Radiation user licence - introduction

The Protection from Harmful Radiation Act 1990 and the Protection from Harmful Radiation Regulation 2013 provides for the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to license users of regulated material and for conditions to be imposed on the licence.

Regulated material means any of the following

  • radioactive substances
  • ionising radiation apparatus
  • non-ionising radiation apparatus of a kind prescribed by the Regulation
  • sealed source devices

An individual who uses regulated material must hold a radiation user licence and comply with any conditions to which the licence is subject. Note that individual user licences allow the licensee to use only the regulated material for which they have been found competent to use and only for that particular purpose.

The purpose of licensing is

  • to regulate, restrict or prohibit the use of regulated material to protect the community and the environment from exposure to radiation
  • to ensure that those who use regulated material meet certain minimum standards of expertise when using radiation.

A user licence that permits individuals to use regulated material can only be issued to individuals ('natural persons') not companies. A licence is valid for 1 year or 3 years.

‘To use' includes to operate, have in possession for use, handle or manipulate, or use in the course of manufacture.

Occupations that may require a licence to use include

  • chiropractors
  • dentists
  • general medical practitioners (remote operators)
  • medical specialists using fluoroscopy
  • nuclear medicine physicians
  • nurses (remote operators)
  • radiographers (medical diagnostic or therapy)
  • radiographers (industrial)
  • scientists
  • service engineers
  • technologists
  • tertiary lecturers
  • veterinarians

See Radiation user licence for information on applying for a user licence.

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