How to Become Authorized to Use Radioactive Material

For the Medical Use of Radioactive Material, go here.
STEP 1 - Complete necessary training
STEP 2 - Complete appropriate application
STEP 3 - Receive approval letter from EHS/Radiation Safety Committee

Training Requirements for Individuals Working with or in the Vicinity of Sources of Radiation

State regulations require that all individuals working with, as well as in the vicinity of licensed material or radiation producing equipment, must have adequate training and experience. Basic radiation safety training must be provided by the licensee (represented by Environmental Health & Safety).

Good training is the key to reducing and maintaining low exposures to individuals. Training allows an individual to make informed decisions regarding the acceptance of risk as part of his or her job and to use protective methods that will keep doses As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA), thus minimizing risks.

The following individuals must receive radiation safety instruction:

  • individuals who work with radioactive materials as part of their job or
  • routinely work with radioactive patients or
  • could receive a radiation dose that is equal to or greater than 10% of any applicable dose limit

All users must successfully pass an examination administered at UVA on radiation safety principles and practices.

You must receive instruction:

  • before assuming duties with or in the vicinity of radioactive materials or radiation producing equipment
  • during annual refresher training and
  • whenever there is a significant change in duties, regulation, and terms of the license or type of radioactive material or therapy device used.

Records of your training must be maintained and must include the date of the instruction or training, name of those receiving instruction and name of the instructor.

Individuals who have not completed training are not allowed to work independently with radioactive material. They may, however, work under the direct supervision of their Principal Investigator or Qualified User until they have completed their training requirements.

Individuals with no previous experience working with radioactive material, must satisfactorily complete the following.

  • Radiation Safety Training Course (RSTC). The RSTC is available online (log-in).
    • Note: The Radiation Safety Program Training for Research Personnel is part of the RSTC.
  • Radiation Safety Training Course Examination. The examination is part of the online RSTC (log-in).
  • an application for the category of user desired

Individuals with previous experience, requirements.

The Radiation Safety Training Course may be waived at the sole discretion of the RSO, or the Alternate RSO, based on the following:

  • The individual supplies documentation of training from the institution at which he or she was authorized to use radioactive material. A letter from that institution’s RSO or Radiation Protection Manager (RPM) must be provided that contains the following information:
    • A statement attesting that the individual attended and completed the Radiation Safety Training Course offered by that facility
    • A copy, or description, of the course syllabus
    • Duration of the course in hours
    • Date of the course
    • The RSO, or RPM, signature
    • This letter must be dated

The RSO is not bound to accept previous training even upon satisfactory evidence that a previous course was completed. Reasons for not waiving attendance at the UVA RSTC may be that the earlier training was not of sufficient scope or was over 7 years in the past.

  • If documentation of previous training is accepted and attendance at the UVA RSTC is waived, the individual will be required to satisfactorily complete the following:

Other individuals who may require training

Ancillary personnel such as housekeeping staff, dishwashers, etc. may require radiation safety training under certain conditions. Individuals working with other special sources may require specialized training. EHS provides customized training for these groups of individuals. Please contact EHS for further information if you think you fall into this category.

Before an individual can become authorized for use, they must register with Environmental Health & Safety (434.982.4911) and complete an application (form) for use. These applications are available below.

Radiation Safety Electronic Forms

You must return your completed application (form) to our office for review and approval!


  • Principal Investigator: The PI application will be reviewed by a Health Physicist, the Radiation Safety Officer, and two members of the RSC. If approved during this initial review, the application will be submitted to the RSC for vote of approval. Upon approval, the new user will receive a letter of authorization that is sent to him or her from the Radiation Safety Officer on behalf of the Radiation Safety Committee.
  • General User (GU) & Qualified User (QU) Applications: Applications for GU and QU status must be signed by the responsible PI. The application is reviewed by several members of the Radiation Safety Staff to ensure completeness and to determine that the laboratory will be adequately equipped to handle the materials described in the application. It is also reviewed to determine if the individual has completed the required training. If the application is determined to be complete, it is then reviewed by and approved by a staff Health Physicist and the RSO. The GU and QU applicants will be formally approved by the RSC at the next meeting.
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