Radiation Protection Education and Training in Cyprus
The main uses of ionising radiation in Cyprus are in the medical field. Some industrial sources include level gauges, moisture and density gauges that are used in the canning and construction industries. These are very few in number and contribute an insignificant amount of radiation exposure to the population.
Therefore this summary will concentrate in the legal requirements for radiation protection education and training in the medical field.
The national legislation for radiation protection of the republic of Cyprus, in relation to the medial uses of ionising radiation, states that practitioners and operators cannot expose persons for medical purposes or to carry out any practical aspect without having adequate theoretical and practical training for the purpose of radiological practices, as well as relevant professional qualifications in the field of radiological protection.
In one of its appendices it gives a list of the minimum requirements for appropriate training or education of practitioners and of operators in radiological protection issues. This appendix is reproduced in the appendix of this summary in the English language.
Although it is a legal requirement for the practitioners and the operators to have a minimum education and training this is not so in practice. There is not a consistent and planned implementation of the above legal requirement. Very few organisations of institutions provide radiation protection education and training. A description of these follows.
- Universities and other education institutions
In the past 15 or so years a number of universities and colleges offer medical, nursing radiographer courses. For the first two, in their curriculum there is very little or no learning outcomes on ionising radiation of radiation protection. It is up to the individual lecturer to include elements of these into his lectures. For the radiographer courses there is enough material to cover the local legal requirements.
- The Cyprus Association of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering (CAMPBE)
Since its foundation in 1985, the Cyprus Association of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering (CAMBPE) has provided comprehensive radiation protection courses for all the users of ionising radiation and especially in the medical field. In the early years this was an annual event lasting for a week, in the later years this takes place only upon request from professionals seeking such education and training. These courses are tailor made for the professional group interested and cover the syllabus given in the legislation and more.CAMPBE also organises national and international conferences and almost always there are sessions on radiation protection and the uses of ionising radiation in the medical field in collaboration with other local organisations such as the Radiological Society, Dentist association, Cyprus Society of Nuclear Medicine as well as international organisations such as the IAEA, EANM and EFOMP.
- The Medical Physics Department of the Nicosia General Hospital
The Medical Physics Department (MPD) of the Nicosia General Hospital provides medical physics services to all the public hospitals. Among these services is the continuous radiation protection education and training of all the healthcare professionals at the required level. It runs a number of such courses each year.The MPD also organises national and international events that include radiation protection sessions in collaboration mainly with CAMPBE but also with WHO, IAEA, EFOMP and EANM.
Most of the above courses provide only a certificate of attendance. Some of them were recognised by the Radiation Protection Competent authority and have included examination of the participants and the certificates issued were used for conformance with the legal requirements.