Title Radiation Protection in Radiotherapy
Type Stage Two
Code HPE129
Requirement Compulsory

Module objective

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will be able to understand and critically evaluate the radiation protection requirements as applied to radiotherapy. They will be able to take the lead on radiation safety in their radiotherapy department, working with the Radiation Protection Adviser and Radioactive Waste Adviser to ensure compliance with the radiation regulations. They will be able to perform a range of clinical, technical and communication skills while critically evaluating their own response to both normal and complex situations using the professional attributes and insights required of a Consultant Clinical Scientist.

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will be able to analyse, synthesise, evaluate, critically appraise and apply knowledge with respect to radiation safety in radiotherapy, including:

  • The requirements for regulatory compliance with national radiation safety legislation and associated guidance.
  • Risks and hazards associated with external beam, neutron production, High Dose Rate (HDR) and Low Dose Rate (LDR) brachytherapy, and planning and verification imaging techniques.
  • The control measures and warning systems required to reduce radiation risks to As Low As Reasonably Practicable.
  • The requirements for regulatory compliance with respect to the management and use of sealed radiation sources, including security considerations, requirements for storage and shielding.

Technical and clinical skills

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of current research and will be able to perform, adapt and master a range of technical procedures and will:

  • Interpret and apply the current radiation safety legislation relevant to work carried out in a radiotherapy department.
  • Assess radiation risks to staff, patients and the public arising from radiotherapy and the control measures put in place to minimise those risks.
  • Critically appraise the policy and procedural documentation required under the relevant radiation safety legislation for the radiotherapy service.
  • Assess and determine the key considerations for the design of a new facility (including waiting and resting rooms) with regard to patient, public and staff safety in radiotherapy, including the designation of areas.
  • Assess the function of safety systems (e.g. interlocks) in radiotherapy with respect to patient, staff and public safety.
  • Develop formal systems of work (‘local rules’) with regard to radiation safety.
  • Develop contingency plans and oversee their implementation.
  • Perform radiation surveys and audits to ensure regulatory compliance, presenting and acting on the recommendations, demonstrating an understanding of appropriate instrumentation for each application.
  • Specify and audit arrangements for management of sealed sources with regard to safe handling, security and transportation.
  • Specify, develop and deliver appropriate programmes for staff training in radiation safety.
  • Develop and specify an appropriate personnel monitoring programme (including external, real time and internal).
  • Investigate and report adverse incidents in radiotherapy (including use of root cause analysis/failure modes and effects analysis or alternative methodology; recommendations of appropriate remedial actions).

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will be expected to critically reflect and put into practice their scientific skills and clinical knowledge in a variety of clinical situations as they:

  • Work with and communicate effectively with relevant clinicians and other healthcare professionals.
  • Advise and communicate effectively with the patient and the public as determined by the scope of practice.
  • Reflect on the challenges of applying research in relation to these areas of practice and suggest improvements, building on a critique of available evidence.

Attitudes and behaviours

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will consistently demonstrate the attitudes and behaviours necessary for the role of a Consultant Clinical Scientist and will be able to:

  • Show respect and behave in accordance with Good Scientific Practice.
  • Establish and influence the culture of health and safety in the workplace.
  • Adhere to, and accept and work within current governance requirements applicable within an organisation, raising concerns when necessary.
  • Have a clear focus on effective patient-centred service delivery, minimising risk and promoting patient safety.
  • Display an objective and unbiased approach.


Code Title Action
HPE1-1-20 Radiotherapy Physics [v1] View