weapons) and retired in 2004. During this time he was responsible for conventional and nuclear weapons safety and was Officer Commanding Operations on the Royal Air Force’s Tactical Armament Squadron providing armament logistics support to Royal Air Force exercises, trials, and operations worldwide. His last tour was at Headquarters Royal Air Force Strike Command where he was a staff officer in the Armament Role Office responsible for explosives and ranges safety. He has served at locations throughout the UK and overseas including Cyprus, Canada, USA, Belize, Falkland Islands and throughout the Middle East in Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.

Robert MacNaught
The report from the 2016 Defence Safety Review1 criticized DOSR’s lack of independent regulatory oversight of the existing arrangements for providing assurance of OME safety, stating: ‘The Review concluded that the effectiveness of the current arrangements for safety assurance as a fully independent assurance mechanism was open to question as it generally comprised OME staff from within the MOD’s OME delivery Teams. While mitigation had been put in place so that assurance panel members are selected from areas not directly involved with the OME system under scrutiny, the Review assessed that independent oversight could be subject to challenge’. The main concern was that this arrangement has the potential to present a conflict of interest between the setting of OME safety rules and standards and acquisition delivery goals.

Consequently, DOSR, as the Regulator, commissioned a study into the introduction of product safety certification for OME. All certification schemes operated by the other Defence Safety Regulators were reviewed, plus selected civil schemes including that for explosives operated by the HSE and also the military scheme operated by the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND). Three key roles were found in all schemes: the Applicant, the Certifying Body and the Regulator and 5 fundamental principles of certification were developed in the report: defined standards, competence of the Certifying Body, independence between the Applicant and the Certifying Body, risk tolerability and, finally, that certification needs to have a positive consequence.

Although in an ideal world, the Applicant, Certifying Body and Regulator would each be fully independent of the others; however, this is impractical in Defence for reasons that will be explained in my presentation. Instead, 2 alternative, practical models exist: one where the Certifying Body is part of the Regulator and both are independent of the Applicant and an alternative where the Regulator is independent but both the Applicant and the Certifying Body are part of the OME acquisition organisation, with second-party independence existing between them.
Analysis of the various certification schemes reviewed as part of the study revealed a number of key features (of the process) that could be considered good practice for an OME certification scheme for Defence. This builds upon a number of certification-like processes for Defence OME that are already in-place, as required by Legislation and Defence Regulations and also by numerous NATO STANAGs.

I consider that this presentation will be of interest to a wide body of the intended audience for Fulmination 2020 including current and prospective Defence OME Contractors from industry.