RPII awarded accreditation

Date released: Feb 26 2009

RPII is first in Europe to be accredited for radiation protection inspection services

The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) has become the first regulatory authority in Europe engaged in radiation protection inspections to receive the certificate of accreditation to ISO 17020 for its inspection services. The RPII was presented with its certificate of accreditation by the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB) today.
The accreditation to the international standard means that the RPII carries out its inspections, including inspection planning, follow-up and review, as part of an overall quality system that is subject to international peer review.
Speaking at the award ceremony, Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Mr Michael Kitt, TD, said: "It is fundamental to the safety and security of people in Ireland that the use of ionising radiation is properly regulated. The achievement of this award has demonstrated the RPII's commitment to ensuring the highest standards. In Europe, Ireland is leading in this regard, not following."

Dr Ann McGarry, Chief Executive of the RPII, on accepting the award said: "The RPII is fully aware of its regulatory responsibilities and applies the highest standards of regulatory enforcement. This award will ensure that we focus on continued improvement in this aspect of our work and that a high standard of radiation protection applies across all our licensees so that workers and the public are protected."

Minister Kitt added: "Sources of ionising radiation are used under licence throughout the country in a diverse range of beneficial applications that are essential in any modern country. These include diagnostic and therapeutic medicine, research and development, industrial quality control and production processes. By ensuring, through its rigorous inspection activities, that the highest safety standards are met the RPII supports Ireland's international scientific reputation, which is essential in the further development of a knowledge-based economy. Today's award will further enhance that reputation."

Through a process of licensing and inspection, the RPII regulates all users of ionising radiation in Ireland including radiotherapy and X-ray departments in hospitals, dental surgeries, third level educational institutions and industrial users. While ionising radiation plays an important and beneficial role in modern society, it must be controlled and used in a safe and secure manner. The misuse of ionising radiation can cause serious injury or even death, while the misappropriation of radioactive sources can result in their use for malevolent purposes.