Terms of Reference

Association of the Heads of the European Radiological protection Competent Authorities (HERCA)

The Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Heads of the European Radiological protection Competent Authorities (HERCA) have been signed first in Paris on 8 December 2008, revised on 1 December 2010, 12 June 2014 and 21 October 2014.

Date of Entry into Force: 22/10/2014

We, the Heads of the European Radiological protection Competent Authorities:

Considering that from its inception, HERCA has been concerned with developing common regulatory approaches in terms of practical implementation leading to a number of successful outcomes such as common positions, statements and approaches on emergency preparedness, the control of occupational, public and medical exposures, the justification of certain practices…

Considering that the co-operation between the authorities through HERCA has contributed to:

  • increased efficiency and efficacy;
  • gathering of good ideas and good practices;
  • improved overall transparency;
  • obtaining results exceeding what a single regulatory authority can achieve;

Reaffirming the need for increased co-operation between Radiological protection Competent Authorities; and

Stressing the importance of the independent and professional standing of Radiological protection Competent Authorities,

Agree to participate, to maintain and to strengthen HERCA activities under the Terms of Reference set out below:


1. The Association has the objective to contribute to a high level of radiological protection throughout Europe by:

  • building and maintaining comprehensive European network of chief radiation safety regulators in Europe;
  • promoting exchange of ideas and experience and learning from each other’s best practices;
  • discussing and where appropriate, expressing its consensus opinion on significant radiological protection and regulatory issues;
  • developing, by consensus whenever possible, a common approach to radiological protection issues;
  • having an impact on the practice of radiological protection, within the States of HERCA members, through the voluntary implementation of outcomes from HERCA work.

Fields of competence

2. The fields of competence of HERCA cover radiological protection during the design, the construction, the operation and the decommissioning of nuclear installations and facilities, the transport, the storage and the use of radioactive materials and ionizing radiation for industrial, medical, veterinary, and research purposes, including the radiation sources of natural origin and consumer products.

HERCA considers radiological protection in normal conditions as well as in the event of incidents or accidents and the possible consequences of malevolent acts.

HERCA addresses the protection of people and the environment against the effect of ionising radiation.

Structure & Membership

3. The members of HERCA are the European Radiation Protection Authorities (RPA) represented by the Heads of the authorities.

4. The management structure of HERCA consists of:

  • A Board. (Board of HERCA (BoH), that meets in a plenary session twice a year. The Board is presided by a Chair, or a Vice-Chair in the HERCA Chairs absence. The members of the Board are expected to be Heads of their organizations or, if that is not possible, senior managers, authorised to take decisions on behalf of the RPA, and to attend the Board meetings regularly.
  • Working groups (WG) and Task Forces (TF) established by the Board to address issues of common interest.
  • A Technical Secretariat supporting the Board and the HERCA Chair, ensuring overall coordination and facilitation of all activities of HERCA.


5. Decisions in the name of HERCA are taken by consensus.


6. HERCA is a voluntary organization funded by voluntary contributions, financial and inkind, by member organizations. Funding mechanism and procedure are approved by the Board.

Work programme

7. The programme of work of HERCA is based on common interest in practical and harmonized solutions to important regulatory issues to be applied at the national level. The Board decides on the programme of work and defines priorities as needed.


8. HERCA will develop and maintain, when appropriate, suitable relations with regulatory authorities from countries which are not members of HERCA as well as with international organisations and other relevant stakeholders.

9. HERCA collaborates with relevant stakeholders and approaches stakeholder involvement with a view on maximizing the efficiency and efficacy of its efforts.

10. HERCA will keep relevant stakeholders informed about its activities and is prepared to consider requests from them for advice on radiological protection and regulatory matters.

Participating authorities

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