Training requirements for EDO certification

Before applying for exposure device operator (EDO) certification, you must complete the following four steps: 

Vocational training course

Before taking vocational training, you must demonstrate a basic level of knowledge of mathematics. The vocational training institute is required to assess this level of knowledge following Natural Resources Canada’s sample math exam or equivalent.

You must complete a 40-hour classroom vocational training course in radiation safety and the theory and practice of industrial radiography.

An acceptable course must include the following topics:

  • principles of gamma radiography
  • all applicable principles of radiation protection and radiation safety
  • principles of operation of industrial exposure devices and procedures for using them under normal conditions and during emergencies
  • relevant sections of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and applicable regulations

Refer to sections 2.5, 3 and 4 of Certified Exposure Device Operator Personnel Certification Guide (CSA PCP-09) for more information on vocational programs and requirements.

Your application for EDO certification must include a scanned copy of your original certificate from your vocational training institute. The certificate must confirm the following information:

  • completion of 40 hours of instruction
  • your full legal name
  • contact details for the vocational institution

The training institute should also provide a copy of the mathematics examination (or certificate of completion), or a letter stating that you meet the mathematics prerequisite requirement.

The CNSC suggests completing this vocational training before entering the required on-the-job training program. However, you may also complete the vocational training during the first few weeks of apprenticeship if necessary.

On-the-job training program

EDO candidates should complete at least 320 hours of on-the-job training (OJT) as an EDO trainee at a licensed gamma radiography facility under the direct supervision of an experienced, certified EDO appointed by the licensee.

The OJT program should include, but is not limited to, the following topics:

  • principles of operation of specific exposure devices and associated equipment
  • supervised operation of specific exposure devices and associated equipment
  • use of remote handling tools
  • personal dosimetry
  • use of survey meters
  • job hazards assessment and prevention
  • specific emergency procedures including practical exercises
  • safety and security
  • leak testing
  • transport requirements
  • compliance inspection and enforcement
  • human-factors considerations resulting from the working environment, substance abuse, fatigue and stress

OJT should be completed with the same licensee for the entire period. All training (vocational and on the job) should be completed within two years of the start of training.

Practical examination

After completing an on-the-job training (OJT) program, you must pass a practical examination, which will test your knowledge and skill level in the safe operation of an exposure device.

This examination must be conducted under the direct supervision of an experienced certified EDO (at least five years of experience as a certified EDO plus hands-on experience with the test device) at the licensed facility, ideally where you completed your OJT program. You may also apply to the Non-Destructive Testing Certifying Agency to complete the exam at one of its test centres.

During the practical examination, you will be required to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the certified EDO supervising the examination, that you are competent in each of these areas:

  • radiation protection
  • inventory control
  • preparation of work area
  • exposure device and accessories
  • safe setup and use of exposure device
  • post-exposure
  • record keeping
  • emergency preparedness
  • transportation (if applicable)
  • security

If you do not achieve at least 90 percent, you are permitted to retake the exam. You should wait 30 days between exam attempts so you can obtain additional training. If you fail three consecutive practical attempts, you must repeat the whole OJT program.

Written examination

After completing the vocational training, OJT, and passing the practical examination, you must pass a final written examination, administered online by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the CSA Group. To register for the examination, complete NRCan’s application information and submit the NRCan fees associated with the testing.  If you pass the written test, NRCan will send you a letter and registration number, which you must include with your application to the CNSC for EDO certification. You will also receive an NRCan photo identification card. The NRCan identification card is not associated with the CNSC. However, you must keep this card with your CNSC EDO certification card and have it on hand during CNSC compliance inspections.

NRCan’s online written examination will assess knowledge in the following areas:

  • fundamental properties of matter
  • radiation and radioactivity
  • radiation units
  • radiation detection and measurement
  • biological effects of radiation
  • control over radiation exposure
  • safety and security of workers and devices
  • exposure devices:
    • principles of operation
    • normal operating procedures
    • emergency procedures
    • transportation requirements
  • the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and applicable regulations

For questions about the written examination and expiration of NRCan photo identification cards, contact:

Non-Destructive Testing Certifying Agency
CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory
Minerals and Metals Sector
Natural Resources Canada
183 Longwood Road South
Hamilton ON  L8P 0A5

Tel.: 905-645-0653 or 1-866-858-0473
Fax: 905-645-0836

If you fail the written examination, you should wait at least 30 days before retaking it and use this time to review the vocational training program.

If you fail the written examination on three consecutive attempts, you must repeat the entire vocational training program before applying to take the test again.