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European Network on Education and Training in Radiological Protection: Harmonising EducationThere is a real need for the development of a common European radiation protection and safety culture and, as part of this, the mutual recognition of radiation protection courses and the acquired competencies of radiation protection experts (RPE) and officers (RPO). The ENETRAP project aims to bring together different ideas and approaches on education and training (E&T) in radiological protection (RP) in order to better integrate and harmonise national E&T activities on a European level.
Integration and harmonisation
Any such infrastructure must ensure that provision is made for both the appropriate initial education and for the subsequent gaining and maintaining of specific expertise and competencies (training) at all levels.
The ENETRAP partners have years of experience with established E&T programmes and play an important role in the development of specific techniques, such as e-learning or On-the-Job Training (OJT) related to RP.
Assessing capabilities and curricula
The project will produce a state-of-the-art report on radiation protection E&T activities in the enlarged European Union. Assessment of training needs and capabilities within the EU Member States and the Candidate Countries, and an evaluation of the current situation with regard to mutual recognition of competencies and diplomas are the key criteria for developing a common radiation protection E&T infrastructure in Europe. The required qualifications for key professional functions in industry, medicine, research and the public sector will be assessed, along with the training available to support those qualifications, including OJT programmes and e-learning opportunities.
Past and current training programmes will be studied and the current European Radiation Protection Course (ERPC) will be revised. Special attention will be given to the compliance of European and international E&T requirements in RP with the basic safety standards for protection against ionising radiation, established and promoted by the European Union and by the IAEA. A pilot session of one or two revised modules of the ERPC will be organised. In addition, an Erasmus Universities Consortium for developing a European Masters in Radiation Protection (EMRP) will be set up with a curriculum that has been developed using information from qualified courses offered by ENETRAP partners.
Collaborative education network
In order to better integrate and harmonise national E&T activities on a European level, ENETRAP will assemble various ideas and approaches to deliver an operational network of different institutes conducting or promoting radiation protection E&T activities. Linking those European countries with established and active programmes in E&T via a structured network will facilitate the integration and optimisation of existing resources within Europe. In a later phase, extension to other Member States will be established in conjunction with the European Training and Education in Radiation Protection (EUTERP) platform. The network aims to achieve close and sustainable collaboration between the main E&T providers in Europe. Finally, a project proposal for a European Masters in Radiation Protection (EMRP) will be submitted to DG Education.
Increased safety and competence
Occupational, public and environmental RP is a major challenge associated with the application of ionising radiation in industry, both nuclear and non-nuclear, as well as areas such as medical use and research. As such, maintaining a high level of competency in this field is crucial. A sustainable E&T infrastructure for RP is an essential component to combat the perceived decline in expertise and to ensure the continuation of a high level of RP knowledge. The development of a common European radiation protection and safety culture, the mutual recognition of radiation protection courses and the acquired competencies of RPEs and RPOs will help to promote the mobility of workers and students throughout Europe.