A large number of standards are available for radiation protection and individual monitoring purposes. They are published by various organisations, international and national. Moreover, the increasing policy of 'Quality' applied to individual monitoring requires the implementation of standards on Quality Assurance (QA) both in technical and management aspects of a dosimetric service. Implementation of standards is not mandatory; therefore, varying degrees of implementation can be found in different European countries. However, for a number of good reasons, a degree of harmonisation within the European Union (EU) of the requirements and procedures for individual monitoring would be desirable. Harmonisation as applied to dosimetric services does not mean that they should all follow exactly the same procedures, but that they should aim to meet the same general requirements, and their results should be comparable. This article aims to compile information on the use of all standards applied within individual monitoring practices, be it on the calibration of dosemeters or on the QA procedures to be applied to the overall dose evaluation process. Both 'technical standards' and 'quality standards' will be discussed. A list of documents of relevance to subjects such as recommendations and requirements in the field of individual monitoring, whose application could help in the harmonisation of procedures, will also be given. As it is agreed that implementation of quality standards is a relevant framework within which harmonisation can be achieved, guidance on the implementation of quality standards in a dosimetric service is given. Accreditation and approval of dosimetric services will be of relevance in the process of harmonisation of individual monitoring within the EU. In this article, a discussion of various procedures and the meaning of both forms of recognition is also provided. Although most of the text applies to the monitoring of internal and external exposure to ionising radiation, the emphasis of this practical guidance is on monitoring for external radiation with passive dosemeters.
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