New Ionising Radiation Regulations 2017

Published Jan18

New Ionising Radiation Regulations 2017 (IRR17) came into force on 1 January 2018 and replaced the IRR99 regulations.  While there are some new requirements to note, much of the legislation remains unchanged.  IRR introduces a three-point risk based system of regulatory control – ‘notification’ (for low level risk activities), ‘registration’ (for operation of radiation generators – ie X-ray machines) and ‘consent’ (for higher risks).

IRR17 (and draft IRMER18) require users of dental X-ray equipment to seek expert advice on compliance with the regulations (this requirement is essentially unchanged from the previous legislation).  In practice, this means consulting a Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA) for advice on compliance and appointing a Medical Physics Expert (MPE) for advice on optimisation of exposures and general compliance.

Public Health England (PHE) is able to give general advice on regulatory requirements for users of dental X-ray equipment and there is online guidance available on the ‘Resources’ page of the Dental X-ray Protection Services (DXPS) website (see www.phe-protectionservices.org.uk/dxps).  However the best source of advice for dental professionals is their own appointed RPA and/or MPE.

Further recommended reading:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/radiation/ionising/index.htm 

https://www.fgdp.org.uk/news/updated-new-regulations-x-ray-use-likely-implications-irr17-and-irmer18 

https://bda.org/news-centre/latest-news-articles/Pages/New-regulations-on-ionizing-radiation-requirements-information-for-dentists.aspx 

GDP’s use x-ray generators so they will be required to apply in the ‘register’ category (Level 2).  Providers will need to inform the Health and Safety (HSE) that they are using x-rays even if they have previously notified the HSE that they work with ionising radiation under IRR99.  Our understanding is that the Legal Person (who is responsible for enforcing the Health and Safety at Work Act in the practice) will need to register with HSE before 5th February 2018. We understand there will be an administration charge of £25 to register. If the entity registering has more than one practice, it will still be £25, but you will need to state how many sites are involved when registering.

Please download the IRR17 Guidance for Notifications Registrations and Consents.

The web portal for making notification / registration is now open.

You can access the link: https://services.hse.gov.uk/bssd/ 

If you need further advice or guidance, please contact your appointed Radiation Protection Adviser.

The Dental Practice Visit Checklist is being amended to reflect this requirement.

The Dental Team

NHS England – South East (Kent, Surrey and Sussex)

Wharf House, Medway Wharf Road, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 1RE

IRR17 Guidance for Notifications Registrations and Consents – click here to download