Users of radiation

Users of ionising radiation must satisfy requirements set out in the Radiation Safety Act 2016, Radiation Safety Regulations 2016 and Codes of Practice.

Who needs a use licence

Section 13 of the Radiation Safety Act 2016 (the Act) means that no person may, unless the Act or the Radiation Safety Regulations 2016 provide otherwise, legally use a radiation source without a use licence. Section 21(2) of the Act requires that only a natural person (ie, an individual) can legally apply for a use licence. Training requirements for use licences vary. Contact the Office of Radiation Safety ([email protected]) for details.

Most common situations where a use licence is required are:

  • medical exposures are generated as a result of the use.
  • the use involves IAEA category 1, 2 or 3 sealed radioactive material excluding blood irradiators.
  • the use involves unsealed radioactive material.
  • the use involves irradiating apparatus for industrial radiography or the manufacture of radioactive material.
  • the user is a medical physicist or servicing and installation engineer.

Compliance guides

For the use of radiation for medical purposes

Use licences may be granted for the following medical purposes:

  • medical diagnosis – including cardiology, nuclear medicine, endocrinology, sentinel node biopsy general practice
  • medical therapy – including ophthalmology, nuclear medicine, endocrinology and blood irradiation.
  • other medical purposes – including research on humans, podiatric, chiropractic, and medical physics.

For the use of radiation for non-medical purposes

Use licences may be granted for the following non-medical purposes:

  • veterinary – including therapy involving unsealed radioactive material or using irradiating apparatus for interventional procedures, treatment, or that utilises computed tomography
  • industrial – including industrial radiography, industrial gauging, x-ray analysis, industrial processing, electron beam welding, waste conditioning, quality control and safety testing, x-ray security and inspection, x-ray fluorescence, inspection (particle accelerators) and glass manufacture
  • scientific – including pathology tests, scientific practice, use of research particle accelerators
  • regulatory – including compliance monitoring and emergency response
  • demonstration and education, installation and servicing.

How to apply

Please send your use application form to us at [email protected] or mail to the address below if necessary:

Office of Radiation Safety
Ministry of Health
PO Box 5013
Wellington 6140

All applications go through our assessment process, and an invoice will be emailed if no further information is required. The assessment process usually takes 3 to 5 working days after the receipt of your application. Our target processing time frame is within 10 working days from the receipt of the application to issuing licences dependent on how quickly the payment comes through. It is recommended that you start your application process at least 3 weeks in advance.

Forms for new applicants

Application for new use licence (PDF, 129 KB)

Forms for existing licence holders for renewal

Application for renewal of a use licence (PDF, 109 KB)

Fee structure

Application fee for a new use licence (including GST)
  Fee for 1 year Fee for 2 years Fee for 3 years
Use licence $469.20 $756.70 $1,044.20
Application fee to renew an existing use licence (including GST)
  Fee for 1 year Fee for 2 years Fee for 3 years
Use licence $287.50 $575.00 $862.50

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