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?
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 depending on the state or territory being held.
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Licence to possess or manage a portable XRF instrument is qill vary state to state. Prior to using the instrument, you will need to submit a radiation management plan, safe storage and shielding information along with more detailed information regarding the instrument to be used along with your application.
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Registration of the pXRF again varies state to state. Information regarding the make, model, serial number, current and voltage of the tube will need to be provided on the application. Some states will only accept certain makes of instruments that have previously been evaluated as being fit for purpose. To find out what your state accepts, give the authority a quick call.
In ACT, 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 for that state who will then issue a certificate.
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.
Table 1: This is an example of the licensing requirements to the best of PSS knowledge. To be sure you are up to date with the current licensing requirements in each state, please refer to the websites below.
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