Radiation safety and protection plans
If you are applying for a possession licence, you must submit a proposed radiation safety and protection plan (RSPP) for your radiation practice.
A RSPP specifies the actions to protect people and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation as a result of the radiation source and practice.
RSPPs must be approved by Queensland Health.
What to include
As the RSPP must be followed by all persons involved in carrying out the practice, it is important that the plan is readily available and written so that it can be easily understood.
The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency has Codes of Practice and safety guides for specific radiation practices, which may assist in the development of a RSPP.
The RSPP should cover 4 main areas:
- Detail about, and an assessment of, the radiation hazards specific to the radiation practice and the radiation sources.
- Information about the organisational structure to illustrate appropriate accountability.
- Communication pathways and documentation required to provide the evidence that the radiation risk is being managed.
- Detail the training program for persons carrying out the practice.
- Detail the radiation safety and protection measures to be followed to prevent or minimise the health risks to any person arising from exposure to radiation from the carrying out of the proposed radiation practice; including incident response.
Assessment and improvement
- How the implementation of the measures is monitored and their effectiveness reviewed including reporting incidents and near misses.
- How systems are to be evaluated, reviewed and improved.
Measures to be included in a Radiation Safety and Protection Plan (PDF 81 kB) provides information on the what topics to include in a RSPP.
Standard RSPPs for small animal plain film veterinary diagnostic radiography (PDF 176 kB) and intra-oral dental diagnostic radiography (PDF 50 kB) are available.
These plans provide a simplified approach to assist small practices in gaining a licence to possess radiation apparatus, while still maintaining the desired level of radiation safety for staff, operators and anyone else involved in the veterinary diagnostic radiography practice.
If you are a small veterinary practice or small intra-oral dental practice, you may either:
- adopt and implement the standard plan with no further additions or amendment; or
- develop your own plan; or
- contact a consultant to assist you.
If you have identified that the standard plan is unsuitable for your practice (e.g. your practice encompasses multiple premises), you will need to develop your own radiation safety and protection plan to specifically suit your practice.
If you choose to adopt the standard plan, you simply need to:
- include the possession licence applicant’s name, and sign and date the plan, as indicated in the bottom left hand side of the plan; and
- submit the standard plan with your possession licence application.
A toolkit (PDF 36 kB) has been developed to assist licensees who possess intra-oral dental X-ray equipment in meeting their legislative responsibilities. These tools include various checklists and forms as identified in the standard RSPP.
Hiring a consultant
The preparation of radiation safety and protection plans may be assisted by procuring the services of a consultant. The following is a list of consultants who have advised the department that they are able to provide consultative services to assist applicants and possession licensees in the preparation of radiation safety and protection plans:
After the Radiation Safety and Protection Plan is approved
Once an RSPP has been approved, you must:
- implement the measures detailed in the document
- take all reasonable steps to ensure that users can access a copy of the RSPP
- ensure users undertake the training mentioned in the RSPP
- appoint a radiation safety officer to:
- identify and advise the possession licensee on whether the RSPP is being complied with
- regularly review the RSPP to ensure its continued effectiveness, and advise the possession licensee of any recommended changes.
Change the Radiation Safety and Protection Plan
Changes to a plan can be initiated in 2 ways:
- Possession Licensee can apply to change their approved plan by completing the application form detailing the proposed changes
- the chief executive can change a possession licensee's approved RSPP by giving written notice to the licensee. The possession licensee may make written submissions about any proposed changes.
Once the application is approved, the change to the plan takes effect on a specified date.
Within 14 days of the decision to change a RSPP, you must return:
- the RSPP incorporating the approved changes
- the licensee's possession licence.
Radiation Health will then re-issue the licence, listing the new approved RSPP.