How to set up and maintain your radiation business
Queensland radiation businesses need to meet the regulatory requirements set out in the Radiation Safety Act 1999 and Radiation Safety Regulation 2021. This requires the business and staff to hold particular licences, approvals and certificates, called Act instruments.
As a business owner you will need these radiation licences, approvals and certificates at different stages of business operation:
- Setting up your radiation business
- Running your radiation business
- Transporting radioactive substances
- Disposing of or relocating your radiation sources
Overview of radiation roles and responsibilities describes each of the roles mentioned in the process to set-up and maintain your radiation business.
Setting up your radiation business
When you are setting up your radiation business you will need to follow a process to ensure you have the required licences, approvals and certificates.
Before your business can begin operating you will need:
- Possession Licence—to take overall ownership and control of a radiation source
- Radiation Safety and Protection Plan—details how radiation risks are managed in the radiation practice
- Approval to Acquire—to get a radiation source
- Certificates of Compliance—verify radiation sources and premises comply with relevant safety standards
- Radiation Safety Officer—monitor compliance with the Radiation Safety Act 1999 and provide guidance for improving radiation safety to the possession licensee
- Use Licence—use a radiation source to perform a radiation service, procedure or other purpose.
Running your radiation business
Once you have your radiation business set up you will need to make sure staff licences and certificates remain current. For example, staff operating radiation equipment need to renew their Use Licence every 1-3 years.
Continued management of your radiation business will involve:
- Licence and certificate renewal—required every 1-3 years
- Certificates of Compliance—required every 1-5 years to reassess if radiation sources and premises comply with relevant safety standards
- Approvals to Acquire—required every time you seek to purchase or otherwise obtain a radiation source.
Third party authorisation
A licensee can authorise a third party to represent them in relation to their licence under the Radiation Safety Act 1999 or associated matters by applying for a third party authorisation (PDF 131 kB).
By requesting third party authorisation, the licensee acknowledges that the nominated representative may be required to seek or provide information about their licence. It’s the licensee’s responsibility to stay informed on any actions taken by the nominated third party representative.
A licensee needs to be aware that they may be liable in the event that the nominated third party representative knowingly or intentionally gives false, misleading or incomplete statements or documents.
For full consent and liability information, refer to the Authorisation for a third party to act for a licensee under the Radiation Safety Act 1999 form (PDF 131 kB).
Applying for and removing authorisation
To request third party authorisation, complete the authorisation form (PDF 131 kB) and submit to the Health Protection Branch within the Department of Health, submission details can be found on the form.
Once the authorisation is granted, it will remain in place until it is formally withdrawn by the licensee. Complete and submit the authorisation form (PDF 131 kB) to withdraw a third party arrangement.
Transporting radioactive substances
If you seek to transport a radioactive substance you will need to hold a Transport Licence.
You can apply for a licence to transport radioactive substances by road, air, sea or rail within Queensland. A Transport Licence can be for 1, 2 or 3 years.
- an individual may hold a licence to transport radioactive substances by road—they will be the person in charge of the vehicle
- a company or an individual may hold a licence to transport radioactive substances by air, sea or rail.
Disposing of or relocating your radiation sources
You will need to follow a process to dispose of your radiation sources or relocate them to a place outside of Queensland. These requirements are set out in Radiation Safety Act 1999 to ensure that no harm or unnecessary radiation exposure occurs as a result of the disposal or relocation.
There are different processes depending on what you seek to do:
- Dispose of radiation equipment
- Dispose of radioactive material
- Relocate a radiation source to outside of Queensland
See below for more information on what each step is, when it will be required and where to complete it:
A person (either a corporation or an individual) will need to hold a Possession Licence to be allowed to take overall control and ownership of a type of radiation source for a radiation practice. You will need this arrangement in place before you can start the process for an Approval to Acquire or licence to use a radiation source.
Radiation Safety and Protection Plan
A proposed Radiation Safety and Protection Plan (Plan) for the radiation practice will need to be submitted with the application for a Possession Licence. The Plan details the arrangements you will put in place to safely manage the radiation in the workplace and remain compliant with the Radiation Safety Act 1999.
Approval to Acquire
To purchase or otherwise obtain a radiation source the possession licensee will need to apply for and be granted an Approval to Acquire. An approval is needed every time you seek to acquire a new radiation source for your business.
The approval process helps to ensure the necessary safety measures are in place before the possession licensee takes overall control and ownership of the radiation source.
Certificates of Compliance
Before anyone can perform a radiation practice you will need to verify that the radiation source and premises comply with the relevant radiation safety standard.
- using the radiation source
- storing radioactive substances.
Search the public register for a list of accredited persons
You can search the public register for a list of individuals who are able to assess if your type of radiation source or premises complies with the relevant safety standard.
Radiation safety officer
You will need to appoint a Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) for the business before a radiation practice can be carried out. The RSO will perform a range of functions to ensure radiation safety and continued compliance with the Plan for the radiation practice.
Before staff use the radiation source, they will need to hold the appropriate Use Licence issued under Radiation Safety Act 1999. The licence details what radiation source the licensee can use, and the radiation practice they can perform.
The Possession Licensee has the overall control and ownership of the radiation source and specifies which appropriately licensed staff members can use the radiation source.
Dispose of radiation equipment
If you seek to dispose of your radiation equipment you will need to ensure it is rendered permanently inoperable, incapable of being repaired and incapable of producing radiation.
Dispose of radioactive material
If you seek to dispose of radioactive material and the concentration or activity of a radionuclide is more than the maximum concertration calculated using section 9, 10, 11 and 12 of the Radiation Safety Regulation 2021 you will need an Approval to Dispose.
Section 9, 10, 11 and 12 of the Radiation Safety Regulation 2021 detail the concentration limits for disposing of radioactive material into the air, water, sewage system or other environment.
Approval to Relocate a radiation source to outside of Queensland
If you seek to relocate a radiation source to a place outside of Queensland, you will need to hold an Approval to Relocate.
You need to ensure the person taking possession of the radiation source has met the necessary requirements to possess the radiation source in their jurisdiction before your transfer ownership to them.