Register for Updates | Search | Contacts | Site Map | Member Login

ICRP: Free the Annals!

ICRP Activities

The work of ICRP helps to prevent cancer and other diseases and effects associated with exposure to ionising radiation, and to protect the environment.

ICRP is an independent, international organization that advances for the public benefit the science of radiological protection, in particular by providing recommendations and guidance on all aspects of protection against ionizing radiation.

ICRP is a Registered Charity (a not-for-profit organisation) in the United Kingdom, and has a Scientific Secretariat in Ottawa, Canada.


ICRP is comprised of a Main Commission, a Scientific Secretariat, four standing Committees (on Effects, Doses, Medicine, and Application), and a series of Task Groups.

The Main Commission and the Scientific Secretariat work together to direct, organize, and oversee the work of ICRP. All ICRP reports are approved by the Main Commission prior to publication.

The Committees advise the Main Commission in their area of expertise. They direct the work of Task Groups, and play an important role in ensuring the quality of ICRP reports.

Task Groups are established to undertake a specific task, normally the production of a single ICRP publication, and are generally comprised of a mixture of Committee members and other experts in the field invited to contribute to the work.


ICRP consists of eminent scientists and policy makers in the field of radiological protection. All members of the Main Commission, Committees, and Task Groups are volunteers, most whose employers pay for their time and travel expenses to work with ICRP. Some volunteer their time outside of regular work or after retirement. Members are invited to serve with ICRP based on the skills and knowledge they bring to the work, and as such do not represent their countries or employers when working with ICRP.

The Work of ICRP

In preparing its recommendations, ICRP considers the fundamental principles and quantitative bases upon which appropriate radiation protection measures can be established, while leaving to the various national protection bodies the responsibility of formulating the specific advice, codes of practice, or regulations that are best suited to the needs of their individual countries.

ICRP has published well over one hundred publications on all aspects of radiological protection. Most address a particular area within radiological protection, but a handful of publications, the so-called fundamental recommendations, each describe the overall system of radiological protection. The system of radiological protection is based on the current understanding of the science of radiation exposures and effects, and value judgements. These value judgements take into account societal expectations, ethics, and experience gained in application of the system. As the understanding of the science and societal expectations have evolved over time, so too has the system of radiological protection. As well, the recommendations continue to take into account novel uses of radiation in medicine and other fields to help ensure an adequate level of safety under all circumstances.

ICRP offers its recommendations to regulatory and advisory agencies and provides advice the intended to be of help to management and professional staff with responsibilities for radiological protection. Legislation in most countries adheres closely to ICRP recommendations. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) International Basic Safety Standards for Protection against Ionizing Radiation and for the Safety of Radiation Sources is based heavily on ICRP recommendations, and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 115, Radiation Protection Convention, General Observation 1992, refers specifically to the recommendations of ICRP. ICRP recommendations form the basis of radiological protection standards, legislation, programmes, and practice worldwide.


ICRP was established in 1928 at the second International Congress of Radiology to respond to growing concerns about the effects of ionizing radiation being observed in the medical community. At the time it was called the International X-ray and Radium Protection Committee, but was restructured to better take account of uses of radiation outside the medical area and given its present name in 1950.

Originally, ICRP published its recommendations and advice as papers in various scientific journals in the fields of medicine and physics. Since 1959, ICRP has its own series of publications, since 1977 in the shape of a scientific journal, the Annals of the ICRP, which is published Elsevier Science.


Code of Ethics

The History of ICRP and the Evolution of its Policies (published in ICRP Publication 109)

In order to be able to read these, you need the "Adobe Acrobat Reader". If you do not already have the reader, you can download it, free of charge, here.