Compliance Testing

Radiation producing equipment used in some applications can be a significant source of radiation exposure if the equipment is not operated and maintained to required standards. To address this concern, quality assurance programs which comply with national codes and industry standards are required for various types of radiation producing equipment. In addition, Western Australia has compliance testing programs in operation for –

  • Medical diagnostic x-ray equipment; and
  • Industrial radiation sources.


Diagnostic X-ray Equipment

Commencing in 1997, the Radiological Council introduced a compulsory compliance testing program for diagnostic x-ray equipment used for medical, chiropractic and dental imaging. The need for a diagnostic x-ray compliance testing program was indicated by –

  • studies in Australia and elsewhere demonstrating that poor x-ray equipment performance is a significant contributor to unnecessary patient radiation exposure;
  • a trend towards mandatory quality assurance (QA) programs for medical radiology; and
  • evidence of significant non-compliance documented in inspections conducted by Council officers.

It is an offence to use x-ray equipment for human diagnosis unless it has either —

  • a current Certificate of Compliance, Conditional Compliance or Provisional Compliance;
  • an exemption from compliance granted by the Council; or
  • a notice of non-compliance (for the period specified on the notice).

The required frequency of compliance testing of diagnostic x-ray equipment is dependant on the type of equipment, please refer to the Program Requirements [⭳ PDF] for further information.


Fixed Industrial Gauges

From 1 July 2000, the Radiological Council introduced a compulsory compliance testing program for fixed radioactive gauges. The Council's aims were to ensure that the occupational and public dose limits prescribed in the regulations are met, that any exposure to ionising radiation is minimised, and that gauges are kept under proper surveillance to prevent the uncontrolled and improper disposal of radioactive substances. Please refer to the Program Requirements [⭳ PDF] for the compliance testing of fixed industrial gauges

Gauges are subject to a wide range of conditions ranging from the relatively benign, to corrosive and other physically extreme environments. These conditions can affect their compliance with the Australian Code of Practice and Safety Guide for Safe Use of Fixed Radiation Gauges (2007) published by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA). Compliance with this Code is imposed by the Radiation Safety (General) Regulations.

It is an offence to use a fixed industrial gauge unless it has either –

  • a current Certificate of Compliance; or
  • a current Certificate of Conditional Compliance; or
  • an exemption from compliance granted by the Council.

The required frequency of compliance testing of fixed industrial gauges is 36 months. Compliance testing may only be performed by licensed testers, or by persons acting under the direction and immediate personal supervision of a licensee (whereby the licensee must be present to directly observe the person concerned). A number of licence holders also offer their services as consultant compliance testers.



All sources of radiation

The aim of the industrial compliance testing program was to formalise the existing mandatory requirements for testing of industrial radiation equipment that fall under the relevant industry-specific Codes of Practice. Although compliance testing under the Council's program for fixed gauges is required every 36 months, there is a requirement under the Code of Practice to test gauges every 12 months.

Similar requirements are in place in the industry-specific Codes for other industrial equipment.

Records of such testing must be maintained and evidence may be requested at any time.

Last Updated: 17/10/2023