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Radiation Safety Committee - Membership and Terms of Reference

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Section 1 - Establishment

Background

(1) The Radiation Safety Committee was established in 1998.

(2) The Radiation Safety Committee (the Committee) reports to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement) and through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement) and Vice-Chancellor to the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee of the University Council.

Purpose

(3) The Committee was established to ensure compliance with the Radiation Control Act 1990 No 13 and the Radiation Control Regulation 2013.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(4) For the purpose of this document:

  1. Committee - means the Radiation Safety Committee;
  2. Member/s - means member/s of the Radiation Safety Committee;
  3. Presiding Officer - means the Presiding Officer of the Radiation Safety Committee;
  4. Deputy Presiding Officer - means the Deputy Presiding Officer of the Radiation Safety Committee; and
  5. the University - means Charles Sturt University.
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Section 3 - Membership

(5) The Radiation Safety Committee shall be comprised of the following members, nominated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement):

  1. Presiding Officer;
  2. at least one expert/user of radioactive substances (laboratories);
  3. at least one expert/user of radioactive substances (Nuclear Medicine);
  4. at least one expert/user of irradiating apparatus;
  5. at least one expert/user of irradiating apparatus (Dentistry);
  6. at least one expert/user of irradiating apparatus (neutron probes);
  7. at least one expert/user of non-ionising radiation;
  8. one representative from the Division of Facilities Management;
  9. one representative from the Division of Human Resources, Work Health and Safety; and
  10. one representative from the Faculty of Science, Technical Support Unit. 

(6) There should be at least one representative of each School that uses radiation across the members listed under clause 5 (a) to (g).

Term of Office

(7) The term of appointment for members of the Committee shall be three years.

Appointment of Members

(8) Appointment to the Committee must be approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement) following consultation with the Presiding Officer.

(9) Re-appointment is by approval from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement).

Presiding Officer and Deputy Presiding Officer

(10) The Presiding Officer is appointed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement).

(11) The Deputy Presiding Officer is elected by the Committee at its first meeting of the new term of office.

Executive of the Radiation Safety Committee

(12) The Committee will appoint an Executive, including the Presiding Officer and at least two members from those listed at clause 5 (b) to (g).

(13) The Executive of the Radiation Safety Committee will be appointed by the Committee at its first meeting of the new term of office and then reviewed as required.

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Section 4 - Functions and Responsibilities

(14) The Radiation Safety Committee shall:

  1. develop, implement and review measures to ensure compliance with relevant radiation safety legislation and organisational requirements at Charles Sturt University (the University);
  2. produce and maintain a Radiation Management Plan and relevant guidelines, policies and procedures in the acquisition, handling, storage and disposal of radioactive substances and irradiating apparatus, and the safe use of non-ionising radiation at the University;
  3. ensure the Radiation Management Plan and relevant policies and procedures are available to all users of radiation at the University;
  4. receive and consider feedback on operating procedures and processes as set out in the Radiation Management Plan;
  5. conduct regular audits and planned inspections to review radiation safety at the University;
  6. conduct spot checks or unplanned inspections where required to ensure ongoing radiation safety compliance at the University;
  7. report to and make recommendations to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement) on measures needed to ensure all radiation safety standards are maintained;
  8. report to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement) and Finance, Audit and Risk Committee on issues regarding compliance or legislation changes;
  9. as soon as known, report any instances of non-compliance and material correspondence with regulatory bodies regarding these instances to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement) and University Secretary and Director, Governance and Corporate Affairs;
  10. consider the radiation safety and legislative implications of all proposed teaching and research conducted at the University involving the use of radioactive substances, irradiating apparatus and/or non-ionising radiation, and approve that all meet the required radiation standards;
  11. perform other duties as required under the current Radiation Control Act 1990 No 13 and the Radiation Control Regulation 2013, including the use of consulting radiation experts and radiation security assessors where required;
  12. receive and respond to complaints and issues of non-compliance raised by any person; and
  13. submit a quarterly compliance report to the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee, via the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement). 

Member Responsibilities

Presiding Officer

(15) The Presiding Officer of the Radiation Safety Committee is responsible for the leadership and operation of the Committee, to ensure on behalf of the University, all activities relating to the use, storage and disposal of radioactive materials and equipment are conducted in compliance with legislative requirements.

(16) The Presiding Officer is required to adhere to the responsibilities, accountabilities and other details set out in the Accountability Statement - Presiding Officer, Radiation Safety Committee.

Deputy Presiding Officer

(17) The Deputy Presiding Officer will act in the role of Presiding Officer in the absence of the Presiding Officer.

Executive of the Radiation Safety Committee

(18) The Executive of the Radiation Safety Committee shall review proposals and applications that require a response between scheduled meetings of the Committee.

(19) The Executive may reserve the right to defer the discussion and approval of proposals or applications to the next meeting of the full Committee.

Advisory Role

(20) The Committee shall advise staff and students of the University on compliance matters relating to the use of radiation in teaching and research activities.

(21) The Committee shall respond to enquiries received requesting expert advice on radiation concerns and compliance, application processes and other related matters.

(22) The Committee shall advise the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement) regarding the level of resourcing required by the Committee.

Governance and Administrative Support

(23) The Ethics and Compliance Unit, Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement) will provide administrative and secretariat support to the Committee, and can be called upon for protocol and procedural advice.

(24) A Governance Officer will be appointed to support the Committee in the administration of its business, including the following responsibilities:

  1. being the first point of contact for applicants wishing to make application or liaise with the Committee;
  2. ensuring that proposals are provided to the Committee for consideration;
  3. ensuring that the decisions of the Committee are conveyed to investigators and teachers in a timely manner;
  4. ensuring that Committee records are maintained and made available for review by the University and authorised external reviewers;
  5. ensuring that the University submits the appropriate licence applications, renewals and reports as required; and
  6. where requested by the Committee, assist with arranging audits and inspections for Committee members of the facilities that house and use irradiating apparatus or radioactive substances, or prior to use in the case of any proposed new facility.

(25) Decisions about allocation of Committee tasks to the Governance Officer/s is the responsibility of the Manager, Ethics and Compliance Unit, who may seek advice from the Presiding Officer.

(26) Governance Officer/s who attend Committee meetings have the right of audience and debate, particularly in relation to providing advice on procedural matters and corporate knowledge.

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Section 5 - Meetings

Quorum

(27) A quorum is the majority of Committee members present at the meeting.

(28) A quorum may be established through telephone or video conference links.

(29) Only a quorate meeting of the Committee shall consider and approve new applications, consider the variation or extension of existing projects or deliberate on other matters of relevant business. If matters on the agenda are urgent, then discussion may occur at the meeting, but the minutes must then be circulated to the remainder of the membership for their consideration and approval asynchronously.

(30) Members who are unable to attend meetings must send through their apologies and are encouraged to submit their comments on applications to the Presiding Officer before the meeting, for consideration during the meeting.

Meetings

(31) The Committee will meet at least once each quarter.

(32) Meetings for the first and second quarters will be scheduled to allow enough time for approvals to be returned to applicants prior to the commencement of each academic session.

(33) At least one meeting each year should be scheduled face to face.

(34) A schedule of meeting dates and agenda closing dates is posted on the Radiation Safety Committee website by the beginning of each academic year.

(35) In exceptional circumstances, the schedule of meetings may be altered by the Presiding Officer, in consultation with the Governance Officer.

(36) Applications are allocated to an agenda based on their submission date and agenda closing dates.

(37) Where an application requires a response before the next quarterly meeting, the application will be considered by the Executive of the Radiation Safety Committee, either via teleconference or asynchronously where members shall, in writing, provide comments on applications and any approvals where possible.

(38) If required, the Governance Officer of the Committee may, on behalf of the Presiding Officer, convene an extraordinary meeting of the Committee to review urgent Committee business.

(39) In those cases where an extraordinary meeting of the Committee cannot be convened, the Governance Officer may circulate proposals and other items of business to the Committee members who shall consider them asynchronously and, in writing, provide comments on applications and any approvals where possible.

Agendas and Minutes

(40) Agendas are circulated to the Committee one week before each scheduled meeting.

(41) Minutes of the Committee meeting are circulated to members within two weeks following the meeting.

Related Expenses

(42) External members may claim a meeting allowance in accordance with the Compliance Committee Policy - External Members Allowance.

Conflicts of Interest

(43) Where a member has a perceived or material conflict of interest as described in the University’s Conflict of Interest Procedure, they must declare this to the Presiding Officer and at the Committee meeting before discussion of the item of business.

(44) The Presiding Officer will determine if members with a conflict of interest will remain present for the discussion of the item but not take part in a decision, or if the member must withdraw from the meeting for the discussion of matters that relate to that conflict of interest. Once such members have withdrawn, the remaining members must still constitute a quorum.

Confidentiality

(45) Matters discussed and papers considered during a Committee meeting are confidential to Committee members and those with the Right of Audience and Debate.

(46) Specific papers considered during a meeting and records of specific meeting discussions may be shared by the Presiding Officer, or by the Governance Officer with the permission of the Presiding Officer, with authorised officers of the University who can demonstrate a need to access the relevant information for the performance of their duties.

Variations

(47) Variations to the terms of reference and/or membership of the Committee must be approved by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement).