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How to Obtain Authorized User Status

By Cindy Tomlinson, Senior Patient Safety and Regulatory Affairs Manager
Posted: August 9, 2023

In 2022, the American Board of Radiology announced that it was terminating the Nuclear Regulatory Commission recognition of all ABR certification processes after December 31, 2023. This change is important for radiation oncologists that want to begin offering radiopharmaceuticals but have not previously offered treatments regulated by the NRC, such as brachytherapy or radiopharmaceutical therapy.

What does this change mean? Starting on January 1, 2024, any radiation oncologist who is interested in becoming an Authorized User (AU) under 10 CFR 35, Medical Use of Byproduct Material, must obtain AU status via the “alternate pathway.”

What is the “alternate pathway”? The “alternate pathway” is how radiation oncologists become AUs without using board certification to prove compliance with training and experience requirements.

Simply put, if you are not already an AU, are within seven years of completion of training, and you want to become an AU, you must have all the proper paperwork, signatures and attestations as required by either the NRC or Agreement State. Note: if you are more than seven years after completion of training, there may be additional training and experience requirements needed to obtain AU status, but the process will be the same. You will need to contact your state radiation control program (for agreement states) or the NRC (for all others).

What can I do? Current trainees should ensure that your training program maintains meticulous records, complete with preceptor attestations, and fills out both NRC form 313A (AUT) and form 313A (AUS) and provides those to you upon graduation. This information must also be accessible to you indefinitely. Also, current trainees should ask their training programs to make them an AU under their training program’s license. This will be dependent on what type of license your facility has and the structure of your training program. The first step is to discuss this with your program director, your radiation safety officer (RSO) and your radiation safety committee.

ABR’s change puts greater onus on radiation oncologists, trainees and training programs to obtain AU status, particularly those that wish to deliver brachytherapy and radiopharmaceuticals.

More information, including links to state-specific radiation control programs and forms (where available), can be found on ASTRO’s How to Obtain AU Status webpage.

If you have any questions, please contact Cindy Tomlinson.

Learn more about radiopharmaceutical therapies in the Winter 2023 ASTROnews.


Topics:  RPTs
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