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What is a dental QA programme?

Dental practices are required to establish a comprehensive quality assurance (QA) programme, in line with IRR17 and IRMER17.
© UK Health Security Agency

Dental practices are required to establish a comprehensive quality assurance (QA) programme to meet the requirements of both IRR17 and IRMER17.

IRR17 focuses on controlling occupational exposures, so the QA requirements here are in relation to ensuring that the X-ray equipment and its associated safety and warning systems operate correctly. The next step in this course will explain what in-house checks, in relation to the safety and warning features, are expected and what servicing and maintenance programmes are required for the equipment.

What is IRMER17?

IRMER17 aims to restrict patient doses by ensuring that all aspects of radiography, from the initial referral to the final reporting on the image, are performed with suitable equipment and by adequately trained staff working in accordance with the correct procedures. Furthermore, IRMER17 requires that all these aspects are addressed within the QA regime, as such, the detailed programme must include:

  • written protocols and procedures
  • X-ray equipment performance
  • patient dose
  • image processing and viewing equipment
  • image quality
  • staff training

Formal records are required to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of both pieces of legislation, so the employer should put together a comprehensive programme detailing all the required procedures/checks, the frequencies at which they should be undertaken and what information needs to be recorded.

It is also important that staff are appropriately trained and aware of their responsibilities with regards to the QA programme, whether this be undertaking routine checks or performing overall audits of the entire QA programme.

© UK Health Security Agency
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Dental Radiography: Radiation Protection in Dental Practice

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