X-ray operator course

As a model of care, the use of X-ray operators in rural locations not specifically serviced by a qualified medical imaging technologist has proven to be an effective means of delivering quality health care. To those who would otherwise be burdened greatly by the tyranny of distance that presents as one of the greatest challenges facing delivering health care in rural Western Australia, X-ray operators offer a front line service. The X-ray operator course, approved by the Radiological Council, Government of Western Australia for the purposes of the State’s Radiation Safety Act, comprises of three components: online distance learning; face-to-face interactive workshops and assessment. Please see detailed information under ‘Course Structure’.

Course dates

  • Wednesday 25 to Friday 27 November 2020
    Application Deadline: Please note this course is now full and no longer accepting applications. Please check back next year for the 2021 dates.

Course dates are subject to change. The University reserves the right to cancel a course if deemed necessary.

Course options and eligibility

  1. X-ray operator course: Registered or enrolled nurses and medical practitioners are eligible for this course. Proof of qualification and current AHPRA registration must be provided with your application.
  2. Three yearly assessment: Only X-ray operators approved by the Radiological Council are eligible for this assessment. Applicants must provide a copy of their X-ray operator course certificate with their application.
  3. Approved radiographer status: Only registered radiographers are eligible for this option. In order to obtain the approved radiographer status issued by the Radiological Council of WA, you will be required to participate in some of teaching components of the course.

X-ray operator course essentials

In order to fully participate in the X-ray Operator course, you must have internet and computer access to complete the pre-course modules. A laptop or tablet during your contact hours is required as no lecture notes will be printed. A hard copy of the reference manual will be provided to you at registration in the first face-to-face workshop.

How to apply

Ensure that you complete all the required information for the course option you are applying for.

Prior to the application deadline, email the completed signed form to: ClinicalMedicalRadiations@curtin.edu.au.

Download the application form

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Course structure

X-ray operator course structure

Online distance learning component

Participants will receive a login to an Online Learning platform website. This site will contain the online learning material. Participants are required to work their way through the structured activities over a period of 4 weeks. Online course material is presented in four modules and each module requires participants to complete and pass a short assessment before they are able to progress to the next module. All four assessments need to be successfully passed prior to the participant attending the face-to-face component of the course. This ensures that every participant is suitably prepared with the theoretical foundation for the practical application.

Face-to-face component

Having successfully completed the online learning component, participants then attend three days of face-to-face, interactive workshop. The primary purpose and emphasis is on practical application and assessment of ability.

Participants will have access to Curtin University’s medical imaging facilities for the purpose of completing structured practical exercises. Activities include practical experience in equipment operation and maintenance, radiographic positioning and viewing of radiographs, as well as question and answer sessions. These activities ensure that participants have sufficient opportunity to learn relevant practical skills, to practice them, and to be assessed for satisfactory ability.


On the final day of the face-to-face component, participants will undertake three assessments. These include an image processing assessment, a practical skills assessment, and a written assessment (including all work covered in online modules and face-to-face sessions). To successfully complete the X-ray Operators Course, participants must demonstrate satisfactory performance in all three assessments.

Course duration

The complete duration of the course is 5 weeks. It is expected that the participants will need to spend approximately 4 to 6 hours a week for 4 weeks on the online education component of the course, prior to attending the face-to-face workshops. The workshops consist of two 7 hour days in lectures and laboratory sessions. Assessments will take place on the final day.

Course completion

To successfully complete the X-ray Operator Course, participants are required to participate in all components of the course and achieve a pass mark in all assessments.
On completion of the x-ray operator course, the Radiological Council will issue eligible persons with an x-ray operator certificate that permits them to operate mobile X-ray machines to perform chest and extremity radiography at appropriately registered remote and rural locations in WA.
Once the Radiological Council of WA has issued approval, all x-ray operators employed by WACHS have access to approved radiographers, who act as their mentor/supervisor.

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Cost and cancellation

Course cost

Available course options:
X-ray Operator course: $1,800 plus GST
X-ray Operators 3-yearly Assessment: $300 plus GST
Approved Radiographer Status: No cost

The cost includes course materials and a light lunch each day.

Payments must be made prior to the application deadline to secure your place. Payment receipts must be emailed to ClinicalMedicalRadiations@curtin.edu.au.

Payment can be made online using a credit or debit card on the Curtin University ePay system, where a tax receipt will be issued once the transaction has been completed. Further payment information will be provided upon application.

Cancellation of paid places

Refunds: A cancellation fee to cover expenses will apply if a cancellation is requested less than six weeks prior to commencement of the course. Please refer to the application form for specific cancellation fee details.

No fee applies if cancellation is requested more than 6 weeks prior to commencement of the course.

Swapping: A request to swap a confirmed participant will not be considered after the application deadline. Any request to swap a confirmed participant prior to the application deadline may be considered.

Transferring: A request to transfer a paid place to another course date will not be considered. In this instance, a refund can be given minus the cancellation fee outlined on the application form. The applicant will need to submit a new application form including required documents, requesting the new preferred course date.

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Additional information for applicants and employers

Western Australia Country Health Service (WACHS) applicants
WACHS employees seeking to become X-ray operators are encouraged to seek approval from their Health Service prior to applying to enrol in the course. WACHS staff perform X-ray operator duties in line with relevant WACHS Policies and Procedures.

Applications from private organisations
Unless approval has already been provided by the Radiological Council for the X-ray operator service at a given location, written permission needs to be sought from the Radiological Council and submitted with the application.

Applications from other qualified health professionals (i.e. Paramedics etc)
Other qualified health professionals may be considered for attendance on the course. However, unless approval has already been provided by the Radiological Council for the X-ray operator service at a given location, written permission needs to be sought from the Council of WA and submitted with the application.

Self-funding individuals
X-ray operators in Western Australia have a specific role in remote and rural areas and must meet the eligibility requirements prior to being considered for approval as a participant on the course.

We understand that some health professionals may wish to attend this course for their own professional development rather than being funded or approved by their employer. Applicants are encouraged to seek approval from their employer prior to applying to enrol in the X-ray operator course.

In an effort to ensure rural Western Australia is able to maintain the required X-ray operator workforce, priority may be given to applicants who have demonstrated employer support when applying to enrol in the X-ray operator course.
Prior to application, you are required to seek approval from the Radiological Council of WA to participate in this course and documentation submitted with your application.

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X-ray operator licensing outside of WA

Please be aware that approval as an X-ray operator in WA does not automatically allow operators to use mobile X-ray machines or any other X-ray equipment outside of WA.
If you are interested in applying for this course from outside of WA, please note that each state has its own requirements and you will need to seek advice from your jurisdiction regarding their acceptance of the Curtin University X-ray Operators Course.

X-ray operators who will be operating at facilities in international waters are regulated by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA). ARPANSA should be contacted with regard to their requirements for x-ray operator sites. The contact details for each jurisdiction’s regulator can be accessed at: https://www.arpansa.gov.au/regulation-and-licensing/regulation/state-territory-regulators.

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