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Expanding Radiation Protection Officers’ Knowledge: Train-the-Trainers Workshop in Uruguay

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Participants discussing a group exercise focused on training of Radiation Protection Officers. (Photo: A. Cristobal/IAEA)

The roles and responsibilities of Radiation Protection Officers (RPOs) and their duties were in focus during a train-the-trainers course held in March in Montevideo, Uruguay.

During the 12-16 March course, more than 20 participants from medical and industrial facilities learned what they need to know to train RPOs, who are responsible for the safe use of radiation sources at their workplaces.

Participants from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay learned about the IAEA resources on radiation protection, including the International Basic Safety Standards for Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources.

A group of participants said in a statement after the course that they now understand how to align RPO training programmes at their facilities with IAEA guidance based on the IAEA safety standards and international criteria. They also said they had learned how to use new teaching techniques.

“The train-the-trainers approach helps countries ensure that their radiation protection efforts are sustainable because it builds their capacity to train RPOs as needed,” said Amparo Cristobal, Radiation Safety Specialist at the IAEA, who lead the course.

The week of in-person teaching was complemented by online activities, including a quiz on technical aspects and pre- and post-course tests.

The course was taught by experts from Cuba, Spain and the IAEA.

In 2017, train-the-trainer RPO courses were held in Azerbaijan, Ghana, Greece, Thailand, and the Ivory Coast. A course will be held in May 2018 in Vietnam.

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