Initial Certification for Radiation Oncology

Compliance with NRC Regulations

Last verified on February 14, 2024

AU-E Designation Discontinued

In March 2022, the ABR informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of the Board’s intent to discontinue including Authorized User-Eligible (AU-E) designations on ABR certificates issued after December 31, 2023.
Please review the Frequently Asked Questions for additional information on this transition.
You can also view a recording of our March 30, 2022 informational webinar regarding the changes to the AU-E designation.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What is “Authorized User-Eligible (AU-E)”?
This is an ABR certificate designation that allows a candidate to submit training and experience documentation to the ABR as part of the process for eventually requesting, if needed, the Authorized User designation from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
What is an “Authorized User” [of Radioactive Materials]?
This is a designation by the NRC for an individual who meets the training and experience requirements and is added to the institution/facility/practice upon request and approval of the required credentials. Many radiologists are not Authorized Users. “A person named as an authorized user on an NRC license is 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.”
Why did the ABR decide to stop issuing (AU-E) designations?
  • It was outside the defined focus of the ABR’s mission.
  • It diverted resources from fundamental objectives (e.g., refinement of remote exams, high reliability customer service).
  • A direct pathway exists with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Agreement States. (An Agreement State has signed an agreement with the NRC authorizing the State to regulate certain uses of radioactive materials within the State).
  • An individual may be an AU without being board certified. Conversely, an individual may be board certified without being an AU.
When were these changes implemented?
The ABR discontinued including (AU-E) designations on certificates issued after December 31, 2023. Candidates in all disciplines who received initial board certification before that date and met other criteria received AU-E on their certificates.
What ABR certificates were impacted by this change?
All ABR specialty certificates were impacted. AU-E designations on ABR certificates are diagnostic radiology (AU-Eligible), interventional radiology/diagnostic radiology (AU-Eligible), radiation oncology (AU-Eligible), diagnostic medical physics (RSO-Eligible), nuclear medical physics (RSO-Eligible), and therapeutic medical physics (AMP-Eligible).
Where can I find information about becoming an NRC Authorized User?
Detailed information about the training, experience, and documentation required to become an NRC Authorized User is available on the NRC website.
If a candidate is board eligible but not board certified, can they become an NRC Authorized User?­
Yes. ABR board certification is not a requirement to become an NRC Authorized User.
Does the ABR require residency programs to keep NRC-related training records for a certain period of time?
­No. The ABR does not require residency programs to keep NRC-related training records. However, it would be in the best interest of the residents and programs to retain these records to help those interested in becoming an NRC Authorized User.
If I’m completing my training this year, but I’m not worried about AU-E, does the ABR require submission of the forms?
No. This has never been a requirement for ABR board certification.
Is there a change to the required documentation (record keeping) by the residency program?
No. For radiation oncology, the Oral I-131 and Parenteral Administration Log are no longer submitted to the ABR. However, residents and programs should continue to be consistent with meeting RRC and NRC requirements. The graduate may request that the program complete and attest to their training and experience in their NRC Preceptor Statement; the documentation requirements are very similar to what was previously provided to the ABR. The government form looks different, but the information needed for completion is very similar to what was needed for completion of the ABR forms prior to 2024.