Choosing a Radiation Protection Adviser
It is clear from the current UK HSE Statement on Radiation Protection Advisers (RPA) that core competence is essentially recognised by either assessing bodies (e.g. RPA2000 / BNFL scheme), or by undertaking a N/SVQ level 4 in Radiation Protection Practice. The statement is derived from the Euratom Basic Safety Standards Directive (96/29/Euratom) which requires member states to have Qualified Experts.
HSE criteria clearly states that whilst the RPA demonstrates competence, it is up to the employer to satisfy themselves that the RPA is suitable to give advice appropriate for specific uses of ionising radiations. This requirement is also clearly stated in the UK Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999. In addition, the UK regulators for the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 appear to have settled on the term 'RPA' as meeting the description of a Qualified Expert. This has appeared in recent authorisations which require provision for consultation with suitable RPAs.
Determining suitability may well be an established practice within the nuclear industry. But what of the small user in the non-nuclear sector, perhaps just starting out using ionising radiations? How do they assess suitability as they are legally required to do? Should they rely on a prospective RPA telling them they are suitable? Do they require seeing a CV, or perhaps undertaking an interview? Who takes the lead and who really makes the decision for the radiation employer?
This new article explores these issues and provides some advice and guidance for the radiation employer. It will allow the radiation employer to pause and make a valid judgement on what they need from their RPA.
The guidance can be found on our Technical Compliance Articles page page.