The Canadian Radiation Protection Association (CRPA) was officially formed in 1979. Prior to that time, Canadians who were involved in radiation protection were for the most part members of the Health Physics Society (HPS), which is the official body for radiation protection professionals in the United States.

Throughout the late sixties and early seventies the number of Canadians working or interested in some aspect of health physics increased, until there were more than 80 Canadian members in the HPS. This was more than the membership of half of the countries that were members of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA). With these increasing numbers, it became more and more desirable to have a forum for discussing or establishing a collective viewpoint on Canadian topics in radiological protection.

In late 1977, Richard Osborne sent a questionnaire to the Canadian members of the Health Physics Society asking whether the formation of a Canadian group should be attempted. The questionnaire elicited 119 enthusiastic responses, with the majority favouring a technical/scientific-based society, primarily concerned with radiological protection and organized to be independent of other Societies.

Using these replies as a guide, a small group went ahead with organizing the formation meeting in Toronto, which took place on 27thApril 1979. Efforts were made to ensure that participants were gathered from as many provinces as possible and from the many disciplines and activities associated with radiological protection, including industry, government, universities, hospitals, nuclear utilities and R&D laboratories. Ultimately, 89 people approved a draft constitution and indicated their intent to join a newly formed Canadian Radiation Protection Association. Later that year, on October 26th, 1979, with 48 full members the CRPA successfully applied to become an Associate Society of the International Radiation Protection Association.

The CRPA became officially incorporated in 1982, with the following objectives:

1. To develop scientific knowledge and practical means for protecting man and his environment from the harmful effects of radiation consistent with the optimum use of radiation for the benefit of mankind;

2. To further the exchange of scientific and technical information relating to the science and practice of radiation protection;

3. To encourage research and scientific publications dedicated to the science and practice of radiation protection;

4. To promote educational opportunities in those disciplines which support the science and practice of radiation protection;

5. To assist in the development of professional standards in the discipline of radiation protection; and

6. To support the activities of other societies, associations or organizations, both national and international, having any activities or objectives relevant to the foregoing.