I have a B.Sc. in Medical Physics and five years experience working in a hospital radiology department in another country. I am now living in Canada and am looking for a job in the field of radiation protection. I’m wondering, are there any special requirements for working in this field in Canada?

There are no universally required education or experience qualifications for working in the field of radiation protection in Canada.  Each employer will set their own requirements, depending upon the nature of the work expected.  In general, potential employers tend to look for education and experience directly related to the scope of their radiation protection program (e.g., a Radiation Technology Nuclear Medicine degree or diploma for work in nuclear medicine, a Medical Physics degree for work in a cancer treatment centre or diagnostic x-ray department, or a Health Physics degree when working in university labs).  Anyone working in the field of radiation protection in Canada will require specific knowledge of applicable Canadian regulations, such as those of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and/or Health Canada’s Safety Codes.

However, there are certain types of jobs within the general field of radiation protection which may require additional qualifications.  For example, to work as a Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) in certain types of facilities, such as nuclear power plants or radiation therapy treatment centers, you may also be required to be certified by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).   For more information, please contact the CNSC directly.

There is a list of companies on the CRPA website under the “Membership” – “Corporate Members” tab.  Many of these companies offer RSO training courses which include an overview of applicable Canadian regulations.  Please visit their websites or contact them directly for detailed information regarding the courses that they offer. Successful completion of an RSO training course is generally helpful when looking for work in the field of radiation protection in Canada.

CRPA members who are working as an RSO in Canada are eligible for professional registration as an RSO with the Association.  This includes a formal, written exam process.  Qualified persons may apply to take the exam, which is available during the CRPA Annual Conference.  More information can be found on the CRPA website under “Membership – Professional Designation”.

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