Association of University Radiation Protection Officers

Certificate of Professional Development in Radiation Protection

University of Strathclyde / AURPO Certificate of Professional Development in Radiation Protection

This course was developed in 2002 by the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of Strathclyde and AURPO with input from the Health and Safety Executive and RPA2000. Since then it has been continually updated by its team of experienced accredited specialists.

The course begins in September each year with applications opening in the preceding January.  Course notes are benchmarked to the level of knowledge specified by HSE and the environment agencies. Entry criteria for the course is a University degree in a physical science or acceptable alternative qualifications and relevant work experience. Participants should currently be working as Radiation Protection professionals.

The course is aimed at assisting people to be an effective Radiation Protection Officer (RPO) and those who aspire to be Radiation Protection Advisers (RPA) or Radioactive Waste Advisers (RWA) and need to demonstrate the required core of knowledge and core competencies in accordance with Annex 3 of the HSE Statement on RPAs and the EA / SEPA syllabus for RWAs. This course does not make people RPAs / RWAs, rather it is concerned with assessing and demonstrating core competencies that will assist them if they go on to seek accreditation as an RPA or RWA from an awarding body e.g. RPA2000.  All students are assigned a tutor to assist them through the course. All tutors are RPA and RWA accredited.

On successful completion of the eight assessed Course Units and 5 assignments, a Certificate of Professional Development is awarded by the University of Strathclyde, recognising academic achievement in accordance with the HSE basic syllabus (and EA / SEPA syllabus if undertaking the RWA assignment).

AURPO Membership  Those who register to study on the course will receive free Associate membership of AURPO for the duration of the course.  More about membership and how to join can be found on the membership page.

Core of Knowledge There are eight Course Units that can be downloaded from the University’s Virtual Learning Environment, MyPlace. These Units cover the HSE’s Basic Syllabus for the RPA and the EA / SEPA syllabus for RWA. The Course Units are released two at a time at 6 week intervals starting in September:

Unit Titles
Basis of Radiation Protection
Basic Atomic Physics and Radiation Biology
Detection and Measurement of Radiation
Sources of Radiation, Practices and Interventions
Control of Exposure
Organisation of Radiation Protection
Management of Radioactive Materials and Waste Disposal (including other relevant legislation and practices)

Various activities are to be carried out and, in some cases, assessments submitted.  Students must choose and submit five Assignments from a selection available. These Assignments will be published on MyPlace in December. They are designed to set scenarios where RPA advice is required. The Assignments are not Unit-based. There will be the opportunity to tackle a special assignment for those wishing to demonstrate the competencies required by an RWA. The assignments require the student to source and apply radiation protection information from various Units. In this way the Assessor can gauge if the student has sufficient academic knowledge and can apply it as a competent RPA/RWA.

Practical Competencies & Portfolio Development
Some candidates on this course are looking for assistance in building a Portfolio for submission to RPA2000, and guidance on portfolio development will be given by tutors if required. Portfolios should follow the latest RPA2000 guidance.  Assignments undertaken for the main part of the course may also be used to demonstrate some practical competencies that could be useful in a portfolio. Suitability in this case should be discussed with tutors.People may need experience outside their own establishment to satisfactorily demonstrate all the competencies required by RPA2000. Individual needs should be discussed with tutors.

Further Information
The course will involve a minimum of 120 hours study depending on prior knowledge and experience. Added to this will be the time to produce 5 assignments approx 2000 words each and suitably referenced. The course in itself does not guarantee RPA/RWA accreditation but should enable successful students to produce an acceptable portfolio for RPA2000.

Dr Mike Sobanski – Course Coordinator
Course Administrator | [email protected]