Radiation Safety

The Radiation Safety section of the Health Protection Service (HPS) helps enforce the principles of radiation protection.

In the event of an emergency, please dial 000.

The Radiation Safety section of the Health Protection Service (HPS) helps enforce the principles of radiation protection. This includes the process of Justification, Optimisation and Limitation.

We are responsible for the following outcomes:

  • ensuring radiation exposures to the community are As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA)
  • issuing Radiation Licences and the registration of Radiation Sources
  • regulating the use, supply and service of ionising and non-ionising radiation sources in medical, research and industrial applications
  • regulating the safe use, transport, storage and disposal of radioactive substances
  • providing scientific and technical advice about radiation safety to the ACT community, the Chief Health Officer, and the Minister for Health

We also manage the Radiation Protection Act 2006  and the Radiation Protection Regulation 2007 .

Please contact us for more information on 02 5124 9700 or hps@act.gov.au. Our fax number is 02 5124 5554.

Find us at the Howard Florey Centenary House, 25 Mulley Street, Holder, ACT 2611.

Radiation safety news and updates

Amendment of the Radiation Protection Act 2006

The Radiation Protection Amendment Act 2022 commenced on the 10 September 2022, updating the Radiation Protection Act 2006 and the Radiation Protection Regulation 2007.

The Amendment Act introduced the following changes:

  • the ACT Chief Health Officer (CHO) is responsible for decisions about applications for licences, source registrations and regulation activities
  • the Radiation Advisory Committee replaced the ACT Radiation Council.  The Committee will provide expert advice to the CHO on radiation safety matters
  • all owners of regulated radiation sources require radiation management plans and are required to appoint Radiation Safety Officers
  • improved registration and licence details maintained on the ACT’s radiation register and allowance for the CHO to publish certain information held on the register if beneficial to public interest
  • improved ACT Health regulation of radiation safety with a focus on education and engagement, and the introduction of improvement and prohibition notices to address significant radiation safety risks

ACT Health will continue to engage with registration owners and licensees to assist them in achieving their radiation safety obligations. 

The Amendment Act is a result of a legislative review of the Radiation Protection Act 2006 (the Act) by the ACT Health Directorate in 2018. View a copy of the report.

Free access of the Amendment Act is available on the ACT Legislation Register: Radiation Protection Amendment Act 2022. 

To learn more about the amendments, please contact the Health Protection Service on (02) 5124 9700 or email hps@act.gov.au.

What’s new in occupational licensing – Automatic Mutual Recognition (AMR)

If you are licensed to deal with radiation sources in your home state (where you live or complete most of your work activities), you may be eligible to work in the ACT under the Automatic Mutual Recognition (AMR) Scheme.

The AMR scheme allows workers who hold an occupational registration or licence in one Australian state or territory, to work in other Australian states or territories without needing to apply for a separate licence or pay additional fees.

Find more information regarding AMR for people living in the ACT.

You will need to set up an ACT Digital Account and notify the ACT Government of your intention to work in the ACT via an online form.

If you are not eligible or don’t wish to use the Automatic Mutual Recognition Scheme but you wish to work in the ACT, the Mutual Recognition Scheme may be another option for workers from another state wishing to work in the ACT.

To learn more about AMR, visit the Access Canberra website for additional information and guidelines, or to speak to someone about AMR, contact the Health Protection Service on 5124 9700 or hps@act.gov.au.

Information sharing provisions under the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (Cth) (MR Act)

Under the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (Cth), ACT Health must share information with other local registration authorities in States and Territories that cover the activity including:

  • information in connection with a person’s automatic deemed registration (ADR), including:
    • the person’s name and address;
    • information identifying an individual’s ADR;
    • the fact that disciplinary action, including preliminary investigations that might lead to criminal, civil or disciplinary proceedings, is being taken in relation to the ADR;
    • whether suspension or cancellation of the ADR would be subject to an appeal; and
    • information relating to the reason for taking or considering the action.
  • information authorised or required under local licensing legislation for the registration.

ACT Health will manage your personal information in a manner consistent with the ACT Health Directorate Information Privacy Policy. The Privacy Policy is a requirement under the Territory’s Information Privacy Act 2014.

For the most up to date information on AMR and how it applies in the ACT please follow the link below:


Radiation Safety Training

The Canberra Hospital offers an annual radiation safety course for medical practitioners in fluoroscopy.

The course is suitable for medical practitioners in cardiology, urology, gastroenterology, orthopaedics, pain management and related disciplines.

Please contact us for more information.

Radiation Advisory Committee

The ACT Radiation Advisory Committee is established under the Radiation Protection Act 2006. The Committee provides expert and specialist advice to the Chief Health Officer on referred radiation safety matters, including licence and registration applications.

If you are submitting a new licence or registration application, please note that your application may be referred to the Committee during the application assessment process. You will be notified by the Radiation Safety section if your application is referred. The Committee meets approximately every 6 weeks.

Further information can be obtained by contacting the Secretariat for the Radiation Advisory Committee on 5124 9700 or hps@act.gov.au.

By post: Secretariat, Radiation Advisory Committee, Health Protection Service, Locked Bag 5005, Weston Creek ACT 2611

Personal Radiation Monitoring

Personal Radiation Monitoring is required for anyone who is likely to be exposed to ionizing radiation in excess of 1 mSv in any one year.

The ARPANSA Radiation Protection Series document RPS 1, Recommendation for Limiting Exposure to Ionizing Radiation (1995), states that “operators and employers are responsible for ensuring that a radiation monitoring program is developed and followed, as required by the appropriate authority”. This Code has now been withdrawn and replaced by the ARPANSA Code for Radiation Protection in Planned Exposure Situations (2016) RPS C-1 and Monitoring and Reporting is covered in section 3.3.3.

The ARPANSA Code of Practice for Radiation Protection in the Medical Applications of Ionizing Radiation (2008) states that:

  • The Responsible Person must ensure that a personal radiation monitoring device supplied by a Personal Radiation Monitoring Service, approved in accordance with the criteria specified in the National Directory for Radiation Protection, is provided to each occupationally exposed person who is likely to be exposed to ionizing radiation in excess of 1mSv in any one year.
  • The operator must wear:
    • all personal protective equipment provided by the Responsible Person where applicable to the procedure; and
    • a personal radiation monitoring device where provided by the Responsible Person.

In addition, the ARPANSA Planned Exposure Code (2006) states that the Responsible Person must arrange for appropriate radiation monitoring to the extent necessary to:

  • demonstrate the effectiveness of the measures for protection and safety
  • assess external radiation doses.

Further to these requirements, in the ACT the following Personal Radiation Monitors and area monitoring is required:

  • Dental practices which have OPG and/or CBCT units must have ongoing area monitoring at the operator position.

    In addition to this requirement, dentists and dental assistants must be able to demonstrate that they have undertaken a minimum one year period of appropriate radiation monitoring at the practice.

    In the case of intraoral units, a PRM ‘badge’ may be hung from each controller* instead of staff members having their own ‘badge’. After 12 months and provided the dose reports indicate a negligible dose received by each staff member, or the badge at the intraoral unit controller location, this aspect of the monitoring can be discontinued.

    *Please note that using this method the dose will not be attributable to a particular member of staff.

  • Veterinarians and Veterinarian Nurses/Veterinarian Assistants, who deal with a Radiation Source, require personal radiation monitoring (PRM).
  • Ongoing Personal Radiation Monitoring (PRM) is required for medical imaging staff who are likely to be exposed person to ionizing radiation in excess of 1 mSv in any one year.
  • Ongoing Personal Radiation Monitoring (PRM) is required for Radiation Oncology staff who are likely to be exposed person to ionizing radiation in excess of 1 mSv in any one year.
  • Ongoing Personal Radiation Monitoring (PRM) is required for Soil Technicians and those involved in Industrial radiography.
  • The operators of Baggage Scanners and Security Devices utilising X-rays do not require Personal Radiation Monitoring (PRM).
Page last updated on: 12 Sep 2022