Radiation Protection Update Questions and Answers

What are the regulations regarding continuing education in radiology?
25. Pa Code, Section 221.11(b), requires that any individual who operates an X-ray machine must maintain continuing education in radiation safety, biological effects of radiation, quality assurance and quality control. 

Who is subject to these regulations?
Any individual who operates an X-ray machine is subject to the regulations.

How many credits of radiology continuing education do I need, and how often do I need to take them?
The regulations offer no minimum standard on how many, or how often, continuing education credits in radiology must be obtained. However, in order to demonstrate compliance with the law, individuals must complete continuing education that covers all required subject areas (radiation safety, biological effects, quality assurance and quality control).

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recommends that individuals obtain two contact hours, or four hours, of continuing education every four years. By meeting this standard set by DEP, individuals can be confident that they are in full compliance with the law. However, there are many other ways, all of which could take a different length of time to complete, that demonstrate compliance with the regulations. 

“Contact hours” are defined by DEP as those obtained in a traditional classroom setting.

Do I need to have “proof” of this CE?
Yes. You will need to maintain a record of any continuing education that is obtained. When DEP inspectors come to your offices to inspect your X-ray machines, they may ask to see these records.

What will happen if I do not obtain CE credits in radiology?
Any person who chooses not to be compliant with the radiology continuing education requirements listed in Pa. Code 25 may be subject to civil and criminal penalties listed within the act.

What continuing education resources are available to me?
The Pennsylvania Dental Association has created an online continuing education course, available exclusively for PDA members and their staff. The course is worth two credits for those who successfully complete a short quiz after reviewing the online course. Take the course now.

You also may visit the continuing education section of this site, or visit the Pennsylvania Academy of General Dentistry website for information on available courses.

If you are a dentist who is not currently a PDA member, but would like to consider membership, please contact the PDA Central Office at (717) 234-5941.