New Practice Checklist

Whether you are opening a new practice, moving to new premises or simply want to check that you are complying with current radiation protection legislation use our comprehensive checklist shown below.

1. Notify the HSE

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) must be notified of the routine use of dental x-ray equipment and of any material changes to a notification i.e. change in ownership of the practice or a move to new premises. Re-notification is not necessary when x-ray equipment is changed or new equipment is obtained.

2. Name a Legal Person

Both IRR99 and IR(ME)R 2000 state that a Legal Person must be appointed. A Legal Person is a clearly defined person who takes legal responsibility for implementing both sets of regulations.

3. Appoint a Radiation Protection Advisor (RPA)

An RPA must be consulted and appointed in writing when the Legal Person requires advice in relation to IRR99.

4. Appoint a Medical Physics Expert (MPE)

An MPE should be appointed. An MPE is a person who holds a science degree or equivalent and who is experienced in the application of physics to the diagnostic and therapeutic uses of ionising radiation. An MPE would give advice in areas such as the measurement and optimisation of patient dose. An RPA can often act as an MPE.

5. Prior Risk Assessment

A risk assessment must be undertaken before work commences and be subject to review. Information on how to conduct a risk assessment and downloadable templates are available here.

6. Write the IR(ME)R Procedures

The Legal Person is required to provide a framework of written procedures for medical exposures. These include procedures to correctly identify the patient prior to radiography and to identify personnel entitled to act as referrer, practitioner or operator.

7. Appoint a Radiation Protection Supervisor (RPS) and write the Local Rules

When a controlled area has been designated the Legal Person must appoint one or more Radiation Protection Supervisors whose function is to help in ensuring compliance with IRR99 and in particular to supervise the arrangements set out in the Local Rules. These rules are intended to identify the key working instructions to ensure that exposure to staff is restricted.

8. Create a Radiation Protection File

A Radiation Protection File should be created to contain the IR(ME)R Procedures and Local Rules as well as any additional information and instructions relating to the Quality Assurance (QA) Programme. The Radiation Protection File should be reviewed periodically to ensure that it remains relevant and effective.

9. Organise a Critical Examination (CE) and Acceptance Test for all new or re-located x-ray equipment

It is the responsibility of the Legal Person to ensure that an adequate CE report is obtained and that the acceptance tests have been carried out. The acceptance tests determine whether the equipment is operating correctly and assess the dose to a typical patient.

10. Training for Practitioners and Operators

It is the Legal Person's responsibility to ensure that Practitioners and Operators are appropriately trained to the requirements stipulated in IR(ME)R.