Who is the Radiation Protection Supervisor (RPS)?

The Radiation Protection Supervisor is appointed by the employer to oversee the work and make sure local rules are followed. The RPS might also play a key role in meeting the conditions imposed by the environment agencies via environmental permits and certificates of registration and authorisation. The RPS should be in a position to supervise the work.

Health and Safety Regulation

The Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive and are concerned with the safety of individuals who may be exposed to radiation at work. The RPS is appointed under these regulations, which also specify that anyone appointed to the role of Radiation Protection Supervisor must be trained:

"Training is also needed where the employer arranges for employees to perform particular functions required by these Regulations"

Work with Ionising Radiation
Guidance to the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017
Paragraph 273

The training must also be relevant to the work being supervised:

"The RPS should receive appropriate training under regulation 15 to carry out the task adequately. The training will need to reflect the complexity of the work being done"

Work with Ionising Radiation
Guidance to the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017
Paragraph 366

Radioactive Substances Regulation

An employer who is authorised by one of the UK's environment agencies to keep radioactive material or accumulate or dispose of radioactive waste, must comply with the conditions in the authorisation. For permit holders in England and Wales, this includes the general management condition, which states:

"The operator shall manage and operate his activities using sufficient competent persons and resources"

and for permit holders in Scotland:

"You must ensure that anyone carrying out duties that may affect compliance with your authorisation is suitably trained and experienced"

The RPS will often take a lead in supervising the radioactive sources, and in helping their employer meet the authorisation conditions.

Refresher training

"Refresher training should be scheduled at regular intervals to maintain competence levels. In addition, employers should review employees capabilities and provide additional or refresher training for employees as needed"

Work with Ionising Radiation
Guidance to the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017
Paragraph 284

In practice, this means that refresher training should be considered if:

  • new and different radiation work begins;
  • new legislation is introduced;
  • the RPS has not been active in the role for a period of time; or
  • it has been about 3-5 years since the initial training.
Our portfolio of courses addresses the need for RPS training in a range of workplaces and for a range of applications. We hope you find one that is right for you. If you are not sure or would like to discuss your specific situation, please contact us and we would be happy to advise you.