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Radiation use licence for X-ray operators

Anyone who operates radiation apparatus to perform diagnostic or therapeutic procedures on humans must hold a use licence issued under the Radiation Safety Act 1999.

X-ray operators use plain film diagnostic X-ray equipment to perform a limited range of plain film diagnostic radiography involving the irradiation of a person, but do not have formal qualifications in diagnostic radiography.

There are 3 types of X-ray operator licences:

Rural and remote licences are restricted to areas specified in the licence (usually by local government areas or Hospital and Health Services). These licences are necessary because rural and remote areas often don't have access to diagnostic radiographers. Applicants for the rural and remote licences must demonstrate that the licence is needed on clinical and health service provision grounds.

Chest and extremities

This licence is available to registered medical practitioners in metropolitan areas. In rural and remote areas, it is also available to:

  • registered nurses
  • enrolled nurses
  • other health sector employees as approved by Queensland Health.

This licence permits plain film diagnostic radiography of the chest and extremities. Radiography of the shoulder joints and hip joints is not included.

Competencies

The competencies required are usually obtained in 2 stages:

  • Stage 1: knowledge of diagnostic radiography of the chest and extremities
  • Stage 2: practical skills and competency to perform diagnostic radiography of the chest and extremities.

Applicants who have demonstrated to a licensed diagnostic radiographer that they have attained the competencies in Stage 1 are eligible for a trainee X-ray operator licence. Only assessments made by licensed diagnostic radiographers approved by Radiation Health will be accepted.

Required competencies for chest and extremities (PDF 518 kB)

Rural and remote extended licence

In rural and remote areas of Queensland, this licence is available for:

  • registered medical practitioners
  • registered nurses
  • enrolled nurses
  • other health sector employees as approved by Queensland Health.

This licence permits plain film diagnostic radiography of the:

  • chest
  • extremities
  • cervical spine
  • shoulder joints
  • hip joints
  • abdomen.

The licensee must consult with a licensed diagnostic radiographer when radiography other than radiography of the chest and extremities is required.

Competencies

The competencies required are usually obtained in 2 stages:

  • Stage 1: knowledge of diagnostic radiography of the areas listed above
  • Stage 2: practical skills and competency to perform diagnostic radiography of the areas listed above.

Applicants who have demonstrated to a licensed diagnostic radiographer that they have the competencies in Stage 1 are eligible for a trainee X-ray operator licence. Only assessments made by licensed diagnostic radiographers approved by Radiation Health will be accepted.

Applicants can progress directly to Stage 2 and receive a trainee licence if they:

  • hold an X-ray operator chest and extremities licence
  • have the competencies mentioned in Item 7 of Stage 1 as attested to by a licensed diagnostic radiographer approved by Radiation Health.

Required Competencies for Rural and Remote - Extended (PDF 516 kB)

Rural and remote medical practitioner licence

This licence is available to registered medical practitioners in rural and remote locations.

It permits plain film diagnostic radiography of the:

  • chest (lung, ribs, and sternum)
  • spine
  • extremities
  • shoulder joints
  • hip joints
  • pelvis and abdomen
  • skull and facial bones.

The licensee must consult with a licensed diagnostic radiographer when radiography other than radiography of the chest and extremities is required.

Competencies

The competencies required are usually obtained in 2 stages:

  • Stage 1: knowledge of diagnostic radiography of the areas listed above
  • Stage 2: practical skills and competency to perform diagnostic radiography of the areas listed above.

Applicants who have demonstrated to a licensed diagnostic radiographer that they have the Stage 1 competencies are eligible for a trainee X-ray operator licence. Only assessments made by licensed diagnostic radiographers approved by Radiation Health will be accepted.

Applicants can progress directly to Stage 2 and receive a trainee licence if they:

  • hold an X-ray operator chest and extremities or an extended rural and remote licence
  • have the competencies mentioned in Item 7 in Stage 1 as attested to by a licensed diagnostic radiographer approved by Radiation Health.

Required Competencies for Rural and Remote – Medical Practitioner (PDF 494 kB)

Criteria for an X-ray operator licence

To apply for an X-ray operator licence, you must demonstrate that you meet the required competencies. This can be an examination or other assessment deemed acceptable by Radiation Health.

Only assessments made by licensed diagnostic radiographers approved by Radiation Health will be accepted.

Trainee licence

A trainee licence allows applicants to gain clinical competency in the diagnostic radiography permitted by the licence, under the supervision of a licensed diagnostic radiographer. A trainee licence is issued if the applicant has completed all of the training and assessment in Stage 1 but has not completed the clinical training.

Applicants who have completed a course not yet recognised by Radiation Health can submit details of the course for Radiation Health to consider. The course must meet required competencies for that licence type. If the course was conducted outside Queensland, the applicant will also need to pass an examination on Queensland's legislative requirements.

Before renewing their licence, trainee licence holders must submit the certificate of competency from a licensed diagnostic radiographer. If Radiation Health is satisfied with the certification, the 'trainee' status will be removed from the licence.

Submit your application

Make sure you provide all of the requested details of your training and prior experience. Otherwise your application will be delayed while we follow up the required information.

Submit to Radiation Health:

Application and licence fees

Fees are updated on 1 October each year and are detailed on the application form. The application fee is not refunded if the application is unsuccessful.

Renewing a licence

X-ray operator licences last for 1 year.

Applications to renew your licence must be made before your current licence expires. You must include certification from a licensed diagnostic radiographer which has been issued within the last 12 months that you are still competent in the range of diagnostic radiography permitted by the licence.

Only assessments made by licensed diagnostic radiographers approved by Radiation Health will be accepted.

Last updated: 26 July 2019