Description of frequently used terms in radiation protection such as qualification and expertise as well as high-dose diagnostic procedures and qualification for it.


The term "qualifications" denotes the technical knowledge that is required to request the use of ionizing radiation, to carry out such a procedure safely and in compliance with the regulations, and to evaluate the results. Depending on the individual's educational level and the complexity of a procedure, a person's qualifications may be limited, necessitating the involvement of people with additional qualifications. Thus, medical personnel are only permitted to carry out a procedure on the instructions of a person with additional qualifications (physician, dentist, etc.). For complex procedures, a team of qualified individuals may be required, in order to cover all the relevant aspects.

Qualifications in radiological protection comprise:

  • knowledge of technical terms and expressions;
  • knowledge of technical methods, aids and tools, the appropriate use and interpretation thereof, and the ability to assess available options;
  • knowledge of the topics and matters dealt with (overview of the whole subject);
  • knowledge of radiological protection principles and regulations, and of the hazards and risks of ionizing radiation.

Qualifications in radiological protection are a requirement for anyone handling ionizing radiation. People who use ionizing radiation for medical purposes (Art. 11-15 RPO) or who have radiological protection responsibilities vis-à-vis other people (Art. 16 RPO) obtain the necessary qualifications by undergoing training, which has to be recognized by the FOPH.

High-dose diagnostic procedures

High-dose diagnostic procedures include:

  • examinations of the axial skeleton, pelvis and abdomen;
  • direct or indirect cross-sectional imaging studies;
  • fluoroscopy, fluoroscopic contrast studies and fluoroscopy-guided interventions.

Fluoroscopic examinations of the peripheral extremities, including the elbow and ankle, are not considered to be high-dose diagnostic procedures.

Qualifications for high-dose diagnostic procedures

Physicians carrying out high-dose diagnostic procedures are required to have completed the necessary training. This is integrated into the postgraduate medical training required to obtain a specialist title or proficiency certificate.

Those who undergo postgraduate training are required to attend an FOPH-recognized radiological protection course for diagnostic radiology. In other respects, the qualifications specified for high-dose diagnostic procedures are based on the requirements of the postgraduate training or proficiency programmes applicable for the specialty in question.


People in an enterprise who are assigned responsibility by the licence holder for ensuring compliance with radiological protection regulations in accordance with Art. 16, Para. 1 of the Radiological Protection Act of 22 March 1991 (RPA) and Art. 18 RPO are required to have not only qualifications but expertise.

Experts have to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of radiological protection legislation, and of the specific radiological protection responsibilities of the area in question.

FOPH-recognized courses for people wishing to obtain the necessary expertise are listed under the link on the right.


Radiological protection legislation

The purpose of the Radiological protection Act (RPA) is to protect people and the environment against dangers from ionizing radiation.

Last modification 17.08.2018

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