Purpose of a use licence
The purpose of a use licence is to ensure that those who use specific types of radiation sources meet certain minimum standards of competency when using the particular radiation source.
A use licence is issued under the Radiation Act 2005 and allows an individual to use specific radiation sources. A use licence can only be issued to individuals (‘natural persons’) not companies.
A use licence authorises the holder to use specified types of radiation sources for a specified purpose. The types of radiation sources which may be authorised for use include:
- radioactive material
- ionising radiation apparatus
- sealed source devices.
It is compulsory to hold a radiation use licence prior to using a specified radiation source. Failure to hold a use licence is an offence under the Act.
Exemptions from use licence requirements
Some exemptions have been made by the Secretary of the department to exempt persons from the licensing requirements in certain circumstances.
Applicants seeking a licence to use radiation sources must meet certain prerequisites prior to being issued with a use licence. The prerequisites that must be satisfied depend on the type of radiation source for which the applicant is seeking a licence to use and the applicant’s profession.
Applicants seeking to apply for a use licence must demonstrate to the Department of Health and Human Services (the department) that they have appropriate knowledge of the principles and practices of radiation safety and protection, and experience applicable to the activities propose to be carried out under the use licence.
Documented evidence of qualifications, registrations and training to substantiate the prerequisites must be submitted with your application in order to receive your licence.
You may be asked to provide documented evidence about your:
- professional qualifications
- professional registration with a nationally recognised registration body such as, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), or Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria or equivalent
- completion of a specific training course in relation to the radiation source you intend to use.
The Sector specific information section provides details on prerequisite requirements for occupations that require a use licence.
Applicants who cannot easily show that they meet the criteria, or where part or no criteria have been specified will be assessed on a case by case basis. Applicants in this situation are encouraged to contact the department to discuss their application and provide as much evidence as possible to demonstrate their eligibility for a use licence.
Use licences are issued for periods of one, two or three years. The applicant can choose which licence period they wish to apply for.
Assessment process and timeframe
Applications are initially checked for completeness, and that documented evidence of the relevant prerequisites have been submitted. The application is then entered onto the department’s licensing system before being allocated to an officer in the department’s Radiation Team for assessment.
Applicants who meet the necessary prerequisites and have provided all the required documentation will be emailed a request for payment for the prescribed licensing fee A decision to issue the request for payment of the prescribed licensing fees should be made within approximately two weeks of the application lodgement, however this decision may exceed this timeline if a large volume of applications are received at time of lodgement.
The prescribed fees for use licences consist of:
- one-off application fee (for new applications)
- licence fee.
Use licence fees vary depending on the duration, with a discount for longer terms. There are no refunds once a licence is issued, so you may wish to consider whether a 1-, 2- or 3-year licence is best for your situation. Fees are automatically scheduled to increase on 1 July each year.
You must pay this prescribed fee before your application can be recommended for final approval. If the application is approved, you will be emailed a copy of your licence certificate.
If the application is rejected, a letter will be sent within 14 days of the decision giving a statement of reasons for refusing to issue the licence and advice on how you may seek review of the Secretary's decision.
A person who is registered in an equivalent occupation in another state or territory or New Zealand may be entitled to apply to the department under the Commonwealth Mutual Recognition Act 1992 for a licence to use radiation sources in Victoria related to their occupations.
See the mutual recognition arrangements page for more information.
Once you have familiarise yourself with the prerequisite requirements for licensing, you then need to complete the online form, attach the required prerequisites and submit your application.
From time to time, a use licence holder may wish to make changes to their licence to vary the scope including:
- the type of radiation sources they can use
- the way in which they wish to use the sources.
In these cases, the use licence holder must apply to the department for a variation to the use licence by completing the online form. The licence must be varied by the department before the proposed changes to the radiation practice takes effect. There is no fee applicable to vary your use licence.
Apply for a use licence or apply to vary an existing licence
Renewal of an existing licence
Two months prior to the expiry of your licence you will be sent correspondence requesting payment of the prescribed licence fee for the renewal of your licence.
Fees for 1 July 2018 – 30 June 2019 are set out in table 1. There are no fees associated with applying for a variation to an existing licence or approval.
Table 1: Use licence fees
| Use licence fee
A use licence issued by the department consists of:
- a title or cover page
- a schedule which, as a minimum, describes the type of radiation source and the purpose for which it is authorised. The schedule contains the conditions that have been placed on the licence, which may require compliance with relevant code of practice.
Section 138 of the Radiation Act 2005 allows the Secretary to publish and maintain a public register of use licences on the internet. This register allows a person to search for either a radiation licence number or person’s name to check the status of their radiation use licence. Details of a use licence holder will only remain on this register for a maximum period of 60 days after the date of expiry.
The following details are published on the register:
- title, first name and surname of the use licence holder
- the use licence number
- the expiry date of the use licence
- the radiation source that the licence holder is authorised to used
- the purpose for which the licence holder can use the radiation source
The department will refund the licence fee for an application that is refused or withdrawn prior to the issue of the licence. Application fees will not be refunded by the department. There are no refunds once a licence is issued. Detailed information can be found in the fee refund policy.
Application form for a refund of a licensing fee paid - Radiation Act 2005
Who needs a management licence?
If a person intends to use a radiation source then they must apply for a use licence enabling the use of a specific type of radiation source for a specific purpose.
The use of a radiation source without the required use licence is an offence under the Radiation Act 2005.
Whilst the individuals using radiation sources need to hold a use licence the organisation conducting the radiation practice needs to hold a management licence.
What is the difference between a management licence and use licence?
For example a dental practice requires a management licence to possess several dental X-ray units. Every individual at that practice who wishes to use those X-ray units needs to hold a use licence authorising that use.
Due to our obligations under the Privacy Act 1988, we are unable to disclose information relating to a person’s licence to anyone other than the licence holder. For example, if a company wishes to view their employees’ licences, it is up to the company to request their employees to provide their licences. A company will not be provided information about an employee’s licence or information related to another person or company. However, a public use licence register is available online, which enables confirmation that a particular person does hold a radiation use licence.