Roles and Responsibilities of RAM Users

There are various stakeholders in Radiation Safety. Select your role to find out more about what you are required to do:

Remember that all Authorized Users must also be Radiation Workers. So be sure to review all the applicable content for your role.




The responsibility for the governance of the University (MU) is vested in the Curators of the University of Missouri. Executive responsibility and authority for administrating the University is assigned to the President.  The President delegates responsibilities and authority to conduct operations on and by the University Campuses to the Chancellors. The Chancellor is responsible for negotiating the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Licenses for the University of Missouri. The Chancellor has delegated this responsibility to the Vice Chancellor for Operations.



Policies related to the management of programs utilizing radiation except those at MURR are established by MU’s RSC. Implementation of MU’s RSC policies is the responsibility of the RSO. The RSO is appointed by the Chancellor upon recommendation of the Vice Chancellor for Operations and the Vice Chancellor of Research. Licenses of all types needed by the University are issued in the corporate name of the University: The Curators of the University of Missouri. 




The Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) advises the Chancellor through the Associate Vice Chancellor of Research on all matters relating to the safe use of radiation.  The Associate Vice Chancellor of Research is responsible for appointing members and assigning the chairperson to the RSC.  Membership is constituted to satisfy the requirements as outlined in 10 CFR 33. 

The RSO will be an ex-officio, non-voting member of the RSC.  An Alternate Chair may be designated from within for special purposes upon a proper motion and vote by the RSC.


  • Review and approve or deny the uses of radioactive materials by MU personnel.
  • Review and ratify decisions voted upon at the Medical Quorum (MQ) Use meeting.
  • Advise the campus administrators on matters relating to radiation safety.
  • Review the performance of the RSO, the RSP and the RSS to assure maintenance and adequate control of radiation risks.  
  • Oversee an annual program audit and make recommendations to management on continued maintenance of the operational RSP.  This annual program audit will be used to identify areas of noncompliance within the program.  These areas of noncompliance will then be analyzed, corrected and then actions will be instituted to prevent recurrence.
  • Develop and direct implementation by the RSO of the University policies for proper uses of radioactive materials and review all general guidelines and/or procedures issued by the RSO.
  • Create special quorums within the Committee to approve user authorization and to generally oversee and review various disciplines.  Such special quorums could include but are not limited to areas such as medicine and human use, biological and physical science, engineering and veterinary science.
  • Develop safety manuals as necessary to ensure proper program implementation and good health physics practices.
  • Establish methods for maintaining records of the RSC’s proceedings.
  • Review and approve all new requests for authorization and requests for significant changes in existing authorization.
  • Empower the RSO to issue interim authorizations, including changes to existing authorizations, and amendments of a non-signification nature, e.g., minor increases in quantities, use of isotopes in the same or lower toxicity group as currently authorized, and movement to a laboratory of equal or improved design.
  • All interim authorizations issued by the RSO must be reviewed and approved at the next RSC meeting.

Find a current list of members on the Radiation Safety Committee page. 




The Vice Chancellor for Operations is responsible for providing adequate radiation safety support and surveillance to the MU programs.  The RSO directs the RSS unit, which is part of the Environmental Health & Safety Department.  The RSO reports through the Director of EHS to the Vice Chancellor for Operations.  The RSO qualifications shall meet  the applicable NRC requirements.


  • Implement the policies of the RSC.
  • Review all applications for uses of radiation to ensure compatibility with appropriate license conditions.
  • Issue and authorize the use of radioactive materials.
  • Approve and/or coordinate transfer of radioactive material.
  • Restrict or suspend use and/or possession of radioactive materials whenever a significant deviation from established guidelines and procedures has occurred.  Such deviation of use shall include any threat to health or property.
  • Provide liaison to the NRC in negotiations for licenses through the Vice Chancellor of Operations.
  • Provide consultation on radiation safety problems to AUs, to RSS members, and to others having a need for the information.
  • Provide staff assistance to the RSC as required.
  • Design, arrange for the printing, and maintain a supply for distribution of all required forms.
  • Write and publish guidelines and/or procedures for radiation safety.
  • Report incidents, as required to the applicable regulatory agency.  Descriptions of these incidents shall be provided to the RSC and to Campus Administration.
  • Regularly inspect laboratory facilities of each investigator authorized to use radiation sources by the methods and frequency developed in collaboration with the RSC.
  • Define the procedures for response to emergency situations in order to provide prompt and positive corrective action.  These procedures are to be reviewed annually.
  • Supervise all ordering, receipt, survey, monitoring and delivery of all shipments of radioactive material arriving at MU.
  • Conduct and coordinate all training programs of MU personnel in the proper procedures for the use of radioactive material.
  • Supervise and coordinate the radioactive waste disposal program.
  • Oversee the storage of radioactive material, including radioactive waste.
  • Maintain inventory of all radioisotopes.
  • Supervise decontamination and recovery operations.
  • Perform or arrange for leak tests on all sealed sources and calibration of radiation survey instruments.
  • Issue/Monitor dosimetry.
  • Maintain all appropriate records including minutes of all RSC meetings.





The types of support provided by an Administrator to an AU includes the use of facilities (rooms, labs, equipment, etc.) and the use of the departmental resources such as clerical, purchasing, maintenance, security, etc. The Administrator who directly supervises the AU is actively involved in the authorization process by signing the Authority Page for each application made by the AU. There are situations when an Administrator provides support to an AU who is not supervised by that Administrator, but is allowed use of facilities that the Administrator supervises.  In this case, the Administrator shows their support by signing the Authority Page under the “Supervisor Support for Other Areas” (See Application for Authorization). During the AU authorization application process, administrators review the authorization applications for use of RAM.  By signing the application, they demonstrate support of the AU’s training and experience, the proposed use and facilities, and authorization specific procedures. The Administrator also sets expectations and supports the AU’s efforts in performing self-assessment activities, and implementing corrective actions.  



AU’s are periodically inspected.  If an inspection identifies a high deficiency score, like a level A or B deficiency, the Administrator will receive a copy of the Inspection Report. The Administrator should follow up with the AU to ensure that actions are being taken to identify the root cause(s) and that corrective actions are initiated to prevent reoccurrence.  Administrators should identify any improvement opportunities if necessary.


The Administrator may remove partial or total support from the AU.  That removal of support should be made in writing to the RSC with copies to the AU and the RSO.



The Administrator will receive periodic reviews of the AU’s that they directly supervise or are allowed to use their facilities.  These reviews may consist of lists of the AU’s, approved use areas, isotopes, RW’s or inspection results.  The Administrator may request this information for any of their AU’s at any time by contacting the RSO



The Administrator is involved in security of radioactive materials by controlling the issuance of keys for restricted areas and by keeping the AU appraised of who has keys issued for their restricted areas. The AU can then implement additional controls if needed and ensure that ancillary training is given to individuals with access to the restricted areas. All individuals with key access to the restricted area are responsible for security of radioactive material within the area or lab. 



Administrators should communicate to employees, students, visitors and guests that the health, safety, and concern for the environment are top priorities on the MU campus, and that everyone shares the obligation to perform work in a safe, healthful, environmentally protective manner.  They also ensure radiation safety obligations are met in the departments or units under their control.



By setting expectations for and supporting the AU’s efforts of establishing authorization-specific procedures, the administrator ensures that AUs and RWs utilize the “As Low As Reasonably Achievable” (ALARA) principles.





Individuals requesting permission to direct studies utilizing uncontained radioactive materials exceeding the quantities listed in 10 CFR 20 Appendix C must meet the following criteria:

  • A bachelor level college degree or equivalent of training and experience in physical or biological sciences,
  • At least 20 classroom hours of training, or equivalent training and experience in the safe handling of radioactive materials, characteristics of limiting radiation exposure, units of radiation dose and quantities, radiation detection, instrumentation and biological hazards of exposure to radiation.

Refresher training is required periodically. Additional information on training can be found on the Becoming a Radiation Worker page. 



Individuals requesting permission to direct studies utilizing sealed sources, contained sources, foils, vendor prepared assay kits, or other uncontained radioactive materials less than the quantities listed in 10 CFR 20 Appendix C must meet the following criteria:

  • An associate level degree or equivalent training and experience in technical, medical, physical, or biological areas,
  • At least 8 hours of training and experience, including 4 hours of formal classroom/laboratory instruction with 4 hours of supervised experience, concerning the understanding of radiation units, radiation detection, regulations, emergency procedures and specific instruction appropriate to the type and form of byproduct materials to be used.

Refresher training is required periodically. Additional information on training can be found on the Becoming a Radiation Worker page. 



Individuals requesting permission for medical use authorizations must contact the RSS for special instructions commensurate with the requirements of 10 CFR 35. 

Refresher training is required periodically. Additional information on training can be found on the Becoming a Radiation Worker page. 



The Authorized User shall:

  • Communicate to colleagues, staff, students and visitors that the health, safety, and concern for a safe workplace are top priorities at MU.  Everyone shares the obligation to perform work in a safe, healthy, environmentally protective manner.
  • Ensure that radiation safety policies and procedures are communicated to employees, students and visitors appropriate for their situation. 
  • Ensure that individuals handling radioactive materials are trained in and understand the proper authorization-specific radiation safety procedures.  The AU is responsible for the actions of all workers who handle radioactive materials under the specific authorization. 
  • Fulfill training requirements to become an Authorized User, and update training as required to maintain and renew authorization.
  • Review the authorization form and associated authorization applications with each RW, and define RWs’ specific responsibilities under the authorization. 
  • Determine by performance-based evaluations that RWs can properly perform the authorization-specific radiation safety procedures.
  • Register each individual who is allowed to work with radioactive material without direct supervision as a RW. 
  • Ensure that work requiring training is performed only by persons who have received the proper training i.e. no one can work with radioactivity until they have been trained.
  • Review the corrective actions with RW’s as necessary. 
  • Document all authorization-specific training and know where training records are kept.



The Authorized User shall:

  • Ensure every individual's exposure from radioactive materials and radiation is ALARA.
  • Establish and implement authorization-specific procedures to be in compliance with MU RSP procedures. 
  • Ensure that individuals working under the authorization have the proper safety equipment and laboratory apparel to perform their work safely. 
  • Develop and periodically review the radiological work procedures to ensure that radiation hazards are controlled or eliminated.  The AU may adopt the MU program procedures or adapt other procedures, while ensuring that the other procedures meet the intent of all the requirements of the authorization-specific procedures.
  • Verify the following information provided in the authorization specific quarterly report:
    • Any new radioactive material receipts,
    • any transfers,
    • any waste pickups,
    • any changes in RW status,
    • any changes in sealed sources
    • any changes in authorization specific instrumentation, and
    • current on-hand inventory.  



The Authorized User shall:

  • Ensure that radiation safety responsibilities are being carried out by all individuals working under the authorization. 
  • Encourage an atmosphere where there is the prompt reporting of health and safety concerns.
  • Curtail or stop work that is being carried out under the authorization if continuation of the work is believed to pose an imminent danger to health or safety.  Immediately notify RSS when work is curtailed or stopped for this reason. 
  • Establish, review, implement, and document completion of acceptable corrective actions to prevent reoccurrence of radiological events.
  • Perform periodic documented surveys to ensure that routine handling surveys performed by the RW’s are effective. 
  • Review the documented surveys to determine trends and any need for corrective actions (e.g., change in procedure, work area, equipment, personnel training, personnel accountability, shielding, ALARA techniques, etc.). 
  • Review and follow up on inspections performed by the RSS or the NRC, and correct any authorization-specific procedures that led to any deficiencies or as necessary.
  • Interact with the assigned RSC Representative (RSCR) concerning any suggested changes or corrective actions needed in the specific authorization program or in the MU RSP.

To begin the process of becoming an Authorized User, review the content on the RAM Authorization Applications page. 




All inventories for a Co-Authorization are combined under the Primary User's Authorization isotope limits and conditions. All Secondary AU’s must have the support of the Primary User and the Primary User's Administrator to join in a Co-Authorization.  The Primary User may request removal of the Secondary User from the Co-Authorization and document this request in writing to the RSS. A Secondary AU may be fully Co-Authorized for the entire Primary User's authorization or Co-Authorized for a defined portion of that authorization. However, a Secondary User must meet the criteria of being a Primary User for all of the Co-Authorization specifically approved for the Secondary User. 




  • Participate in radiation safety training appropriate for your work situation. 
  • Learn about potential hazards of radiation and radioactive material associated with your work and work area; know where information on the radioactive material is kept for your review; and use this information when needed. 
  • Seek help from the AU or the RSS if you are unable to fulfill your responsibilities due to lack of training or understanding.
  • Understand and follow authorization-specific procedures and established ALARA levels. 
  • Learn safe operating and emergency procedures appropriate for the work being performed. 
  • Follow procedures and observe precautions for the use of radioactive materials, as detailed in the approved authorization and in the RSM. 
  • Periodically update radiation safety training based on the worker function through MU EHS.
  • Attend formal training through the MU Radiation Safety Training Program prior to being registered as a RW. 


  • Ensure exposure to all individuals from radioactive materials and radiation is As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA). 
  • Use engineering controls (e.g., fume hoods, shielding, etc.) and personal protective equipment appropriate for the work being performed. 
  • Maintain security of radioactive materials from access by unauthorized individuals.
  • Ensure inventory and related records are maintained appropriately.
  • Survey yourself each time before you leave your work area or touch areas not allowed to be contaminated.  
  • Survey yourself and surrounding areas after you finish working with radioactive material. 
  • Return stock to proper storage and record activity (or volume and activity conversion) removed. 
  • Record estimated activities (or volume and activity conversion) going to samples, liquid waste, and solid waste to document location of radioactive material at any time. 
  • Be able to determine activity in stock, samples, liquid waste, and solid waste at any time (this is necessary when waste is prepared for pickup). 


  • Notify other authorized personnel of unusual circumstances.  
  • Stop work if you reasonably believe continuation of the work poses an imminent danger to the health and safety of the lab personnel or public, and immediately notify your supervising RW or AU.
  • Report all unsafe conditions to the supervising RW, AU, Administration, RSS, Radiation Safety Committee, or the NRC.
  • Participate in the required Review and Assessment and the Corrective Action Program as established in the authorization-specific procedures and implement corrective actions to prevent reoccurrence.
  • Document any contamination found upon surveying, actions taken, and final dose rates or levels of contamination following the decontamination efforts. 
  • Alert, notify or warn co-workers about defective equipment and radiation hazards. 
  • Periodically review corrective actions and ensure implementation.

To become a Radiation Worker, review the content on the Becoming a Radiation Worker page. 





Ancillary Workers (AWs) have access to radioactive materials or radioactive work areas, but are not allowed to handle radioactive materials except under the direct supervision of an AU or RW.

They are responsible for ensuring security of radioactive materials from unauthorized access or removal.  This means

  • If someone unfamiliar enters the restricted area containing radioactive materials, ask them to identify themselves and not let them have access to the material. 
  • If a workman comes in to do work in a restricted area, direct them to the AU or RW responsible for the area, or be completely briefed by the AU or RW as to what the workman is allowed to do and not to do. 
  • If someone is delivering radioactive materials, they are not allowed to accept the material.  They must find the AU or a RW to accept the delivered radioactive material.
  • If AWs are the last person to leave the restricted area, then they are responsible for locking the area. 
  • AWs are responsible for reporting any unusual circumstance with regard to work place safety to the AU or RW responsible for the restricted area. 



AWs must receive training to understand the specific requirements for the particular restricted areas to which they have access.  This training may be provided by the AU or RW.

MU’s Campus Facilities (custodians, maintenance, construction, energy management, etc.) receive ancillary training from the RSS or from the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR).  Hospital Support Staff (housekeeping, plant engineering, etc.) receive ancillary training from the RSS.  All these individuals are encouraged to discuss specific requirements with the people responsible for any restricted areas that they must enter.

Seek instruction from the authorized personnel in understanding responsibilities for access to restricted areas.

Be acquainted with and understand responsibilities toward providing colleagues, staff, students, and visitors with a safe work environment. 



Observe related signs, posters, warning signals and directions.  Assist in maintaining security and control of radioactive materials when you have access to restricted areas that contain them. 



Notify authorized personnel of any unusual circumstances observed regarding work place safety. 


Steps to become an Ancillary Worker can be found on the Radiation Ancillary Workers page. 


Page last updated on June 7, 2019.