Radiation Safety 2 (SPE156)

30 credits

Aim of this module

This module provides the trainee with the knowledge that underpins the specialist rotation in Radiation Safety in the third year of the MSc.

Non-Ionising Sources: Radiation Risks, Safety and Bioeffects

To advise safety requirements Healthcare Scientists.

Assess, Audit and Interpret Radiation Dose Monitoring

The trainee can assess environmental radiation monitoring results, staff doses and workplace monitoring, including doses to members of the public and the radiological impact in the environment.

Risk Assessment and New Facilities

To be able to risk assess a new radiation facility and advise on selection of equipment and room design.

Information and Communication Technology

Understand the radiation safety and diagnostic imaging implications of information and communication technology (ICT) processes.

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. Discuss the role of the radiation safety expert and the importance of safety culture.
  2. Explain the physical principles and safe use of non-ionising radiations used in healthcare.
  3. Design radiation facilities.
  4. Undertake optimisation of radiographic techniques.
  5. Discuss and evaluate the IT environment in radiation departments, including issues around interconnectivity of systems.
  6. Explain image display systems and their optimisation.

Indicative Content

Organisation of Radiation Protection

  • Role of qualified experts (e.g. medical physics expert, radiation protection advisor)
  • Safety culture (importance of human behaviour)
  • Communication skills (skills and ability to instil safety culture into others)
  • Record keeping (sources, doses, unusual occurrences, )
  • Permits to work and other authorisations
  • Designation of areas and classification of workers
  • Quality control/auditing
  • Dealing with contractors
  • Cooperation between employers
  • Patient-related issues; release of radioactive patients
  • ALARP re patient safety
  • Justification, optimisation, limits
  • Overexposure of patients and staff
  • Working safely within the range of radiation environments encountered in healthcare
  • Practitioner, operator and referrer training and duties

Radioactive Materials

  • Registration and authorisation of sealed and unsealed sources
  • Releases to the environment
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Best practical means
  • Waste management:
    • principles of management
    • principles of disposal
  • Transport

Non-Ionising Radiation

  • Sources – physical properties, interactions with matter, biological effects, measurement, clinical applications and safety of:
    • UV
    • intense light sources
    • lasers
    • infrared
    • microwaves
    • RF
    • electric and magnetic fields
    • US
    • MRI
  • Relevant guidelines, documents and standard operating procedures for safe practice with regard to the use of non-ionising radiation in the clinical environment
  • Safety issues and exposure limitations relevant to different patient groups
  • Rationale behind safety standards

Image Display

  • Hard copy and soft copy display systems
  • External factors affecting image displays
  • Quality assurance of image display systems
  • Image perception


  • Measurement and calculation of patient doses
  • Population exposures

Design of Facilities

  • Design of facilities for radiotherapy, diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine
  • Shielding calculations, design features and engineering controls
  • Cyclotrons and radionuclide production facilities


  • The requirements of equipment for calibration/QA, both generally and specific to each application
  • Appropriate methods for data reconstruction, pre-processing (e.g. registration, smoothing) and analysis (e.g. region of interest, curve generation)
  • Gated and time sequence imaging
  • The commissioning process for new equipment with reference to:
    • diagnostic radiology equipment
    • CT, including cone beam CT
    • mammography
    • radiotherapy/brachytherapy equipment
    • the critical examination
  • IT and networking
    • image analysis software
    • PACS
    • specialist patient management systems, e.g. cardiology systems, radiology information systems
    • networking and the network environment
    • system management, configuration control and software release
    • interoperability, DICOM RT, HL7 and messaging standards
    • links to hospital administration systems
    • legislative framework for IT, data protection
    • regulatory standards including IEC601 and the Medical Devices Directive as applied to software