Initial Certification for Diagnostic Radiology

Authorized User-Eligibility Information

Last verified on September 14, 2020




DR Certificates Approved for AU-eligible Designation


Diagnostic Radiology

ABR Authorized User-eligibility designation is available for diagnostic radiology certificates. Continue reading for additional information on how to earn this designation. Full NRC compliance details are available here.


Interventional Radiology

ABR Authorized User-eligibility (AU-E) designation is not available for interventional radiology/diagnostic radiology certificates. Additional information, including how to pursue authorized user status without the AU-E designation, is available here.




The ABR AU-eligible Designation

ABR forms (Forms A and B) do not need to be completed for a resident to take the ABR exams. Timely submission of the ABR forms, however, documents completion of the required NRC training and allows candidates who fulfill all requirements listed on Forms A and B and who pass all their ABR exams, including the RISE content, to receive an ABR certificate that contains the additional designation of AU-eligible. This designation will appear near the left lower corner of the certificate.

If Forms A and B are not completed or submitted to the ABR for a candidate, AU-eligible certificate designation will not be possible, even though the NRC-required training and experience may have been met, and the exams have been passed by the candidate.

An AU-eligible certificate indicates that the diplomate has fulfilled all the training and experience requirements of the NRC/Agreement State and has passed all the ABR exams, including the RISE. It means that the diplomate is eligible through the ABR board certification pathway to be approved by the NRC/Agreement State as an Authorized User (AU) for the medical use of radionuclides (radiopharmaceuticals) for imaging and localization studies, and for the oral administration of sodium iodide 131I in amounts ≤ 33 mCi and > 33 mCi for procedures requiring a written directive.

In addition, nuclear radiology subspecialty diplomates are eligible for AU status for all unsealed byproduct material for which a written directive is required. This includes low-dosage and high-dosage radioiodine administrations for diagnostic and therapeutic use as well as parenteral administration of any beta emitter or photon-emitting radionuclide with a photon energy less than 150 keV, for which a written directive is required, and/or parenteral administration of any other radionuclide for which a written directive is required.

Such diplomates can apply to the NRC/Agreement State for AU status, which allows the diplomate to be listed on the institutional or practice site license and to oversee the safe and effective medical use of radionuclides (radiopharmaceuticals). AU status is obtained upon written application to the NRC/Agreement State and requires submission of an NRC preceptor form that has been completed and signed by the preceptor, who must be an AU. The forms are available on the NRC website.

ABR diplomates who do not have the designation AU-eligible on their certificates may apply to the NRC/Agreement State for status as an AU via the NRC’s alternate pathway, but they will be required to provide detailed information about their relevant training and experience.




The ABR AU-eligible Designation FAQs


What is an authorized user?


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) defines an Authorized User as a person named on an NRC license as being responsible for ensuring that radioactive materials are handled and used safely and in accordance with NRC regulations and the terms and conditions of the NRC license.


How do I become an Authorized User without the AU-E designation on my certificate?


The NRC offers a noncertification pathway to become an Authorized User. Please refer to NRC Form 313A for more information.


Who grants Authorized User status?


The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).


I have the Authorized User-Eligible (AU-E) designation on my ABR certificate. What does that mean?


The AU-E designation means that you submitted the appropriate forms to the ABR and passed the Radioisotope Safety Exam (RISE) content on the Core and Certifying Exams. AU-E status does not mean you are an authorized user. The AU-E designation on your certificate allows you to pursue a streamlined process with the NRC to be granted Authorized User status.


When did the ABR begin granting the AU-E designation on certificates?


In 2006 for diagnostic radiology and in 2007 for radiation oncology, therapeutic medical physics, diagnostic medical physics, and nuclear medical physics.


My original certificate had the AU-E designation, but my new certificate doesn’t. Why is that?


The AU-E designation is only valid for seven years from the completion of residency training.


Why does AU-E designation expire after seven years? How do I get it back?


The AU-E designation expiration is an NRC statute. The NRC does not allow the ABR to provide a process to regain your AU-E designation after it has expired.


How do I know if I am AU-E?


The AU-E designation will be shown on your certificate.  You will also have received notice on your certifying exam pass letter if you were granted AU-E designation.


What forms do I need to submit to have the AU-E designation on my ABR certificate?


Forms A and B, which can be downloaded from the ABR website.


I completed and turned in Forms A and B to the ABR but did not pass the RISE content on the Core and Certifying Exams. What are my options?


You will need to take and pass the RISE. For more information, see the ABR website.


I completed the requirements during my residency needed for the AU-E designation but did not submit the required forms to the ABR and was issued a certificate without the AU-E designation. Can I still become AU-E?


Yes. You may still complete Forms A and B to become AU-E. Please contact a Certification Manager at for assistance.