Part 2: Agency Overview
- ARPANSA at a glance
- Role of ARPANSA
- Organisational structure
- Organisational chart
- ARPANSA Service Charter
ARPANSA AT A GLANCE
Protection of people and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation
Radiation safety is appropriately considered in societal decision-making
Radiation safety is addressed uniformly and effectively across Australia
Radiation safety in Australia is current international best practice
The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) is the Australian Government's primary authority on radiation protection and nuclear safety
Established by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 (ARPANS Act), ARPANSA commenced operations on 5 February 1999. ARPANSA replaced the Nuclear Safety Bureau and Australian Radiation Laboratory.
Responsible Ministers and Portfolio
ARPANSA sits within the Department of Health portfolio. The CEO, Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson, is the accountable authority of ARPANSA. As at 30 June 2016, Dr Larsson reported to the Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care.
ARPANSA has a single outcome as set out in the Portfolio Budget Statement:
Protection of people and the environment through radiation protection and nuclear safety research, policy, advice, codes, standards, services and regulation.
As at 30 June 2016, ARPANSA had 124 ongoing staff, nine non-ongoing staff, and one statutory appointment.
ARPANSA has offices in Victoria (Yallambie) and New South Wales (Miranda). Over 80% of staff are located in the Victorian office.
Role of ARPANSA
ARPANSA, on behalf of the Australian Government, aims to protect the Australian people and environment from the harmful effects of radiation.
ARPANSA is the independent regulator of Commonwealth entities that use or produce radiation. ARPANSA provides advice and services to the Australian community on radiation protection, nuclear safety, security, and medical exposures to radiation. The agency also undertakes internationally recognised research and promotes both national uniformity and the implementation of international best practice.
The Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Program, contained within the 2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statement, describes four program objectives which ARPANSA pursues to protect the Australian people and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation. These objectives are supported by stakeholder engagement and enabling support capabilities and are described in ARPANSA's 2015-2019 Corporate Plan.
The strategic objectives are:
- Protect the public, workers and the environment from radiation exposure
- Ensure radiological and nuclear safety and security and emergency preparedness
- Promote the effective use of ionising radiation in medicine
- Ensure effective and proportionate regulation and enforcement activities.
How We Deliver
ARPANSA provides the Australian Government and community with:
We build and maintain expertise in measurement of radiation and assessment of health impacts, including the assessment of risks and responses to radiation emergencies.
We provide high quality advice to the government and the community on issues related to exposure and effects of radiation, radiation protection and nuclear safety.
We use our licensing powers and work with Commonwealth entities to ensure the safety of radiation facilities, using a risk-informed regulatory approach.
We lead the development of codes, standards, guides and advice to support radiation protection and nuclear safety throughout Australia, and play a prominent role in relevant international organisations.
We offer high quality services for the purpose of protection against the harmful effects of radiation.
We undertake research and development, and build strategic partnerships with relevant national and international academic and research organisations.
ARPANSA's Executive Group (L to R): Jack Dillich, Sarsha Collett, George Savvides, Ivan Williams, Carl-Magnus Larsson, Tone Doyle, Stephen Solomon and Martin Reynolds
Chief Executive Officer
Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson has held the position of CEO since 2010.
The CEO's functions (as set out in the ARPANS Act), include:
- regulating Commonwealth radiation sources and facilities
- promoting uniformity of radiation protection and nuclear safety policy and practices across jurisdictions of the Commonwealth, the states and the territories
- providing advice on radiation protection, nuclear safety and related issues
- undertaking research in relation to radiation protection, nuclear safety and medical exposures to radiation
- providing services relating to radiation protection, nuclear safety and medical exposures to radiation
- monitoring the operations of ARPANSA, the Radiation Health and Safety Council (the Council), the Radiation Health Committee and the Nuclear Safety Committee
- reporting on the operations of ARPANSA, the Council, the Radiation Health Committee and the Nuclear Safety Committee.
The CEO is supported by the Executive Group, which is comprised of branch and office heads and the Director, Performance and Governance. This group provides the CEO with high-level policy and strategic advice, as well as reports on matters relating to their individual business groups. Together the CEO and the Executive Group form the leadership team responsible for the day-to-day management of ARPANSA.
In 2015-16 three changes were made to the membership of the Executive Group:
- Ms Tone Doyle was appointed Chief of Staff and Head of the Office of the CEO in October 2015
- Associate Professor Ivan Williams was appointed Chief Medical Radiation Scientist and Head of the Medical Radiation Services Branch in March 2016
- Ms Sarsha Collett, Director, Performance and Governance was appointed to the Executive Group in April 2016.
As at 30 June 2016, a process was underway to appoint a new Chief Radiation Health Scientist and Head of the Radiation Health Services Branch1. Dr Stephen Solomon has fulfilled this role since May 2011. In order to enable robust succession planning ahead of his retirement in 2017, Dr Solomon will take up a new role in ARPANSA as Principal Scientific Adviser.
ARPANSA Business Groups
ARPANSA has six business groups that deliver components of the agency's strategies and services. Figure 1.1 shows ARPANSA's organisational structure as at 30 June 2016.
Office of the CEO
Led by Ms Tone Doyle, Head of the Office of the CEO (OCEO) and Chief of Staff, the OCEO facilitates, coordinates and supports the activities of the CEO. The OCEO comprises three sections; Communications, Government and Parliamentary Relations and International Relations. The office is responsible for facilitiating, coordinating and integrating the activities of the agency and enhances the flow of information between branch and offices.
Led by Mr George Savvides, Head of Corporate Office and Chief Financial Officer, the Corporate Office comprises four sections; Finance, People and Culture, Information Management, and Performance and Governance. The internal systems for maintaining an effective public service that meets the needs and expectations of the community requires a competent and motivated workforce and effective management systems for internal information exchange, accountability and performance reporting. The Corporate Office plays an important role in this regard.
Office of the General Counsel
Our General Counsel, Mr Martin Reynolds, provides legal advice and strategic support to the agency with regard to all aspects of the agency's operations and assists the CEO to achieve his statutory mandate. The General Counsel provides legal advice and support to all ARPANSA staff to assist them in achieving their respective functions and to ensure that in doing so they are in compliance with relevant government policy and legislation.
Regulatory Services Branch
Led by Mr Jack Dillich, Chief Inspector, the Regulatory Services Branch has main carriage of regulation of the safety and security of Commonwealth radiation sources and facilities. Comprising four sections (Facility Licensing, Source Control, Continuous Improvement and Regulatory Assurance), the branch is ARPANSA's principal driver for promoting a uniform regulatory framework across all jurisdictions. The costs for direct regulatory activities are recovered from application fees and annual licence charges.
Radiation Health Services Branch
Led by the Chief Radiation Health Scientist Dr Stephen Solomon, the Radiation Health Services Branch comprises three sections; Monitoring and Emergency Response, Assessment and Advice, and Radiation Protection Services. The branch provides radiation protection advice and assessments to the public and to government. It operates services on a fee-for-service basis including the Personal Radiation Monitoring Service, the ultraviolet radiation fabric testing service and a radiofrequency equipment calibration service. The branch operates a number of national initiatives including an ultraviolet radiation monitoring network, and the Australian National Radiation Dose Register. It also operates a radiation monitoring network established under the terms of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
Medical Radiation Services Branch
Led by Associate Professor Ivan Williams, Chief Medical Radiation Scientist, the Medical Radiation Services Branch provides safety and quality advice on the use of radiation in medicine to all Australians. The branch has three sections. The Medical Imaging section is responsible for dose data collection and advice on patient safety within diagnostic imaging. The Radiotherapy section maintains the Australian primary standard for absorbed dose and, by calibrating hospitals' radiation monitors against the primary standard, ensures that a provider's equipment is accurate. The Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service audits linear accelerators used by radiotherapy providers in Australia, verifying that the radiation exposure of patients under treatment is correct.
ARPANSA Service Charter
Our service charter outlines who ARPANSA is and what we do, the standards of service expected from ARPANSA, and how our stakeholders can help us to improve our service. As at 30 June 2016, the service charter was under review. The charter is available in full on the ARPANSA website at Our Service Charter. A complaints management policy and process has been developed which includes customer service performance monitoring using a customer relationship management system currently being implemented. This will enable future comprehensive reporting of performance against the charter.
1 As of 1 September 2016, Dr Solomon was succeeded by Dr Gillian Hirth as Chief Radiation Health Scientist and Head, Radiation Health Services Branch