Radiation user licence - guidance for course providers

Guidance for course providers seeking approval of radiation safety courses

Course providers who wish to have a course assessed by the EPA for licensing purposes need to provide comprehensive details of the course to the EPA for assessment.

To apply to have a course assessed, download and complete the form Application for course providers seeking approval of radiation safety courses for the purposes of licensing (PDF 444KB).

Course providers are encouraged to consider the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) guidance material on how to conduct effective assessments when developing courses and undertaking assessments.

Approved courses will be included on the EPA list of courses recognised as being a suitable qualification for the purpose of obtaining a specific radiation user licence (condition) that allows the use of regulated material for a specified purpose. All courses that are approved for licensing purposes by the EPA may be reviewed at any time to ensure that they continue to meet the desired training needs for which approval was initially granted.

To be able to assess the courses appropriately, the following information is required.

Documentation

Course title

The course title should accurately reflect the course content.

Course provider details

Details should include the name, address and Australian Business Number (ABN) of the course provider.

Entry requirements for applicants

If entry into the course requires any pre-requisite training or qualification and/or experience then these need to be detailed on the application form. For more information refer to user licence criteria.

Licence type (condition)

The type of activities the person is being trained to undertake and the type of EPA radiation licence (condition) the course is intended to apply to must also be stated on the application form.

Core knowledge

The course must contain a minimum set of subjects as core knowledge to ensure the applicant is familiar with the basic principles of radiation safety and protection.   

The appropriate level and length of the course will depend on the specific licence type (condition) that it is designed for. As such the amount of time devoted to core knowledge will vary accordingly.

The course should include the following elements at a level appropriate to the licence type (condition) being targeted, in some cases certain licence types may not require the inclusion of all the elements listed below:

  • Structure of matter: atoms, mass number, atomic number, isotopes.
  • Radiation: alpha, beta, gamma radiation and neutrons; radioactive decay; natural and induced radioactivity (cosmic radiation, radiation from terrestrial sources, radioactivity in the body and human sources of radiation); units of radioactivity; penetration power of radiation; interaction of radiation and matter.
  • Radiation dose: absorption of energy and ionisation; absorbed dose; equivalent dose and effective dose; dose rates; relationship of units.
  • Radiation detection and measurement: absorption of energy and ionisation; absorbed dose, equivalent dose and effective dose; dose rates; relationship of units; detection and measurement.
  • Biological effects of radiation: basic physiology and cell biology (DNA, etc.); interaction of radiation with living cells; deterministic and stochastic effects.
  • External hazard: time, distance and shielding; neutron sources; radiation monitoring and record keeping.
  • Internal hazard: routes of entry; annual limit of intake (ALI); control of contamination and monitoring; radiotoxicity and treatment of contaminated persons.
  • Radioactive waste: consequences of waste; liquid, gas and solid discharges; regulations governing disposal of radioactive waste.
  • Radiological protection: system of radiological protection; ICRP103; dose limits; NSW and Australian legislation, standards and codes, etc.

Practical and practical assessments

Competency based practical training and practical assessments should be included in courses and details of this included on the application form submitted to the EPA.

Certificate of attainment

A copy of the course certificate that will be awarded to individuals who have successfully completed the course needs to be included with the application form. The certificate must contain the course title; the provider's name and ABN; the date(s) the course was run; the participant's name; a unique certificate serial number; the date of issue; the signature of the course provider or nominee and position in company.

Any other relevant information (such as the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) provider registration or whether the qualifications offered are based on training packages or accredited courses recognised anywhere in Australia) should also be included with the application form.

Course educational aspects

General course objectives

The course objectives and the expected outcomes should be stated and be reflected in theoretical and practical assessments.

Content

A reasonably detailed account of the course content and a copy of the course manual (as provided to the participants) must be provided, including a description of the core knowledge requirements.

Course content – what to consider:

  • consider the type of person attending the course and ensure the material is targeted to licence type (condition) being sought, the applicant’s needs and skill sets. Generic material that covers radiation safety only is not appropriate.
  • The course content, presentation and assessment must target the licence type (condition) that the course is being considered for.
  • where pre-course study is provided, check that it is appropriate to the course objectives. If a generic manual is used, indicate the specific sections applicable to the licence use.
  • prioritise the course time to the topics needed to work safely with radiation.
  • ensure the course topics use the current terminology and radiation units used in Australia.
  • include references to NSW legislation.
  • some licence types require a more “hands on” rather than theoretical approach to safety, and this should be recognised in the course delivery. 

Presentation

Brief details of how the course is to be delivered (i.e. components given as lectures, practical, correspondence, web-based study, etc.) should be included in the application form.

A pdf copy of the course presentation (slides) should also be included with the application. All material provided to the EPA is kept confidential.

Assessment instrument

A copy of the final assessment instrument should be provided, together with a brief description of the assessment process (including practical and written parts, whether open or closed book, etc.). The theoretical and practical assessments should test both core and specialised knowledge for the targeted licence type (condition) and the pass mark or grade must also be stated.

Reference material

References to any material used in the compilation of the course must be provided. The content of the course should be reviewed at regular intervals and any references updated. Please ensure reference material such as codes and standards are current.

Training staff and course coordinator

A list of the training staff involved in the program and their qualifications and relevant experience must be supplied including information on the person with responsibility for the content and assessment of the course.

It is expected that course training staff have subject matter expertise in the particular licence type (condition) that the course is aimed at.

Course management

Entry criteria

Course providers may set entry criteria for particular courses.

Appeals policy

Each provider must have an appeals procedure for assessments and course participants must be informed of the appeals process.

Duration

The duration of the course should be specified.

Location

The location of the course should be specified (there may be multiple locations or variable locations).

Review

If any significant changes are made to the content, then the course should be resubmitted to EPA for review. The provider may wish to make significant changes to the course, depending on factors such as technological advances, etc.

Records

A course provider should keep records, including course documentation; participant attendance, signature and assessment results; certificate serial number; example certificate issued; and review dates.

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