Radiation protection training and qualifications

In order to use radiation and nuclear energy and carry out other work involving exposure to radiation safely, everyone involved in the operations must have the necessary know-how. All employees must be familiarized with their duties, working premises and the use of the necessary tools and protective equipment. Competence must also be kept up to date by regularly reviewing what has already been learned and supplementing it with new and changed issues. Some tasks also require more formal radiation protection training, such as the qualification of a Radiation Safety Officer or Radiation Safety Expert.

Basic information about radiation

In radiation practices, it is of paramount importance from the safety perspective that the information of employees is sufficient and up to date. Employees must have sufficient skills and understanding of radiation and its properties as well as the radiation sources used and the ways in which they are used. In addition, expertise in radiation protection and safety-related procedures is required. The basics of radiation are often learned during basic training, but on-the-job learning and practical training are also important as they increase understanding and competence, especially in practical matters. The employer must ensure that each person involved in the use of radiation sources understands and master the necessary aspects of radiation safety.

Workplace-specific induction

The operator must ensure that each worker is provided with the necessary introduction to site-specific radiation protection procedures. The induction should be planned in advance and be comprehensive enough so that all relevant matters have been reviewed. In practice, the induction is usually carried out by the Chief of Radiation Safety of the site in question.

Supplementary training

By maintaining competence, it can be ensured that the working methods do not become non-compliant over time and that sufficient safety is ensured.  In addition, knowledge needs to be supplemented on a regular basis, as the technology and procedures related to the use of radiation are constantly renewing. The employer must ensure that each worker participating in radiation practices receives supplementary radiation protection training at least every five years. The amount and content depend on the type of work involved. The employer ensures that the supplementary training of each employee is appropriate in terms of its content and that the employee has supplemented their skills sufficiently and at an adequate frequency. The employer must also document the training received.

Radiation Safety Officer

In practices subject to a safety licence, the operator must appoint a Radiation Safety Officer. The Radiation Safety Officer is tasked to ensure the implementation of radiation protection.  The Radiation Safety Officer must have basic training and radiation protection training in the field of expertise in question as well as adequate work experience. In order for an employee to act as a Radiation Safety Officer, they must have the required qualification. For the qualification, the employee must complete radiation protection training and pass a related exam in a suitable field of expertise. The employer must also arrange sufficient and appropriate supplementary training for the Radiation Safety Officer so that they have the prerequisites to perform their duties.

Radiation Safety Expert

In practices subject to a safety licence, the operator must also use a Radiation Safety Expert in the planning, implementation and monitoring of the radiation protection of workers and members of the public. The Radiation Safety Expert is required to have versatile and comprehensive expertise in radiation protection as well as sufficient work experience in the field. In health care and veterinary medicine, the Radiation Safety Expert is a hospital physicist. In the fields of industry, research and the use of nuclear energy, Radiation Safety Expert is a person who is qualified in the field of expertise in question. However, if the Radiation Safety Expert service is provided by a company, it must use a person qualified to perform the tasks of the Radiation Safety Expert.

Health professional qualifications

Training of certain health care professions also includes radiation safety training. Different professionals are responsible for certain tasks related to the use of radiation, and their competence must be up to date in these respects.

A physician must always assess the justification of an examination involving exposure to radiation in advance. The assessment must take into account the purpose of the procedure and the characteristics of the person concerned. The responsibility of the referring physician or dentist is emphasized, especially in situations where no referral guidelines are available. In this case, the referring physician must make a justification assessment based on a literature search and a critical evaluation of the research data. The justification assessment and its grounds must be recorded in the referral.

The justification is first assessed by the physician treating the patient, who must have basic knowledge of the health effects of radiation and the radiation exposure to the patient during procedures. In addition, the physician must have access to essential information about the patient's previous examinations. The physician must record the necessary information in the referral so that the examination can be carried out optimally. The patient must be informed of the planned examination causing radiation exposure and its alternatives so that they can approve or refuse the examination.

The physician responsible for the medical exposure – usually a specialist in radiology or nuclear medicine – ensures the justification and optimization of the procedure. The physician responsible for the operating theatre, gastroenterological procedures and cardiology may be a specialist who has the necessary knowledge of radiation protection. The physician responsible for the medical exposure may, if necessary, consult the physician responsible for the justification, change the examination or refuse the examination. The refusal of the examination and the reasons for it must be recorded in the health records, and the sending unit and the patient must be informed of it.

The task of the radiographer or the party performing another procedure is to check before the procedure that the equipment used functions properly and that the radiation source's safety and shielding arrangements are in order. It must also be ensured that the patient is appropriately protected and the radiation exposure has been limited to the parts of the body intended to be irradiated. In the case of a radioactive radiopharmaceutical administered to a patient, care must be taken to ensure that the radiopharmaceutical is correct and in sufficient quantity. The party performing the examination may also, if necessary, verify the justification of the examination from the physician responsible for the medical exposure.

Approval of the Radiation Safety Officer training and training organizations

Higher education institutions do not need approval to arrange radiation protection training for the Radiation Safety Officer. Other training organizations apply for an approval from the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK). STUK will grant the approval for a maximum of five years at a time.

Form: Approval of the Radiation Safety Officer training (in Finnish)

Table 1. The Radiation Safety Officer training organizations approved by STUK.

Training organization Field of expertise

Decision
valid​​

Hartsia Consultech
harri.varimo(at)hartsiaconsultech.fi

The installation, maintenance and remediation of radiation equipment and sources 7 November 2027

POHTO Oy
asiakaspalvelu(at)pohto.fi
p. 010 8434 600

Sealed source and x-ray practices (other than the use particle accelerators in research and the production of radionuclides) as well as the use of unsealed sources in a laboratory in class 3 of radiation sources 16 August 2028
Suomen Turvaprojektit Oy Sealed source and x-ray practices (other than the use particle accelerators in research and the production of radionuclides) as well as the use of unsealed sources in a laboratory in class 3 of radiation sources 16 December 2024
Taitotalo (AEL-Amiedu Oy) Sealed source and x-ray practices (other than the use particle accelerators in research and the production of radionuclides) as well as the use of unsealed sources in a laboratory in class 3 of radiation sources 16 January 2025
Taitotalo (AEL-Amiedu Oy) Industrial radiography 16 January 2025

Table 2. Training organisations that have announced that they are providing Radiation Safety Officer training but do not need the approval of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority.

Training organization Fields of expertise
Aalto-yliopisto Sealed source and x-ray practices (other than the use particle accelerators in research and the production of radionuclides) as well as the use of unsealed sources in a laboratory in class 3 of radiation sources
HY+ Sealed source and x-ray practices (other than the use particle accelerators in research and the production of radionuclides) as well as the use of unsealed sources in a laboratory in class 3 of radiation sources
  The use of unsealed sources in a laboratory in classes 1 and 2 of radiation sources
  Practice that causes exposure to natural radiation
Helsingin yliopisto, Eläinlääketieteellinen tiedekunta Veterinary x-ray practices

Itä-Suomen yliopisto
petro.julkunen(at)uef.fi
 

X-ray practices in health care
Jyväskylän yliopisto The use of unsealed sources in a laboratory in classes 1 and 2 of radiation sources
  Sealed source and x-ray practices (other than the use particle accelerators in research and the production of radionuclides) as well as the use of unsealed sources in a laboratory in class 3 of radiation sources
Lappeenrannan teknillinen yliopisto
Elina.Hujala(at)lut.fi
Ville.Rintala(at)lut.fi
Sealed source and x-ray practices (other than the use particle accelerators in research and the production of radionuclides) as well as the use of unsealed sources in a laboratory in class 3 of radiation sources
  Industrial radiography
  Use of nuclear energy
University of Turku
Note: The training only for students and staff of University of Turku.
Sealed source and x-ray practices (other than the use particle accelerators in research and the production of radionuclides) as well as the use of unsealed sources in a laboratory in class 3 of radiation sources

Applying for the qualification of a Radiation Safety Expert and operating as a Radiation Safety Expert

A hospital physicist may act as a Radiation Safety Expert without separate approval in the field of Radiation practices in health care and veterinary medicine.

The Radiation Safety Expert certificate in the fields of industry and research radiation practices and the use of nuclear energy, can be applied for from the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK).

Form: a Radiation Safety Expert (in Finnish)

Table 3. Contact details of persons who have obtained the right to act as Radiation Safety Experts and who have consented to the publication of their information.

Name Contact information Field of expertise: Industry and research Field of expertise: Nuclear energy
Airila Markus markus.airila(at)vtt.fi
+358 40 350 8669
X X
Aromaa Jussi jussi.aromaa(at)platom.fi
+358 44 901 6505
www.platom.fi/STA
X  
Bergman Jörgen jorber(at)utu.fi
+358 44 304 3805
X  
Forsback Sarita sarita.forsback(at)utu.fi
+358 50 544 4807
X  
Galambosi Szabolcs szabolcs.galambosi(at)helsinki.fi X  
Grahn Tuomas tuomas.grahn(at)gmail.com
+358 40 963 5114
www.linkedin.com/in/tuomasg
X  
Haaparanta-Solin Merja mehaaso(at)utu.fi
+358 29 450 3837
Medicity-tutkimuslaboratorio (utu.fi)
X  
Hakulinen Mikko Mikko.Hakulinen(at)kuh.fi
+358 44 711 3260
+358 50 320 8241
X  
Hatakka Antti antti.hatakka(at)tvo.fi
+358 2 8381 2707
www.tvo.fi
X X
Hietamäki Minttu minttu(at)excore.fi
+358 50 501 0144
  X
Hirvonen Hannele hannele.hirvonen(at)tvo.fi
+358 28 381 2710
www.tvo.fi
X X
Hujala Elina elina.hujala(at)lut.fi X X
Ikonen Ari ari.ikonen(at)envirocase.fi
www.envirocase.fi
  X
Itälä Aku aku.itala(at)vtt.fi
+358 20 722 4673
http://www.vttresearch.com/nuclear
X  
Julkunen Petro petro.julkunen(at)uef.fi
+358 50 096 0181
www.uef.fi
X  
Järvinen Joonas joonas.jarvinen(at)vtt.fi
+358 2072 25009
http://www.vttresearch.com//nuclear
X  
Kalvas Taneli taneli.kalvas(at)jyu.fi
+358 44 314 1602
X  
Kankainen Anu anu.kankainen(at)jyu.fi
+358 40 805 4880
X  
Karlsen Wade wade.karlsen(at)vtt.fi X  
Kauppinen Matti matti.kauppinen(at)deetee.com
+358 40 151 4266
X  
Kekki Tommi tommi.kekki(at)vtt.fi X X
Kellokumpu Sakari sta.kellokumpu(at)gmail.com
+358 40 744 1916
sakari.kellokumpu(at)pohto.fi
sakari.kellokumpu(at)oulu.fi
X  
Kettunen Eero eero.kettunen(at)harc.fi
+358 40 554 0831
www.harcint.fi
X  
Kettunen Markku mkettunen(at)protonmail.com
+358 40 844 3808
Lisätieto: Toimii Puolustusvoimien STA:na
X  
Kirjavainen Anna anna.kirjavainen(at)utu.fi
​​​​​​​+358 40 777 5886
X  
Koivula Teija teija.koivula(at)hus.fi
+358 50 427 9069
X  
Koivunen Petri petri.koivunen(at)platom.fi
+358 44 545 8087
www.platom.fi
  X
Kotiluoto Petri petri.kotiluoto(at)vtt.fi
+358 40 573 3867
X X
Kuusisto Jorma jorma.kuusisto67(at)gmail.com
+358 40 720 3406
X  
Laitinen Mikko mikko.i.laitinen(at)jyu.fi
+358 400 994 836
https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikko-laitinen-1011a19/
X  
Lammela Laura laura.lammela(at)tvo.fi
+358 2 838 127 82
X  
Laukkanen Jarkko jarkko.laukkanen(at)tvo.fi
+358 2 8381 3462
www.tvo.fi
  X
Lavonen Tiina tiina.lavonen(at)vtt.fi
+358 40 137 9085
http://www.vttresearch.com/elemental-analytics
http://linkedin.com/in/tiina-lavonen-6467ba68
X  
Lehto Jyri jyri.lehto(at)hus.fi
+358 40 1636 201
X  
Lemmetty Mikko mikko.lemmetty(at)tvo.fi
+358 44 345 9571
https://www.tvo.fi
https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikko-lemmetty-93041a137/
X X
Leskinen Anumaija anumaija.leskinen(at)vtt.fi X  
Luiro Anne anne.luiro(at)me.com
anne.luiro(at)orionpharma.com
+358 44 290 1337
X  
Luukkonen Jani jani.luukkonen(at)tvo.fi
+358 50 313 3892
  X
Miikkulainen Kukka kukka.miikkulainen(at)gmail.com
+358 50 346 3705
X  
Mustonen Annamaria annamaria.mustonen(at)helsinki.fi X X
Myllymaa Valtteri valtteri.myllymaa(at)kiwa.com
+358 50 570 6811
www.kiwa.com/fi/
X  
Nurminen Antti antti.nurminen(at)dekra.com
+358 40 500 6004
www.dekra.fi
X  
Nyman Markus markus.nyman(at)helsinki.fi
+358 29 415 0440
+358 50 564 2481
https://www.helsinki.fi/en/researchgroups/radiochemistry
X  
Paatero Jussi jussi.paatero(at)fmi.fi
+358 500 441 560
X  
Pakarinen Janne jmpaka(at)gmail.com X  
Parkkonen Joni joni.parkkonen(at)jyu.fi
+358 40 805 4499
X  
Pelli Antti antti.pelli(at)metso.com
+358 400 280 650
X  
Piiparinen Ulla-Maija ulla-maija.piiparinen(at)tvo.fi
+358 40 542 6227
  X
Pilviö Riitta riitta.pilvio(at)curiumpharma.com
+358 50 591 7307
X  
Puurunen Aki aki.puurunen(at)gmail.com X  
Rantanen Lasse lasse.rantanen(at)dekra.com
+358 44 737 6843
​​​​​​​www.dekra.fi
X  
Rintala Ville ville.rintala(at)lut.fi
+358 40 152 9437
www.lut.fi
X X
Rossi Mikko mikko.s.rossi(at)gmail.com
+358 40 707 4024
X  
Ruotsalainen Panu panu.ruotsalainen(a)iki.fi
+358 40 769 7442
https://www.linkedin.com/in/panu-ruotsalainen-477631102
X  
Räty Antti antti.raty(at)vtt.fi
+358 40 742 2399
X X
Salonen Jarno jarno.salonen(at)utu.fi
+358 29 450 4287
Utu.fi - Jarno Salonen
X  
Sarja Nina nijosa(at)utu.fi X  
Schulman Tom tom.schulman(at)athlos.fi
+358 40 051 6020
X  
Siikki Jukka jukka.siikki(at)curiumpharma.com
+358 50 369 9048
X  
Sjövall Heikki heikki.sjovall(at)tvo.fi
+358 28 381 3222
+358 50 467 7614
www.tvo.fi
  X
Tarkiainen Antti antti.tarkiainen(at)tvo.fi
+358 50 599 0020
www.tvo.fi
  X
Tirri Marko marko.tirri(at)utu.fi
https://www.linkedin.com/in/marko-tirri/
X  
Torpo Leena leena.torpo(at)gmail.com   X
Tuovinen Hanna hanna.tuovinen(at)ires.fi
www.ires.fi
+358 50 528 9364
X  
Tyrväinen Harri stafellow(at)outlook.com
+358  44 252 4007
https://www.linkedin.com/in/harritapani/
X  
Vainio Ulla ulla.vainio.uv(a)hitachi-hightech.com X  
Varimo Harri harri.varimo(at)hartsiaconsultech.fi
+358 44 597 5766
www.hartsiaconsultech.fi
X  
Viitanen Pekka pekka.viitanen(at)vtt.fi
+358 40 764 0798
X X
Vuorenmaa Kalle kalle.vuorenmaa(at)tvo.fi
+358 28 381 2712
www.tvo.fi
  X
Vähätalo Jyrki jyrki.vahatalo(at)traficom.fi
+358 40 525 8668
X  
Välimaa Ilkka ilkka.valimaa(at)aalto.fi X  

Table 4. Contact details of companies providing Radiation Safety Expert services.

Name Contact information Field of expertise: Industry and research Field of expertise: Nuclear energy
EnviroCase Oy

info(at)envirocase.fi
www.envirocase.fi

  X
Excore Oy

minttu(at)excore.fi
+358 50 501 0144

  X
Fortum Power and Heat Oy

sta(at)fortum.com
www.fortum.fi/sta

X X
Fysiikan laitos, JY

STA-palvelut(at)jyu.fi
+358 40 805 3357
www.jyu.fi/sta

X  
Harc International Oy www.harcint.fi X  
Hartsia Consultech

+358 44 597 5766
www.hartsiaconsultech.fi

X  
International Radiation Expert Services (IRES)

+358 50 528 9364
www.ires.fi

X  
LUT Yliopisto

sta(at)lut.fi
www.lut.fi

X X
Nordic Isotope Oy www.nordicisotope.com
hanna.tuovinen(at)
​​​​​​​nordicisotope.com​​​​​​​
X  
Platom Oy

sta(at)platom.fi
+358 44 901 6505
www.platom.fi/STA

X X
Pohto Oy

+358 10 843 4500
www.pohto.fi

X  
Sepon Konttori

+358 400 570 557
www.seponkonttori.fi

X  
Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy

STA-palvelut(at)vtt.fi
+358 40 833 9407

X X
TSTA-Palvelut Oy

info(at)tsta.fi
www.tsta.fi

X  


Upcoming training events and training materials

The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority organises several training events every year, which also deal with safety aspects related to the use of radiation.

•    Radiotherapy physicists’ conference 15 June 2023
•    IAEA’s Patient Radiation Protection training events (RPoP). More information about the upcoming events can be found on the IAEA website.

Fees for radiation practices regulation​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Contact Us:
​​​​​​​ [email protected]