Interactive and self-paced online learning


from £899


Spring 2025 South East Asia/Australia Start/Finish Time


Interactive online course using Zoom and our online learning portal UKCEH LearnWorlds.


Students £949

Professionals £1049


Please express your interest in this course here, so we can fix another course date soon!

Short course description:

The course covers all aspects of radiological environmental (non-human biota) assessment, including radionuclide transfer, dosimetry, effects, benchmarks and dispersion, mixing self-guided and interactive lectures with practical exercises using the ERICA Tool.

More background on ERICA 2

Version 2.0 of the ERICA Tool was released in November 2021, with an update released in June 2023 and a further update expected in 2024. The current version of the ERICA Tool (June 2023) includes many new features, changes and updates. These include:

  • A different dosimetry approach (implementing ICRP Publication 136)
  • Inclusion of noble gases (including Rn)
  • Updated transfer parameter (concentration ratios and distribution coefficients) values
  • Changes in the implementation of concentration ratios

Course objectives:

By the end of the course, learners will

  1. Be conversant with assessment objectives;
  2. Have a basic understanding of radionuclide transfer, dosimetry and radiation effects;
  3. Know how to conduct an assessment using the ERICA Tool;
  4. Be able to interpret the results;
  5. Understand the implications of how the tools are used;
  6. Be up to date with advances in the field.

Target audience:

Regulators, industry, consultants, researchers (PhD students are welcome).


Any member of the target audience.


There are 30 places available.

Hardware and software requirements:

You will need a laptop, desktop or tablet to view the presentations. A second (external) screen will be useful for the interactive sessions (but not essential).

NOTE: You will not be able to use an Apple Mac or a tablet to run the ERICA Tool model. For the practical exercises included in the course, you will need a laptop/desktop running Windows. System requirements are 32/64 bit Windows 7/8.1/10 or later; 128 MB RAM (Recommended: 512 MB RAM or greater); At least 205 MB of free hard disk space. For the ERICA model to work well, a minimum screen resolution of 1024x768 is required.

We will use Zoom for interactive online learning. You do not need a Zoom account to join. Please check if your device is compatible with Zoom and that you can access Zoom through the internet connection that you will use during the course.  We recommend that you install the Zoom program if you are able to do so: https://ukri.zoom.us/test 

We have several guidance documents on how to use Zoom on our FAQ page. This includes information on how to use the web browser version if you are restricted from installing the Zoom App. We will explain the full Zoom functionality at the start of the course.

We will give you access to the online learning portal before the course starts.

Having a webcam is desirable (but not essential). If you plan to participate from an open-plan office or noisy environment, please wear headphones with a built-in microphone.

Course delivery:

We will deliver this course in a blended learning format. We will use Zoom and our online learning portal UKCEH LearnWorlds to deliver the course. We will run the course as a combination of pre-recorded learning content and live interactive sessions (total learning time approximately 30 hours). You will be able to watch pre-recorded training sessions in your own time. There will also be live interactive sessions, exercises and opportunities for Q&A and discussion. Between the live interactive sessions, you will do several self-learning activities and will be able to ‘chat’ on-line with the course trainers to ask questions and discuss any issues.

We will record all live interactive online sessions. Should you miss one of the live interactive online sessions, you will be able to watch a recording within 24 hours of the session ending. 

Here is the indicative schedule for the live sessions:

  • Pre-course tasks
    • Install and test ERICA Tool
    • Zoom installation 
  • Introductions. LIVE SESSION Wednesday 5 June 10am-12pm GMT
    • Introduction to presenters
    • Introduction to participants
    • Zoom and UKCEH LearnWorlds familiarisation
    • Introduction to the course
    • Check participants installation of ERICA v2.0..
  • Module 1: Basics to radiation protection of the environment. LIVE SESSION Friday 7 June 10am-12pm GMT
    • Radiation refresher on-line quiz
    • Conduct ERICA Tier 1 practical (in breakout rooms)
    • Q&A and discussion of results
  • Module 2: Dose estimation in radiation protection of the environment. LIVE SESSION Friday 14 June 10am-12pm GMT
    • Conduct Transfer practical (in breakout groups) 
    • Conduct Dosimetry practical (in breakout groups)
    • Demonstration: How to assess noble gasses 
    • Presentation: Assessment of natural radionuclides
  • Module 3: Risk assessment in radiation protection of the environment. LIVE SESSION Wednesday 19 June 10am-12pm GMT
    • Conduct Benchmark practical (in breakout groups)
    • Discussion on the ICRP TG99/105/124 activities
  • Module 4: Making sense of assessments. LIVE SESSION Friday 21 June 10am-12pm GMT
    • Conduct detailed practical exercise, including elements of decision-making (in breakout rooms)
  • Module 5: Q&A. LIVE SESSION Friday 21 June 1pm-3pm GMT
    • Live Q&A

We will make information on how to install and test the ERICA Tool available approximately two weeks before the live sessions. We will make course materials available to participants on 5 June 2024. Please note you will engage with some of the learning material in your own time on our online learning portal (on-demand self-guided learning).

Course trainers:

Prof. David Copplestone (University of Stirling),

Prof. Mike Wood (University of Salford).

With assistance from Catherine Barnett, Yasmin Matthews and Ingo Schüder (UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology). 

Course developers:

This course was created by key developers of national and international approaches to protect the environment from ionizing radiation (Prof. Nick Beresford, Prof. David Copplestone, Prof. Mike Wood and Ms Cath Barnett). They were or are currently members of relevant ICRP committees and working groups, lead IAEA activities in the field, and continue to develop new methodologies and conduct field/laboratory experimentation in the area. David Copplestone was previously employed by a UK regulator (the Environment Agency), and Mike Wood and Nick Beresford won a Times Higher Education award for their work in the area. The course team contributed to the development and testing of the ERICA Tool (version 2.0).

Our colleague Professor Nick Beresford, a pioneer in the field of radioecology, sadly died on 1 May 2023. Read more about Nick here: https://www.ceh.ac.uk/professor-nick-beresford

More detail & background:

International recommendations now require explicit consideration of the effects of planned releases of radioactivity on the environment (i.e. wildlife). In the United Kingdom, the requirement to assess impacts affecting Natura 2000 sites under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (as amended) in England and Wales (which reflects the implementation of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives) has been interpreted to include ionising radiation. To address the need to conduct an assessment of the effect on wildlife, various models or tools have been developed since circa 2000.

The course trainers have been involved in the development of approaches for the protection at the national and international level since 2000. Initially funded by the EC EURATOM programme, UKCEH was one of the organisations who developed the ERICA Integrated Approach and the ERICA Tool (which enable the implementation of the approach). 

The ERICA Tool is maintained by a consortium led by the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (DSA) with CIEMAT, UKCEH, University of Stirling and RadEcol Consulting Ltd. performing maintenance and development activities including upkeep of the important accompanying databases on the transfer of radionuclides to wildlife and the effects of radiation on wildlife.

This area of radiation protection has evolved relatively rapidly since 2000. For several years, we have been providing up-to-date training worldwide to regulators, industry and other users of radioactivity who need to conduct or review assessments. Initially developed under funding from NERC, UKCEH continues to lead the development of this training course. Over 300 regulators, industry or SME representatives and researchers have already benefitted from this training. The course covers all aspects of radiological environmental assessment mixing teaching sessions with practical exercises.

Previous course participants said:

“The course was great and has given me the confidence to use the ERICA tool in practice. Highly recommended!” (Dr Fiona Charalambous, ARPANSA, November 2020)

“It has been a great course run by the absolute experts in radiological risk assessment with an excellent cohort of co-learners from industry, government, and academia.” (Darren Koppel, Curtin University Australia, November 2020)

“It was absolutely fantastic to have access to some of the best radioecologists and to see the beginnings of our own regional radioecology community emerging.” (Liesel Green, ARPANSA, November 2020)

"Having been on a lot of training over the last few years I am extremely impressed by the tutors knowledge, approachability, enthusiasm, and teaching ability. Often training is delivered by experts with no ability to engage with or adapt to their target audience. Overall I felt like I came away understanding some content I had previously struggled with. Thank you for the time and effort given to developing this course; it is appreciated." (learner from Magnox, 2019)

“An excellent interactive course with a good balance of lectures and practicals. Practicals reinforced the learning from lectures.”

“Really useful course to help clarify what you need to consider and more importantly why”

“Practical exercises really useful – feel I have enough knowledge to go away and useful/develop my understanding of ERICA. An excellent interactive course.”

“The course provided a comprehensive insight into the ERICA tool and its application.  As well as interactive use of the software, case-studies relevant to Australian users were presented and considered by the trainees.  The trainers had an in-depth knowledge of the software and the methodologies required to successfully interpret its outputs.  I would highly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in environmental radiation protection.”

“The National Nuclear Regulator in Pretoria, South Africa, expresses its gratitude to UKCEH, in particular Prof. Nick Beresford and Cath Barnett, for making the effort to present the course on RADIOLOGICAL PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT (BIOTA) in Pretoria. The course was very interesting and well presented. It was a privilege to attend a course of such an outstanding quality. We hope to have much more collaboration in the future.”

Relevant links and key publications:

The ERICA Tool – software is free to download

Brown, J.E., Alfonso, B., Avila, R., Beresford, N.A., Copplestone, D., Hosseini, A. 2016. A new version of the ERICA Tool to facilitate impact assessments of radioactivity on wild plants and animals. J. Environ. Radioact. 153, 141-148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2015.12.011

Howard, B.J., Larsson, C-M. [Eds] 2008. The ERICA Project, Environmental risk from ionising contaminants: assessment and management.  J. Environ. Radioact., 99, 1361-1518. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0265-931X(08)00107-0