IRPA Drafts Definition of Radiation Protection Expert (RPE)


In 1957, the International Labour Organization (ILO) established the first International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO-58). This classification was later superseded by ISCO-68 and then by ISCO-88. ISCO is a tool for organizing jobs into a clearly defined set of groups according to the tasks and duties undertaken in the job. It is intended both for statistical purposes and for client oriented applications, such as management of migration of workers between countries as well as development of vocational training programmes and guidance. Radiation protection (health physics) is not currently an ISCO defined and registered occupation.

The IRPA Executive Council has now taken the initiative to propose the registration of the Radiation Protection Expert (RPE) in the upcoming version ISCO-08, to be published early in 2008. The draft definition can be downloaded from the Publications: IRPA Reports and Documents page. ILO has included in the actual ISCO-08 draft a new Unit Group in which the RPE is given as an example of registered occupations:

Draft ISCO-08: Unit Group 2263

Environmental and occupational health and hygiene professionals

Environmental and occupational health and hygiene professionals evaluate work and other environments and develop and implement programs to monitor environmental health and occupational health and safety, to ensure safe and healthy working conditions, and prevent disease or injury caused by chemical, physical, radiological and biological agents or ergonomic factors.

Examples of the occupations classified here:

  • Environmental Health Officer
  • Occupational Health and Safety Adviser
  • Occupational Hygienist
  • Radiation Protection Expert (RPE)