- Radiation Protection Services
IRS have organised education and training courses in radiation protection and quality assurance throughout Europe on behalf of the Commission of the European Communities. This activity has taken place through IRS’s close links with the European Radiation Protection Education and Training (ERPET) programme. To date IRS has organised courses in France, Italy, Spain and Germany, as well as many in the UK.
Courses organised in recent years by IRS include:
IRS is an experienced training provider and has run courses for over 30 years ranging from basic to postgraduate level for all users of ionising and non-ionising radiation. IRS courses deal with all aspects of radiation protection that are required by employers for fulfilment of their legal duties under the Ionising Radiations Regulations (IRR) 1999 and Ionising Radiations (Medical Exposure) Regulations [IRMER] 2000, as well as more general aspects of the Health and Safety at Work Regulations.
IRS can provide courses either in Liverpool or elsewhere within the UK or Europe. Courses can be tailored to suit local needs, from half-day sessions that meet update and refresher requirements, or more in depth courses that may run for up to week. Courses provided routinely by IRS include:
However, IRS can cater for bespoke courses to meet individual requirements.
IRS staff have extensive experience (over 100 man years) in the organisation and delivery of training courses with an extremely large library of suitable teaching material. The Company’s in house training and CPD programme also ensures that our lecturers are fully up to date with current practices and thinking, providing the most up to date information to our clients.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has clearly indicated that for the human component of any safety system, training and competency are crucial elements. Consequently, since inception in 1984, IRS has integrated education and training into its portfolio of activities, which plays a key role in its protection advisory function.
Therefore, IRS has extensive experience in providing education and training programmes for both third parties as well as its own staff. Equally, IRS staff frequently contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate training programmes run by a number of universities. Staff are encouraged to contribute in a wide variety of presentation roles to courses and conferences organised by national and international bodies. These activities help to ensure that IRS staff possess a wide breadth of background knowledge and understanding associated with safety requirements in their fields of activity, as well as the necessary presentation skills to impart information effectively.
In October 1984, IRS staff ran the first Liverpool Course on radiation protection and quality assurance in diagnostic radiology, including nuclear medicine. More than 30 such courses have been run since, carrying accreditation by the College of Radiographers. In this period, over 1200 people from approximately 20 countries have attended. Delegate lists are often comprised of radiographers, physicists, government and university scientists as well as industrial representatives. Indeed, with the emergence of the European Communities Council Directive on patient protection in 1984, the course was taken as the basis for training in quality assurance and radiation protection in Europe by the European Radiation Protection Education and Training (ERPET) Programme. Under this Programme, courses were conducted in conjunction with local hosts in France (twice in Paris), Spain (Madrid), Italy (Udine) and Germany (Passau) in order to transfer knowledge and experience between Member States.
In 1994, IRS established a course on laser safety and integrated safety in Magnetic Resonance Imaging into the Liverpool Course. At this point, IRS began offering standalone training for local hospitals. In the intervening period, IRS have run courses nationally on risk management, in conjunction with the University of Keele, as well as Clinical Audit and Effectiveness in the PACS Environment in conjunction with staff from the Sheffield South West PCT.
As already indicated, training and competency are key requirements for the human elements of any safety system. Regulation 14 of the Ionising Radiation Regulations (IRR) 1999 is specifically concerned with information, instruction and training for all employees involved in the work with ionising radiation, including management. Training should be appropriate to the nature of the work and the needs of the individual. Employers are advised to consult their RPAs when planning information, instruction and training needs. Training records may be helpful to identify individuals’ further needs regarding training/refresher training.
Regulation 11 of the Ionising Radiations (Medical Exposure) Regulations [IRMER] 2000 indicates that no practitioner or operator shall carry out a medical exposure, or any practical aspect, without having been adequately trained. The keeping of records of such training is also covered by Regulation 11 of IRMER 2000, with Schedule 2 indicating adequate training content.
IRS has over 30 years of experience in the development and implementation of suitable training courses for users of ionising and non ionising radiations. The Liverpool Course, aimed at the medical field, is one of the longest running courses of its type in the world and is accredited by the College of Radiographers. IRS also regularly runs refresher and update courses for Radiation Protection Supervisors, both in Liverpool or elsewhere including a host’s site. These latter courses are aimed at persons involved in diagnostic and therapeutic activities, including nuclear medicine.
IRS is happy to develop bespoke courses to meet a customer’s specific needs and requirements and has extensive experience in tailoring courses for new and emerging activities that employ both ionising and non-ionising radiations.
As part of IRS’s IT development programme, e-learning packages within the field of radiation safety can be developed to suit a user’s needs and requirements.
IRS has extensive experience within the field of education and training, catering to all educational levels, from very basic to postgraduate. The process of education and training programme provision is enhanced by Company knowledge resources; IRS encompasses approximately 100 man-years of experience operating within the wide spectrum of radiation protection and allied subject matter. As a result, IRS can comprehensively fulfil most client needs at extremely competitive cost and excellent levels of service quality.
IRS, as an independent provider of scientific support services to users of ionising and non ionising radiations, has established its own in-house education and training programmes for all of its staff. For example, all IRS scientific and technical staff undertake a rigorous programme of training that involves three core elements:
IRS ensures that the structure and content of this training programme adequately fulfils both national (IPEM) and international (EFOMP) guidance on this important area. One of the key strategic aims of this training programme is to ensure that IRS has a supply of suitably trained scientific, technical and business management staff that can fully match its service provision in terms of both scope and content. The programme also ensures that staff are helping to develop their own future knowledge and capabilities in order to meet changing needs, thus helping to future-proof IRS’s customer requirements.
As well as a knowledgeable and competent workforce, the structure and content of the in-house training programme encourages and helps staff to develop new or improved products, services and management systems. Such improvement ensures IRS continues to provide a high level of customer support in an evolving healthcare marketplace.
Over the past 25 years IRS has provided project/training placements with appropriate supervisory input for approximately 30 students. This has included formal placements of three months undertaken as part of a project assignment, leading to an MSc postgraduate qualification. Furthermore, IRS undergraduate summer student placements of up to two months for work/research experience, as well as short work experience placements for high school students ensure engagement with the local community; a fundamental aspect of IRS’s Corporate Social Responsibility policy.
In recognition of IRS’s actions regarding internal education and training, the company has twice received the prestigious Best Practice in Professional Development Award from the Institute of Physics (IOP); 2008 and 2012 .
Furthermore, in 2012 IRS also gained the Investors in People Bronze award in relation to efforts for business transformation.