Radiation Safety 1 (SPE155)

20 credits

Aim of this module

Radiation Governance Framework

To understand the management of radiation safety in a healthcare organisation.

Patient Dose Assessment and Optimisation

 To enable the trainee to undertake the assessment of patient dose and implement interventions to optimise imaging systems.

Diagnostic Radiology: Equipment Performance

To enable the trainee to manage the testing and performance of a wide range of diagnostic X-ray systems.

Laser and Ultraviolet Equipment

The trainee can participate in measurements to characterise a range of non-ionising (non-imaging) radiation sources.

Important information

The academic parts of this module will be detailed and communicated to you by your university. Please contact them if you have questions regarding this module and its assessments. The module titles in your MSc may not be exactly identical to the work-based modules shown in the e-portfolio. Your modules will be aligned, however, to ensure that your academic and work-based learning are complimentary.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically appraise the legislation and guidance that applies to ionising radiation safety.
  2. Discuss the physical processes behind image formation in diagnostic radiology.
  3. Explain the normal and pathological appearances of images and identify common imaging artefacts.
  4. Discuss the physical principles and operation of radiographic equipment.
  5. Explain the factors that affect system performance.
  6. Explain the principles of operational radiation protection.

Indicative Content


  • Mathematical and physical principles behind the formation of the image:
    • radiographic images (film, CR, DR, fluoroscopy)
    • transaxial imaging CT
    • mammography
  • The physics of radiation interactions with matter in diagnostic radiology
  • The key parameters that define optimal image quality for a range of clinical/research applications

Legislation and Guidance

  • Quantities and units (including dosimetry underlying regulatory quantities)
  • Basis of radiation protection standards (e.g. epidemiology, linear hypothesis for stochastic effects, deterministic effects)
  • International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) principles:
    • justification
    • optimisation
    • dose limitation
  • Practices and interventions (including natural radiation, especially radon)
  • Legal and regulatory basis:
    • international recommendations/conventions
    • European Union legislation
    • Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999
    • Ionising Radiations (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2000
    • Approved Code of Practice and Guidance Notes
    • Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010, High Activity Sealed Sources (HASS) Regulations 2006 and other relevant Health and Safety Regulations. NaTsCo security requirements
    • Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2000, Amended 2006
    • The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2004
    • Exemption Orders
    • other relevant legislation
    • detailed knowledge and understanding of other key documents (ARSAC/MARS, MHRA/GMP, GCP/GLP, etc.), national and local SOPs, policies and procedures
    • competent authorities

Operational Radiation Protection

  • Types of sources (sealed, unsealed, X-ray units, accelerators)
  • Hazard and risk assessment (including environmental impact)
  • Minimisation of risk
  • Control of releases
  • Monitoring: area, personal dosimetry (external, real time and internal), biological
  • Critical dose concept/dose calculation for critical group
  • Ergonomics (e.g. user-friendly design and layout of instrumentation)
  • Operating rules and contingency planning
  • Emergency procedures
  • Remedial action/decontamination
  • Dealing with radiation incidents and incident reporting
  • Analysis of past incidents, including experience feedback
  • Record keeping
  • Security
  • Accumulation of waste
  • Wipe testing
  • Instrumentation and limitations


  • The appearance of the radiographic image
  • Common imaging artefacts
  • Results from analyses (e.g. qualitative, quantitative) and the context in which they were acquired
  • Radiation risk and communication of that risk to patients, staff and members of the public


  • Design principles and operation of radiographic imaging equipment
  • Assessment of system performance and perform comparative evaluations
  • Quality assurance and quality control
  • Dosemeters and contamination monitors, equipment for measuring patient dose
  • Radiation protection for diagnostic X-rays, radiotherapy and nuclear medicine, including:
    • biological effects
    • protection quantity and units
    • risk factors and dose limits
    • risk-benefit, cost benefit analysis
    • radiation working areas
    • protection instrumentation
    • engineering control