Requirements External to the Practice

Radiation ProtectionRadiation Protection Adviser (RPA)

The Radiation Protection Adviser is responsible for providing the Employer with advice in relation to aspects of IRR17, including examination of plans to install new or modified x-ray equipment, periodic testing of controls and safety features, checking of systems of work, the radiation risk assessment, designation of controlled areas, dose investigation level, dose assessment and recording, contingency plans, staff training and quality assurance programmes (see Quality Assurance).The RPA must be on the list of ‘Current holders of the RPA 2000 Certificate of Core Competence to Act as a Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA) under IRR17’, as compiled by RPA2000 [1], which is the assessing body recognised by the Health and Safety Executive. The person or company who carries out your safety assessment testing (see Routine Testing and Maintenance)should be able to provide someone to act as your RPA (e.g. the Medical Physics Department at a local hospital, or other provider of accredited RPA services).

Medical Physics Expert

The Employer must ensure that, under IR(ME)R, a suitable Medical Physics Expert (MPE) is appointed and involved in the practice’s radiation work. The Department of Health and Social Care, as the competent authority for medical exposures, have appointed RPA2000 as a suitable assessing body to assess the competence of individuals wanting to act as MPEs. RPA2000 maintain a register of recognised MPEs [1]. The MPE provides advice on, for example, the measurement and optimisation of patient dose, the application and use of Dose Reference Levels (DRLs) selection of suitable x-ray equipment and ancillary equipment and equipment quality assurance.

Consult and appoint, in writing, an external Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA), to provide advice on IRR17, including in the appointment the scope of the advice which the RPA is required to give. Refer to the ‘Guidance Notes for Dental Practitioners on the Safe Use of X-ray Equipment’ [2] for full details of what is to be included in the scope of advice provided.

Appoint, in writing, an external Medical Physics Expert (MPE). An RPA may be able to act as an MPE or suggest an appropriate person.

Keep a written record of the appointments in the Radiation Protection File.


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Sources of Information

  1. List of Certificate HoldersRPA2000
  2. Guidance Notes for Dental Practitioners on the Safe Use of X-ray Equipment(2nd edition) (2020) Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK)