Education and Training

IRPA promotes excellence in the practice of radiation protection through national and regional Associate Societies for radiation protection professionals. Education and Training (E&T) is a key factor in establishing effective national radiation protection programmes. The IRPA E&T Plan has three objectives:

  • cooperation with international and regional organizations dealing with E&T in Radiation Protection;
  • internal stimulation of E&T by organizing discussion forums during IRPA Congresses; and,
  • stimulation and support to the organization of E&T activities either by IRPA or by its Associate Societies.

IRPA encourages its members to undertake common E&T activities by two or more Associate Societies; to promote E&T networks between Associate Societies sharing language or having regional proximity; and to activate the emergence of activities to attract young generations to the profession.

Radiation Protection Expert (RPE)

The International Labour Organization (ILO) established in 1957 the first International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO). ISCO is a tool for organizing jobs into a clearly defined set of groups according to the tasks and duties undertaken in the job. This classification is periodically revised and updated. In the last classification, ISCO-08, ILO has included a new Unit Group in which the RPE is given as an example of registered occupations: ISCO-08 Draft definitions.

IRPA definition of Radiation Protection Expert

In context with the ISCO-08 classification of the RPE the IRPA Executive Council (2004-08) elaborated the following definition:

1.An RPE is a person having education and/or experience equivalent to a graduate or masters degree from an accredited college or university in radiation protection, radiation safety, biology, chemistry, engineering, physics or a closely related physical or biological science; and

2.who has acquired competence in radiation protection, by virtue of special studies, training and practical experience. Such special studies and training must have been sufficient in the above sciences to provide the understanding, ability and competency to:

  • anticipate and recognize the interactions of radiation with matter and to understand the effects of radiation on people, animals and the environment;
  • evaluate, on the basis of training and experience and with the aid of quantitative measurement techniques, the magnitude of radiological factors in terms of their ability to impair human health and well-being and damage to the environment;
  • develop and implement, on the basis of training and experience, methods to prevent, eliminate, control, or reduce radiation exposure to workers, patients, the public and the environment.

3.In most countries the competence of radiation protection experts needs to be recognized by the competent authority in order for these professionals to be eligible to undertake certain defined radiation protection responsibilities. The process of recognition may involve formal certification, accreditation, registration, etc.