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Directives Help

All DOE directives are available through this site. While it may seem overwhelming, given the number of documents, we have provided a number of ways in which you may get to the information you need.

Navigating the DOE Directives, Delegations, and Requirements Portal

A guide for using the new portal is available here.

Navigation Tools

The links at the top of the page will take you to the major elements of the site--directives, delegations and requirements. The toolbar at right includes links to related resources. In order from the top are links to

  • RevCom, the online review, comment, and approval system for draft DOE directives. You can sign in here to review documents
  • DPC resources, which include a current list of directives points of contact (DPCs) and a list of their responsibilities
  • Directives tools, useful material for directives writers, DPCs and subject matter experts, including how directives are processed and a collection of templates for document development
  • References that link users to Technical Standards and NNSA supplemental directives, DOE forms, lists of Directives Review Board members and additional government publications
  • Delegation procedures for delegating and redelegating DOE management authorities
  • Archived directives that are maintained after they have been revised or canceled
  • Help where you can find information about searching portal content and review FAQs

Internet IE8 Compatibility

The Portal supports a variety of popular browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome). However, IE8.X users should note that the hyperlinks do not function in the document history details graphic (the Show All button under the History tab for a Directive). In other browsers, the graphic includes hyperlinks to the previous versions of the Directive. To find the version of IE that you are using, go to the Help menu and choose About Internet Explorer.

Browse Browse by Directive Status (Current, Archives, Draft)

In the Directives section select a collection where you wish to search.

Search Search

The search box is in the upper right corner anywhere on the site. Use quotation marks and the AND and OR operators to make your search more restrictive. Use advanced search when you have specific criteria.

Advanced Search Advanced Search

Click on Advanced Search when you have specifics for your inquiry:

You can narrow or expand your search based on the criteria you select from the options available.

  • Select a Document Status collection (current, archive or draft; or rescinded). You can choose more than one.
  • Select a Document Type. You can choose one or more document or delegation types.
  • The following are optional but will help to refine your search:
    • Enter text of interest (use AND/OR to combine multiple words).
    • Enter a document title.
    • Enter all or part of a document number (e.g., entering 251 would return documents in that series; DOE O 251.1C would return that directive).
    • Select an office of primary interest (OPI) to find all documents produced by that organization. You can choose more than one.
    • Enter dates to limit your search to a specific time period.

Faceted Search Faceted Search

Faceted search/navigation/browsing (at left of the document listing) allows you to set limits on the list that is being displayed. You will be "filtering" the list.

  • Choose one or more of the Document Types (Order, Guide, Manual, Policy, Notice, Justification Memo, or Certification Memo). Everything not selected will be filtered out of the list.
  • You can select a directive number series. When you choose a series, the list includes only that number series.
  • Narrow your list by Issue Date within a specific time period.
  • You can narrow your search by choosing one or more Subjects.
  • Or you can limit the list to documents produced by a particular office (OPI).
  • You can include or exclude documents subject to Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board review or containing Contractor Requirements Documents.

As you filter your search, you will see the list of documents change to accommodate your filters. You can remove some or all of the filters in the last box to revise or you can choose "Remove all".

Email E-mail Notifications

You can subscribe to email notifications about new documents (drafts or finals) posted to the portal. Or, you can select only documents from a specific OPI (one or more) or only drafts. Follow the steps below to set up your automatic email subscription.

  • On the Home Page, select Email Alerts (in the News & Updates list at lower left)
  • On the Updates page, choose one of the three options
    • New Documents – new finals and drafts by any OPI
    • New Documents by Office of Primary Interest – finals and drafts
    • Drafts – only drafts, no final postings
    • Enter your email address when prompted
    • Click Finish

You will receive confirmation email. Click on the link in the email to confirm or modify your subscription. A notice defining your subscription will appear in your web browser. You can change your choices at any time by repeating the process above.

Need help?

If you can't find what you're looking for, please contact us. We are always open to suggestions on making the portal better and easier to use. If you have ideas, please let us know.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are directives?

Directives are the primary means to establish, communicate, and institutionalize policies, requirements, responsibilities, and procedures for Departmental elements and contractors.

Why do we need directives?

Directives facilitate the achievement of the Department of Energy’s strategic and operational goals and help ensure safe, secure, efficient, cost-effective operations and compliance with applicable legal requirements.

What are the different types of directives?

Policies establish high level expectations in the conduct of the Department’s mission impacting two or more Departmental elements.
Orders establish management objectives and requirements and assign responsibilities for DOE Federal employees consistent with policy and regulations. Requirements must be unique to DOE and must avoid duplicating information from other directives or any existing legal source.
Notices have the same effect as Orders but are issued in response to Departmental matters requiring prompt action to establish short-term management objectives.
Manuals supplement other directives, laws, and regulations, or other requirements by providing more instructions or details on how the provisions of these directives or laws must be carried out throughout DOE.
Guides provide acceptable, but not mandatory, means for complying with requirements of an Order or rule.

When is a directive in effect?

A directive is in effect after it has been approved by a person with signatory authority and published.

When is directive updated?

Directives must keep pace with statutes, regulations and organizational change and are periodically reviewed to ensure that they remain current and relevant. Significant changes in statute or regulation may trigger directives review or revision.

Who owns a particular directive?

Offices of primary interest (OPIs) have been assigned for each individual directive. The OPI is the office under which lies the majority of interest or subject matter expertise.

Who should read directives?

Everybody should read and understand directives because they increase agency efficiency and protect you from harm and liability.

How do I know if a directive applies to me?

Your supervisor should be able to tell you if a particular directive applies to you.

How are new directives developed?

The OPI conducts an analysis and obtains approval for developing a draft directive document. The draft is reviewed by various offices and routed for formal approval. The directive is then implemented when published.

How do I know if I am using the most current version of a directive?

The most current version of a directive is available on the Directives listing for Current Directives. Archived directives are available for a historical perspective and are clearly marked as such. Be sure to check directives that you may have printed or saved to your computer to ensure that the version you have saved remains current.

If I need clarification on a directive, who should I contact?

Your supervisor should be able to assist you. You can also use the Contact Form.

What should I do if I want to comment on a directive?

Your comments and input are welcome. There is a Feedback form at the bottom of each directive window.

If I have idea for a new directive or for changes or revisions to existing directives, who should I tell?

Each contractor, field office and Headquarters program office has an assigned Directives Point of Contact (DPC). You can tell your DPC. If the idea has merit, your idea can be elevated for potential implementation.

What is the relationship between directives and Technical Standards?

Some directives invoke technical standards as requirements. A technical standards crosswalk is available in References.

What is the DNFSB?

The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, an independent agency of the U.S. established in 1988 to oversees DOE's nuclear weapons complex. The DNFSB reviews the content and implementation of health and safety standards at DOE Defense Nuclear Facilities. The board also makes recommendations to the President and Secretary of Energy regarding health and safety issues at Defense Nuclear Facilities. Find a list of Directives of interest to the DNFSB is in DOE O 251.1C, Appendix C.

What is the Directives Review Board (DRB), what is its role in the Departmental Directives Program, and who are its members?

DOE O 251.1C, Departmental Directives Program, established the DRB to ensure that directives are consistent with Departmental standards and to add value to the Department's business processes and operations. DRB members are: the Director, Office of Management (Chair), who represents the interests of MA and organizations not otherwise represented on the DRB; representatives of the Offices of the Under Secretaries of Energy, Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration; the Office of General Counsel; and the Office of Health, Safety and Security. Advisory members represent the National Laboratory Directors and the Field Management Council.

What is a Justification Memorandum (JM)?

A JM is a formal request for directive development, revision, cancellation or certification submitted to the DRB by the Office of Primary Interest (OPI). Each JM addresses purpose, justification and impact of the directive. The OPI submits the JM to the Office of Information Resources (MA-90) and the DRB Liaison schedules it for discussion at an upcoming DRB meeting where it is expected that the OPI will present justification. The DRB reaches consensus on the proposed action.

How are directives series numbers determined?

Directives are numbered according to the topic addressed. Revised directives are numbered by adding letters to the numbers. For example, the first order that defined the Directives Program was DOE O 251.1. There have been three revisions to the current version which is DOE O 251.1C

What is the expected cycle time for developing a directive?

The directives process includes preparing the JM, developing the directive, review and comment, and approval of a final draft that is posted for informational purposes and approval by the DRB. The Deputy Secretary signs formal approval. Standard processing time is 150 days as shown in the table below. Note that directive development stops when the directive is sent to the DRB for final submission to the Deputy Secretary for approval. Extension to standard processing time must be approved by the DRB.

Standard Schedule for Directives Development


Responsible Party

# Calendar Days

1. Draft Development


Up to 60

2. Review and Comment (RevCom)

Interested Parties


3. Comment Resolution



4. Final Review



Total Processing Time


How does an organization obtain an exemption from directive requirements?

If available, specific exemptions are listed in the directive along with a procedure for requesting exemption. See DOE O 251.1C, Appendix E.

What is the difference between an equivalency and an exemption?

An equivalency is an approved alternative to how a requirement is met (applicable when the “how” is specified). An exemption is release from one or more requirements in a directive.

When I open a document, how can I make it come up in a separate window?

If you right click on your mouse, you will see options for opening the file or a PDF in a separate window.

Who should I contact when I have comments/questions on an approved directive?

Contact the writer via the Feedback mechanism. On the new portal, select Directives -> Current and choose the directive of interest. The Feedback option is at the bottom of the page.

Where does my feedback go?

Feedback goes to the writer and site administrator for review. Approved feedback will be published with the document.

Certain directives have expired. Are they still in effect?

Yes, with the exception of Notices, which expire one year after the approval date. Expiration dates, which are no longer in use, were at one time reminders for issuing organizations to review their directives.

If my directive is 4 or more years old and still current and relevant, how do I get it certified?

In the Directives Tools link on the new portal, you will find a template for a Certification Letter that includes instructions. Complete the process defined in the template, and submit a hard copy to the Office of Information Resources (MA-90) in room 1G-033. MA-90 will send your Certification Letter to the DRB for consideration.

I've been asked to review a document in RevCom. What is my next step?

Access RevCom at

Hint: You may want to bookmark this page or add it to your favorites in your browser.

  • Choose SME or Reviewer as your RevCom Role.
  • Log in using your email address for the username. You do not need a password. If prompted, select your organization/office/group from the pull down menu available after you log in. All of your comments will be sent to the Directives Point of Contact (DPC) for this organization.
  • Click on a document title in the "Open for Comment" section to begin adding your comments.

Use the Review Documents Guide for step-by-step instructions.

Guide Summary: Documents in RevCom are broken up into sections, then into paragraphs or subsections. Each subsection has an "Add Comment" button at the bottom.

  • Click on "Add Comment" below any section and a text editing box will appear. You can:
    • type comments as text or
    • use the "Copy Text" feature to copy the sub paragraph into the text editing box to make editorial changes.
  • Save each comment by choosing "Save Comment."
  • Click on the "Submit" button in the top left portion of your RevCom screen to enter your submission. Follow the instructions on your RevCom screen.

Guide Summary: Documents in RevCom are broken up into sections, then into paragraphs or subsections. Each subsection has an "Add Comment" button at the bottom.

  • Choose the type of comment (Major, Essential, or Suggested)

Can I see other organizations' comments?

Yes. Once any organization's Directives Point of Contact (DPC) has submitted the organization's official comments package, those comments are visible for all RevCom users. Choose Reports > Quick or choose the Custom option.

Is there a process for dealing with unresolved comments?

Yes. When the DRB does not reach a consensus or the OPI cannot resolve a conflict, the Impasse Process is activated. The process is defined in the Directives Tools for the types of directives. You can also contact your DPC or your OPI for assistance.

I often have no comments or find the document I've been asked to review is not applicable to my organization. What should I do?

For your participation to be on record, we recommend that

  • SMEs/Reviewers
    • Click the "Submit" button in the top left of your RevCom screen.
    • Choose the "No Comment" option.
  • DPCs
    • Go directly to the document in RevCom and select the following:
  • Submit Comments
  • "No Comments"
  • Confirm your selection

How do I get a user ID and password to access RevCom?

If you are a subject matter expert (SME) or reviewer, you log in to RevCom using your email address. Only DPCs and Delegates require user IDs and passwords. After your management assigns you as a DPC, you will receive a email with instructions for having your account activated. You can use the Contact Form to request a username. You will receive email from Technical support with instructions for setting your own password. If you are a delegate, the DPC who assigned you to that role will have your username and will send the Technical Support email for setting your password.

How do I assign other reviewers in my organization to review a document in RevCom?

DPCs can assign reviewers from their lists of SMEs and delegates.

To create a list of potential reviewers

  • Login to RevCom
  • Choose Accounts>Create Users from your RevCom Menu
  • Choose the reviewer role you are creating (Reviewer or SME or a delegate)
  • Enter a reviewers complete email address (Check your work)
  • Click on "Save and New"
  • Or, for delegates, choose Accounts > Create Users > Delegate, enter requested information and assign a user ID. The system will generate email for setting the password.
  • Start over again to add additional reviewers

To assign reviewers from the list you have created

  • Choose Document>List from your RevCom Menu
  • Choose the document you would like to assign to a reviewer
  • Choose Version>Assign User from your RevCom menu
  • Select all of the reviewers you wish to assign from your list
  • Click on "Assign Users" at the bottom right of your screen
  • Click "Notify" in the "Currently Assigned" column
    • Enter any specific instructions to your reviewers in the provided text box
    • Click on "Notify" at the bottom of the screen to send the notification

Your reviewers will receive an automatic notification with their specific due dates inviting them to participate in the review process. SMEs/Reviewers cannot officially assign other users via RevCom. They can:

  • Contact the local DPC to request another reviewer's assignment
  • Direct other reviewers to this FAQ page

How can I change my RevCom password?

  • If you have forgotten your password, you will see "Forgot your password?" below where you would enter it. The system will take you to a site where you enter your username and the system sends you an email with instructions for resetting your password.
  • If you think that your password has been compromised or you wish to change it for any reason, after you have logged in, select the Settings menu and choose Change password, and you will be sent to a page where you will enter the new password twice. The next time you log in, you will have to use the new password.
  • If you need assistance with setting or changing your password, send a request for assistance to
  • Click here for Password Complexity Rules.

I need an alternate or backup to serve as coordinator for me at times when I am unavailable. Should I assign a delegate?

Delegates assist DPCs in user assignment and comment coordination. Normally, the work of the Delegate should be reviewed by the DPC prior to submitting the final comments package; however, RevCom provides the option to automatically submit the Delegate's work when the comments are due. To activate this feature, contact Technical Support or call 505-663-1302.

I need a report with all of the comments from my organization for my supervisor to approve prior to my final submission. Where do I find that?

Once a DPC has selected a set of comments for inclusion in the organization's comment package, a "My Organization Comments" is available. This is the ideal report for supervisor approval.

  • When you are in the document, choose Reports>Quick>My Organization Comments.
  • You can display the report onscreen or in an Excel file.

Where can I get training on RevCom?

  • When you have logged in choose Help > RevCom Help to find user guides, short videos, and other training resources.

If you would like one-on-one training, please contact RevCom Technical Support at 505-663-1302, or use the Contact Form to send an email request.

Can contractors submit comments?

Yes, DOE contractors may submit comments via RevCom through their Directives Points of Contact. (See DPC listing).

If a directive does not apply to my organization, do we have to submit comments?

No. However, you should register your participation in RevCom by clicking on the "Submit" button in the top left portion of your RevCom screen then choose the "No Comments" option.

How do I get an extension on my due date?

A due date extension is granted only for special or rare circumstances. SMEs/reviewers should contact their local DPCs for extensions; DPCs should contact the Directives management team using the Contact Form or call RevCom Technical Support at 505-663-1302.

Explain the difference between an "Activity" and a "Document" and explain how they relate to review and response and other phases.

The "document" is the draft directive that is being reviewed. RevCom breaks up the workflow for a document into different activities or phases; for example, Review and Comment, Comment Response, etc. The "activity" (phase) name follows the document title after the last comma. (Doc ID, Doc Title, Activity Name) Each activity or phase has its own reporting options, but all activities within the same workflow (document) share reference materials. This is important to know if you are working on a concurrence, for example, and want to see the comments and responses from the "Review and Comment" phase. In this case you need to actually find the "Review and Comment" activity in the document list on your primary RevCom screen (usually under "Review Completed"). In the Reports menu, choose Custom and in the form that follows make the following selections.

  1. Both
  2. Top Organizations (or the top level organization in your org chain for all accepted comments within your org only)
  3. None
  4. No
  5. Yes
  6. All Paragraphs (or preference)
  7. No (or preference)

Use the Contact Form or call RevCom Technical Support at 505-663-1302, if you need assistance.

How do I find/Print a comment response report?

In the Document List, select the document in its "Review and Comment" activity (usually under "Review Completed"). In the Reports Menu, select Custom and in the form that follows, select the following options and print the report:

  1. Both
  2. Top Organizations (or the top level organization in your org chain for all accepted comments within your org only)
  3. None
  4. No
  5. Yes
  6. All Paragraphs (or preference)
  7. No (or preference)

Use the Contact Form or call RevCom Technical Support at 505-663-1302

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The mission of the Department of Energy is to assure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.  Available online, the DOE Corporate Overview - 2012