Licencing Portable XRFs in Australia

An important part of using a portable XRF (pXRF) is the correct licencing of the instrument in the state where it is being used. This ensures that the instruments are being used safely and responsibly and can vary from state to state within Australia. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in hefty fines from the radiation authority in that state.

So what are the requirements for each state and how do you go about applying for the relevant licences?

User's Licence

A User Licence is required by all states within Australia and is an endorsement of the users knowledge of radiation health and safety, and safe use of the instrument. All states require that the user attend a registered course and pass an examination to prove competency. Licences will be valid from 1 to 3 years.

Licencing Portable XRFs in Australia

Licence to Possess or Management Licence

All states require the user to have a licence to possess a portable XRF instrument prior to using it which involves submitting a radiation management plan, safe storage and shielding information along with more detailed information regarding the instrument to be used.

Registration of Portable XRF

Once the licence to possess has been issued then the actual instrument has to be registered in ACT, NT, QLD and SA. Information regarding the make, model, serial number, current and voltage of the tube will need to be provided. Some states will only accept certain makes of instruments that have previously been evaluated as being fit for purpose.

XRF Compliance Certificate

In SA, NT, QLD and TAS the pXRF has to be inspected and issued with a certificate of compliance before it can be registered for use within the state. This involves measurement of radiation levels around the instrument and that all the safety features of the instrument are present and in good working order. This generally has to be completed by an authorised compliance tester who will then issue a certificate which is valid for up to 4 years.

Relocation, Sale or Disposal of pXRF

In Queensland there is the requirement to submit a relocation notice whenever the instrument goes into or out of the state. The relocation of the instrument out of the state is frequently overlooked by users and only comes to light on renewal of their licences.

All states require the user to notify them of the sale or disposal of their pXRF so their records can be updated accordingly.

The cost of licencing varies from state to state and can take from 1 to 6 weeks to complete.

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