Radiation user licence - guidance for course providers

Guidance for course providers seeking approval of radiation safety courses

Course providers who wish to have a particular course assessed by the EPA as to its suitability for licensing purposes need to provide comprehensive details of the courses to the EPA for assessment. Courses will be reviewed at intervals determined at the discretion of the EPA.

The EPA may recognise the completion of an approved course as being a suitable pre-requisite for obtaining a radiation user licence allowing the use of regulated material for specified purposes.

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

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


Course title

This should accurately reflect the course content.

Course provider details

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

Entry requirements for applicants

Does the course require particular qualifications and/or experience for entry?

Licence category

The type of activities the person is being trained to undertake and the category (or categories) of EPA radiation licence the course is intended to apply to should be stated.

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 course should be at an appropriate level and length for the particular licence. The amount of time devoted to core knowledge may need to vary according to the type of licence being sought. The course should include the following elements:

  • 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; ICRP 60; dose limits; NSW and Australian legislation, standards and codes, etc.

Certificate of attainment

A copy of the course certificate that will be awarded to individuals who have successfully completed the course is to be included. The certificate should 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 be provided.

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.


The duration of the course should be specified.


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


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.


A course provider should keep records, including course documentation; participant attendance, signature and assessment results; certificate serial number; example certificate issued; and review dates. Records must be kept available for inspection.

Course educational aspects

General course objectives

The course objectives and the expected outcomes should be stated.


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


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.

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 book, etc.). This assessment should test both core and specialised knowledge, 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.

Training staff and course coordinator

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

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