University of Strathclyde/AURPO
This course was developed by the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of Strathclyde and the Association of University Radiation Protection Officers (AURPO) in collaboration with the Health and Safety Executive and RPA 2000. It has recently been revised to cover the additional requirements of the Environment Agencies and the need for Radioactive Waste Advisers.
Course notes are benchmarked to the level of knowledge specified by the HSE and the Environment Agencies.
Entry criteria for the course are 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 effective Radiation Protection Officers (RPOs) and those who aspire to be Radiation Protection Advisers (RPAs) or Radioactive Waste Advisers 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. RPA 2000.
All students will be 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 will be 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).
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:
1 Basis of Radiation Protection
2 Basic Atomic Physics and Radiation Biology
3 Detection and Measurement of Radiation
5 Sources of Radiation, Practices and Interventions
6 Control of Exposure
7 Organisation of Radiation Protection
8 Management of Radioactive Materials and Waste Disposal (including other relevant legislation and practices)
Throughout the Units the authors have set various activities to be carried out, and in some cases guidelines as to which should be attempted and returned to your tutor for assessment.
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 RPA 2000, and guidance on portfolio development will be given by tutors if required. Portfolios should follow the latest RPA 2000 guide - http://www.srp-uk.org/rpa2000/
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 RPA 2000. Individual needs should be discussed with tutors. It may be that someone within the course can assist and by helping could gain evidence for his or her own Portfolio. Whatever work is submitted it needs to be validated.
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 cost of doing the course in 2015/16 is £1,700.00. The course in itself does not guarantee RPA/RWA accreditation but should enable successful students to produce an acceptable portfolio for RPA 2000.
For further information, contact SCOSH at the University of Strathclyde or Trevor Moseley at the University of Sheffield.
Further information on the course can also be found at the Centre for Lifelong Learning website: http://www.strath.ac.uk/cll/cpd/healthsafety/radiationprotection/