EUTERP Newsletter issue 23 - December 2020
Associates’ meeting : Initial impact of COVID19
The Board hosted an online meeting for EUTERP Associates on the 5th November. The meeting, our first meeting for Associates since the workshop in Malta, was well attended with some 25 participants from 20 Associates represented.
In addition to providing Associates with updates on support activities, the opportunity was taken to have a discussion session on the initial impact of the prevailing challenges to radiation protection training as a consequence of the COVID19 pandemic. The necessities of mask wearing, social distancing and the constraints on travel have all made the conventional approach to training delivery problematic and the Board was keen to provide a forum for providers to share initial experiences.
Each representative provided a brief summary of the perspective from their organization/country. It is certainly the case that many training providers are offering their courses as online versions or in some form of virtual environment in order to keep training accessible, but a significant proportion of providers are still offering training in-situ albeit with suitably adapted delivery. A summary of the main experiences and observations presented at the meeting is presented below.
Experience & Observations
What became very clear during the discussions was that there are many useful and effective tools and resources available to help providers build online or virtual training products. A library detailing the various tools, their specific applications and how to access them would be of value to providers. EUTERP is happy to collate information on this matter from Associates and include items in the “resources” part of the website under the E&T Centre tab.
While the initial impact of COVID19 on the provision of training was made clear, how training is provided in the future and, perhaps more importantly, what the impact (if any) on the effectiveness of training and ultimately on radiation protection and safety in practice was less clear; it is too early to tell.
This was an interesting and animated discussion and the Board is grateful to the Associates for their active contribution. The output of the meeting was shared with the full range of international organizations with whom EUTERP liaises on a regular basis. It was agreed that how the various challenges are best addressed will be a predominant future issue within the radiation protection community.
The slides that were presented to the Associates at the on-line meeting last month are available to download from the Associates cloud. Any Associate unable to access the cloud should contact the secretary for the connection details.
ETRAP 2021 online conference
The internal conference on education and training in radiation protection (ETRAP) is a well-established event bringing together all stakeholders in education and training in radiation protection. The first edition was held in Saclay in 1999, followed by meetings in Madrid (2003), Brussels (2005), Lisbon (2009), Vienna (2013), and Valencia (2017).
ETRAP conferences focus on policy matters related to education and training in radiation protection, as well as on best practices for outstanding contemporary delivery of efficient and effective knowledge and skills transfer. In addition, attracting talent to research and practices is an important element in the conference programmes, as well as outreach and networking. Since 2005 the conference organization is led by SCK CEN. EUTERP, IRPA and IAEA cooperate in the establishment of the scientific programme.
The 2021 edition was planned to be organized in Groningen, by SCK CEN and the university of Groningen. Due to the COVID pandemic, the scientific programme committee decided to hold an online conference with a reduced schedule. This edition’s theme is “Education and training in radiation protection in a virtual setting - challenges and opportunities”, focussing on the following items:
- What are the new didactic methods and methodologies to use in online training, with special attention to the challenges with regard to practical exercises.
- Tools for online teaching: what is working, what is not? Sharing of best practices.
- Communication: is the effectiveness of communication influenced by COVID-19 measures and tele-working?
- Is there an augmented use of social media and what is organized online for professionals and students to attract a new generation? Which formats excite them?
- Can online alternatives fulfil the legal requirements? Can competence building be established via online education and training and how to assess the learning outcomes?
The full programme will become available in February on https://www.etrap.net.
EUTERP Associates can apply for a reduction in the registration fee to ETRAP 2021.
Website and social media updates
Following the meeting with Associates last month, it was agreed that teaching resources would be collated on the EUTERP website for everyone’s benefit. This is particularly important in the current climate of multiple lockdowns with access to teaching being restricted. All readers of this Newsletter are encourage to send appropriate RP teaching resources with web links to the firstname.lastname@example.org so that they can be shared with our RP E&T community. Remote teaching experiences will be the theme of the ETRAP 2021 conference next March.
Every news item on the EUTERP website has the social media tags. Do please use these to promulgate the RP E&T messages to your social media contacts!
EUTERP national contact points
The EUTERP Board is very pleased to welcome Ulrike Kulka as the new NCP for Germany. Ulrike works at the EUTERP Associate BfS and so has her finger on the pulse of RP matters in Germany.
The Board would like to take this opportunity to express its sincere thanks to Ulrike’s predecessor, Annemarie Schmitt-Hannig for her support and enthusiastic contributions to the EUTERP over the last 10 years. Photograph taken in the gardens of the OECD headquarters in Paris in March 2019. Left to right, Nina Jug (SRPA), Penelope Allisy (EFOMP), Annmarie Schmitt-Hannig (ex-BfS) and Michèle Coeck (SCK CEN).