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Required Training by User Type

The Division of Radiation Safety operates an extensive training program to meet regulatory training mandates and NRC license commitments. The NIH Radiation Safety Program is designed to achieve strict compliance with applicable Federal Regulations, which require training for individuals working in a restricted area associated with radioactive materials or radiation. Under the current NIH broad scope license agreement with the NRC, the Division of Radiation Safety must establish and implement a training program that covers various kinds of workers who may use or be involved with ionizing radiation.


​Registered ​User Types and Required Training

When a person is registered with the Division of Radiation Safety, they are assigned a user type code according to the nature of their involvement with radiation sources at NIH. The kind of radiation safety training required depends on the assigned user type. ​​​

Definitive policies exist for what type of initial and refresher training is required for NIH staff. All personnel (e.g., researchers) working with radioactive materials and all ancillary personnel (e.g. I-131 oral therapy patient care personnel, housekeepers, police/security, firefighters, animal care, maintenance, and Operating Room personnel) whose duties may require them to work in the vicinity of radioactive materials must receive instruction about radiation hazards and appropriate precautions as specified in NRC 10 CFR 19​. NIH training requirements also exist for new or returning radioactive material users. ​​​​

DisciplineUser TypeDescriptionRequired Training
​​Authorized User

Various types, including: 

 Bench Researcher (Type 1)* 

PET Department staff/PET Imaging​ (Type 7)

Cyclotron Facility Employee (Type 16)

Nuclear Medicine Department employee (Type 23) 

​PET Radiochemistry (Type 24) 

Animal Researcher (Type 30)​​

​Users involved in handling radionuclides in unsealed forms, including at the benchtop, in clinical and animal research and imaging, Cyclotron Facility, PET Radiochemistry, and Nuclear Medicine​​

Radiation Safety for Authorized Users (RSAU)​ 

*Radiation Safety in the Laboratory or equivalent training from another institution is a prerequisite for the RSAU​.​

Researcher handling nuclides on the benchtop in unsealed forms​​
​Bench Researcher
(User Type 1)
Users involved in handling radionuclides at the benchtop in unsealed forms

Please register with DRS for training. 

​PET Department staff/PET Imaging/Nuclear Medicine Department
​PET Department staff/PET Imaging (User Type 7)
​Users involved in clinical and animal PET imaging, including radiopharmaceutical preparation – drawing, assaying, and administration - but not synthesis of compounds

​Please register with DRS for training​

​Nuclear Medicine Department employee (User Type 23)
​Users compounding, drawing, assaying, and/or administering radiopharmaceuticals in the NIH Nuclear Medicine Department for the purposes of imaging
Please register with DRS for training​
PET Radiochemistry​​PET Radiochemistry
(User Type 24)
​Researchers directly involved in the synthesis of radiolabeled compounds for PET imaging, including radiolabeling, evaporations, chemical reactions, purifications, and other techniques.

Please register with DRS for training​
​Patient Care other than x-ray use (e.g. OR, PCU, Radionuclide therapy, Nurses)
​I-131 Inpatient Therapy
(User Type 3)
​Clinical or research staff involved in caring for I-131 radiation therapy patients
Please register with DRS for training​
​Lu-177 Therapy (User Type 3)
​Clinical or research staff involved in caring for Lu-177 radiation therapy patients
Please register with DRS for training​
​Ra-223 (User Type 3)
​Clinical or research staff involved in caring for Ra-223​ radiation therapy patients
Please register with DRS for training​
​Clinical Pathology or patient specimen functions
​Clinical Pathology or patient specimen functions
(User Type 21)
​Clinical or research staff collecting, receiving, analyzing, and/or disposing samples of patient tissue, urine, blood, or body fluid which may contain small amounts of radioactivity
Please register with DRS for training​
​Cyclotron Facility employee
​Cyclotron Facility Employee (User Type 16)
​Staff permanently assigned in the Cyclotron Facility, including cyclotron engineers and radiochemists
Please register with DRS for training​
​Animal Handler
​Animal Researcher
(User Type 30)​​
Users directly involved in the use of radiation or radioactive material in animal research and imaging, including veterinary support
Please register with DRS for training​
​Animal Care Giver
(User Type 31)
​Animal facility staff involved in radioactive animal care, including general husbandry and housing/cleaning
Please register with DRS for training​
​X-ray User
​X-ray machines including portable CT and Fluoroscopy units for animals or patients (User Type 6)
​Users of X-ray machines including portable CT and Flouroscopy units
Please register with DRS for training​
​X-ray irradiators, X-ray diffraction or Cabinet X-ray work (User Type 8)
​Users of cabinet x-ray irradiators (Rad Source, Precision, Faxitron), x-ray diffraction, or cabinet x-ray equipment
Please register with DRS for training​
​Open Beam analytical X-Ray (User Type 32)
​Users of Open Beam X-ray equipment
Please register with DRS for training​
​Therapy Machines
(User Type 27)
​Users of X-ray therapy machines
Please register with DRS for training​
​Emergency Response Personnel
​Police or Security
(User Type 18)
​Police or Security
Please register with DRS for training​
​Fire Department/Firefighter (User Type 19)
​Fire Department/Firefighter

Please register with DRS for training​
(User Type 33)
Please register with DRS for training​
Facility Maintenance or other entity who will access radioactive use area
​Facility Maintenance
(User Type 10)
​Workers who access areas where radiation or radioactive material may be present and may need to come in contact with it
Please register with DRS for training​
​​Clinical Protocol Navigator
​Clinical Protocol Navigator (User Type 34)
​Member of a clinical protocol team assisting research staff in navigating requirements for protocol approval through the NIH Radiation Safety Committee; serves as the point of contact for PIs; provides assistance in completing protocol lifecycle requirements, amendments, triennial reviews, and stipulations
Please register with DRS for training​
​Observer (User Type 25)
​Observing radioactive work or having access/proximity to others’ radioactive work (but not directly handling any type of radioactivity)
Please register with DRS for training​
​Other User Types​

Work description not matching any of the above
Please register with DRS for training​