The Radiation Protection Adviser
The UK Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 require employers who carry out work with ionising radiation to appoint a Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA). The RPA provides the employer with expert advice on radiation protection matters. The RPA is the UK equivalent of the Radiation Protection Expert. RPAs must be appointed for all applications other than very minor ones eg ionisation chamber smoke detectors, very small amounts of radioactive material. The RPA must be certificated by RPA 2000, an independent accreditation body, and must hold a first degree or equivalent, or have obtained degree level knowledge from work activities.
The Radioactive Waste Adviser
In the UK, any employer holding a permit under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 or an authorisation under the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 to accumulate or dispose of radioactive waste is required to appoint a Radioactive Waste Adviser (RWA). Radioactive waste advisers are specialists in radioactive waste disposal and environmental radiation protection.
As is the case for RPAs, RWAs must be certificated by RPA2000.
The Radiation Protection Supervisor
The UK Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 require employers who carry out work with ionising radiation to appoint a Radiation Protection Supervisor (RPS) to supervise work with radiation and ensure local rules are being followed. This person may also be given the responsibility for source accountancy, record keeping etc. This role is the UK equivalent of the Radiation Protection Officer.
UK legislation does not specify a specific level of training for the RPS, it merely states that the RPSs must receive appropriate training to enable them to carry out their role effectively. However, a range of organisations do provide training events specifically aimed at RPSs; see below.
There is, currently, no requirement for national recognition or certification for RPSs. The employer is responsible for determining the appropriate persons to act as RPS.
As with RPSs, UK legislation does not specify the training required for radiation workers, but requires that sufficient training and information be provided to enable the person to carry out the job safely.
Description of the different courses and Radiation Protection education system
RPAs and RWAs are required to have a core level of radiation protection knowledge, which is specified by the relevant UK regulators. Several training providers including PHE provide training courses to specifically cover the required core of knowledge.
A range of training providers offer courses of varying durations for RPSs. The course durations and content are very dependent on the target audience and the nature of the radiation applications.
List of training institutes or general webpage(s)
The accreditation body for RPA certification is RPA 2000. Further information on the RPA certification scheme is available on the following website: http://www.srp-uk.org/index.php/radiation-protection-advisers