Do I need a RPA (Radiation Protection Adviser)

Under the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (IRR17), in practically all circumstances there is a legal requirement to at least consult with an RPA in respect of working with ionising radiations (be that electrically generated x-rays or radioactive materials). Radioactive materials will include work with substances that are considered naturally occurring (mineral sands, ceramics based on zircon sand and similar).

In most cases there is a requirement to make that consultation more formal. For large organisations like the Nuclear Industry, the RPA is likely to be ‘in-house’. For smaller organisations, or larger organisations where work with ionising radiation only forms a small part of the business, it is more likely that the RPA will be appointed externally – normal under contract.

A useful test is this: if you need to register your radiation work with HSE, or apply for a consent (for higher risk radiation sources), then you will need a Radiation Protection Adviser. Some useful resource can be found at the following HSE page: Notify, register or consent (HSE). Some additional HSE guidance on the application process can be found here: Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 - Guidance for Notifications, Registrations and Consents (HSE).

Do you need a Radiation Protection Adviser for your company? Visit our RPA service page.

The definition of 'safe' is not strictly an engineering term; it's a societal term. Does it mean absolutely no loss of life? Does it mean absolutely no contamination with radiation? What exactly does 'safe' mean?

– Henry Petroski -