The Future of Radiological Protection


Self-Assessed Radiation Safety Culture Across Sectors

Author(s): Catherine Taylor
(The Christie NHS Foundation Trust)



The aim of this work is to compare radiation safety culture in the medical and nuclear sectors, by means of a radiation protection self-assessment tool.

This is a programme level assessment, considering the department’s culture to the extent that it exhibits the traits of a healthy safety culture described by the US Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO)1. It draws on the levels of radiation safety self-assessment described in Report 162 of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP)2.

The tool consists of fifteen good practice statements, against which users assess themselves on a five point scale. Each statement is accompanied by prompt questions, to provide evidence for the choice of response.

The purpose of the self-assessment tool is to assist employers in taking ownership of radiation protection by recognising the common management tools and processes that apply across departments and modalities. It is also expected to aid recognition of the elements of day-to-day working that contribute to an organisation’s culture and how these express the importance of radiation safety.

Data will be presented demonstrating how perceived safety culture varies both within and between sectors, and suggestions made as to how this approach could contribute to improving safety culture in the UK.

The work is in keeping with the new ICRP general recommendations in that it incorporates aspects of communications and stakeholder engagement, set out in the overarching considerations in section 3 of the draft report.


  1. Traits of a Healthy Nuclear Safety Culture, INPO, 2013
  2. Self Assessment of Radiation Safety Programs, NCRP Report No. 162, 2009

Keywords: Culture; Safety; Ownership; Engagement



Hugh Wilkins

Interesting approach - fully agree that measurement of culture is very complex!  I'm curious as to the backgrounds & roles of the managers in the medical sector who took part in the self-assessment.  Were they professionals with a radiation safety background?

Silke Neveling

Dear Catherine Taylor, that sounds very interesting! I also totally agree that measurement of sc is very difficult and complex. Is ist possible to get more information about your tool, the 15 good practice statements (is there a connection to the NEA green booklet and if, is this documented anywhere to get an understanding, how you worked it out) and how to interprate the point scale? Are correcting measures available for the user, what do people do with the results? Sorry for my many questions, I am really interested in. Best regards Silke

Elizabeth Huanca

Interesante el trabajo, la autoevaluación a cuantos trabajadores se aplicaron? gracias