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Using radiation in Australia

Using radiation in Australia

In Australia the use of radiation is regulated by various government bodies in accordance with internationally accepted principles of safety, protection and security.

For medical radiation practitioners the use and management of radiation is an essential and integral part of practice. For any one patient there are a number of practice considerations that will be impacted by the safe use of ionising radiation.

The Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice describe the minimum capabilities for practice in the profession. Practitioners must understand and apply the Board’s requirements for managing the radiation protection, safety of patients, colleagues, the public and the environment.

Medical radiation practitioners must also understand and apply the Code of Conduct (in particular Appendix A) which describes the elements of good medical radiation practice.


The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), part of the United Nations, and which Australia is a member state, works with governments around the world in establishing radiation and nuclear safety and security arrangements with the aim of protecting people and the environment from the harmful effects of ionising radiation.

The IAEA has published a number of documents the provide guidance in relation to the use of ionising radiation in healthcare. For more information visit IAEA’s Radiation Protection of Patients website.


The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) is the Australian Government’s lead agency with responsibility for protecting the health and safety of people, and the environment, from the harmful effects of radiation (ionising and non-ionising). ARPANSA is also responsible for the development and implementation of conventions, codes and standards relating to radiation and nuclear safety.

ARPANSA has a range of guidelines that assist practitioners to understand their obligations in relation to protecting patients, colleagues and the general public from the risks of ionising radiation.

Document name  PDF  Accessible format  Document date 
Protection Against Ionising Radiation  PDF (556 KB) Web page February 2014 

States and Territories

To use radiation in the provision of health services most States and Territories require that practitioners hold a radiation use license.

If you intend on using radiation in your practice you must enquire with the local State or Territory authority about their requirements for licensing (details below).

Health Protection Service
ACT Health Directorate 
Telephone: (02) 6205 1700
Fax: (02) 6205 1705
Email: [email protected]  

Environment Protection Authority 
Telephone: (02) 9995 5959
Fax: (02) 9995 6603 
Email: [email protected]   

Radiation Protection Section
Department of Health 
Telephone: (08) 8922 7152
Fax: (08) 8922 7334
Email: [email protected]  

Radiation Health
Department of Health 
Telephone: (07) 3328 9310
Fax: (07) 3328 9622
Email: [email protected]

Environment Protection Authority
Telephone: (08) 8463 7826
Fax: (08) 8124 4671 
Email: [email protected] 

Radiation Protection Unit 
Dept of Health and Human Services 
Telephone: (03) 6166 7256
Fax: (03) 6222 7257
Email: [email protected]

Department of Health 
Telephone: 1300 767 469
Fax: 1300 769 274
Email: [email protected]

Radiological Council 
Telephone: (08) 9388 4999
Fax: (08) 9382 0701 
Email: [email protected]

Page reviewed 26/07/2021