Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Managing radiation in NSW

Radiation user licence: exemptions and supervision requirements

Exemption from holding a user licence for certain types of regulated material

The Radiation Control Regulation 2013external link(the Regulation) allows a person to be exempt from having to hold a user licence in respect to the following types of regulated material:

  • radioactive substances specified in Part 1 of Schedule 3 of the Regulation
  • ionising radiation apparatus specified in Part 3 of Schedule 3 of the Regulation.

A person who uses regulated material (that is not exempt under Part 1 and 3 of Schedule 3) must hold a radiation user licence OR hold an approval that exempts them from holding a user licence.

Employers and users of regulated material responsibilities

Employers among other things must ensure that all employees who use regulated material hold:

  • an appropriate user licence to use that regulated material, or
  • are issued with an exemption approval that exempts them from requiring a radiation user licence.

A person who uses regulated material must:

  • hold a radiation user licence and comply with any conditions to which the licence is subject, or
  • hold an approval that exempts them for licensing and comply with any conditions to which the approval is subject, including supervision requirements.

If an employee contravenes any provision of the Act or the Regulation, the employer is also considered to have contravened the same provision.

Who is exempt from requiring a user licence, and supervision requirements for exempted persons

The table below shows the class of persons exempt from holding a user licence (once an exemption approval is granted) and the respective level of supervision they must be provided.

Persons exempt from holding a radiation user licence

(An exemption does not have effect unless the person holds an approval to be exempt and complies with the conditions of the approval including supervision requirements)

Supervision requirements for persons exempt from holding a user licence

Code

A medical registrar at a hospital and is training in any of the following:

EA1

Nuclear medicine

Immediate supervision at all times during their first six months of training, and general supervision after that period

EA2

Diagnostic radiology

EA3

Radiation oncology

EA4

Fluoroscopy

EA5

Ophthalmology

EA6

Dermatology

EA7

Rheumatology

A student in medical radiation technology and is a trainee technologist in any of the following:

EB1

Nuclear medicine

Immediate supervision at all times while the person is using regulated material to which the approval relates during clinical experience in the course of training, and general supervision at all other times.

 

 

EB2

Diagnostic radiology

EB3

Radiation oncology

Assistant industrial radiographer

EC1

An assistant to an industrial radiographer

Immediate supervision at all times.

A student in a university or other educational institution involved in the use of regulated material, who is one of the following:

ED1

An undergraduate student undertaking course work or research

Immediate supervision at all times while the person is using the regulated material in any clinical situation, and general supervision at all other times.

ED2

A postgraduate student undertaking research or higher studies

General supervision at all times.

See supervision definitions below for this category.

Registered nurse

EE1

A registered nurse injecting radiopharmaceuticals at a hospital who is required to inject radiopharmaceuticals by that hospital (but only if a person who is the holder of licence which enables the injection of radiopharmaceuticals is not readily available at the hospital)

General supervision at all times.

Medical officer

EE2

A medical officer injecting radiopharmaceuticals at a hospital who is required to inject radiopharmaceuticals by that hospital (but only if a person who is the holder of licence which enables the injection of radiopharmaceuticals is not readily available at the hospital)

General supervision at all times.

Dental professions in relation to use extra-oral x ray apparatus with intra-oral image receptors for dental diagnostic purposes

A person registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law to practise in the dental profession (other than as a student) as a dentist, a dental therapist, a dental hygienist or an oral health therapist, and is registered in the corresponding division of that profession, and meets all applicable requirements of the Code of Practice and Safety Guide for Radiation Protection in Dentistry in relation to the use of the apparatus

N/A

 

A person registered as a student in the dental profession under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law

Immediate supervision at all times while the person is using the apparatus during clinical experience in the course of training, and general supervision at all other times.

Note: This applies to students in a dental profession that use extra-oral x-ray apparatus with intra-oral image receptors for dental diagnostic purposes.

Definition of supervision

  • general supervision means supervision by a qualified person who oversees the person being supervised and ensures that the person follows safe radiation work practices in relation to the use of regulated material.
  • immediate supervision means supervision by a qualified person who is present at all times during, and is observing and directing, the use by the person being supervised of regulated material.

Supervision by a qualified person

A person who grants an approval must ensure that each person so approved is supervised by a qualified person.

A qualified person, in relation to supervision for a particular regulated material, means a person who is the holder of a radiation user licence that allows the person to provide supervision with respect to that regulated material.

Dental professions

In relation to dental professions a qualified person means a person who:

  • is registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law to practise in the dental profession (other than as a student) as a dentist, a dental therapist, a dental hygienist or an oral health therapist, and is registered in the corresponding division of that profession, and
  • meets all the applicable requirements of the Code of Practice and Safety Guide for Radiation Protection in Dentistry as published by Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency.

Who can grant an approval for an exemption

A person who holds a user licence may grant an approval to exempt a person from holding a user licence if they can meet the following criteria:

  • must have a General Approval to Exempt from Licensing condition (GE1) on their user licence which permits them to give approvals to certain persons to exempt them from requiring a radiation user licence, and
  • must be in a position to directly supervise the person seeking an exemption from licensing, or ensure that the person is appropriately supervised by another licensee.

How can I obtain the condition of licence to grant an approval for an exemption

Persons requesting the addition of the GE1 condition to their existing radiation user licence, which will allow them to grant an approval to exempt certain persons from holding a user licence, must:

  • complete the application to vary user licence requesting the GE1 condition and provide the code and stating the class or classes of persons to be exempt from holding a user licence (see table above) i.e. code: EA1 Classes of person to be exempt: medical registrar's at a hospital training in nuclear medicine, and
  • include with their application form a letter from their employer or their delegate (a person in a management position) stating their name and position, and details of the person seeking the GE1 condition confirming:
    • their name, position(s) and place(s) of employment
    • that they will be in a position of authority over those to be exempted from holding a radiation user licence and those who will be directed to supervise them.

Sole traders or autonomous managers, such as a Dean of Studies, Head of Research at an institute or Department Head of a teaching hospital, may also apply for the condition under their own name together with the above details.

What should the written approval for an exemption contain

The approval must:

  • be in writing
  • specify the regulated material to which it relates
  • set out any additional conditions to which it is subject
  • identify each person, or class of persons, to whom it relates
  • identify the person or persons, or class or classes of persons who are to supervise each person, or class of persons, to whom it relates. For example, radiographers are to supervise student radiographers undertaking clinical experience or use the individuals' names.

Distribution and display of exemption approval

The person who gives an approval must ensure that a copy of the approval is:

  • given to each person to whom it relates, or
  • conspicuously displayed at each place in which the regulated material to which the approval relates are proposed to be used.
Page last updated: 29 March 2017