Is Someone Harping at You to get a H.A.R.P. Test?

The truth about testing your x-ray machines
Recently it has come to light that certain individuals have been actively soliciting veterinary clinics to pay to have a “mandatory” test called a HARP (Healing Arts Radiation Protection Act RSO 1990). Often, scare tactics are used to push customers into having it performed, due to health and safety concerns. Most recently a certain individual has been contacting veterinary clinics saying that the regulations changed as of Jan 1/14 that makes this mandatory. I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is false. If you have been duped into believing this you need to ask for a refund on the test.What is HARP?HARP is a radiation test that is required by the Ministry of Health in human medical clinics ONLY and is NOT required for veterinary clinics. Veterinary clinics do not fall under the Ministry of Health regulations but rather the Ministry of Labour. The key differentiating factor is the Ministry of Health’s mandate to protect the operator AND the patient, the Ministry of Labour only looks after the operators safety. They have no mandate to protect the health of the animals. Common sense prevails and the animals are rarely ever at risk, and when they are it is minimal. So the short answer is the veterinary clinic NEVER needs a HARP test. However, there is no harm having one done. However, it seems the primary reason they are being done is to get a veterinary clinic to spend lots of money on needless maintenance, to meet the HARP regulations.Why not a HARP test?

If you test a dental x-ray machine that is an older (or even newer) AC (alternating current) model, it may fail a HARP test. Is something wrong with the dental x-ray machine? Absolutely not. However the kvp on these machines varies with the incoming AC power line and this may be unacceptable in a HARP test. However this not an issue in a veterinary clinic as this is easily compensated for.  DC systems overcome this with automatic line voltage compensation.

Whole body veterinary systems gain no real advantage in a HARP test as the parameters used to do this test require that a human patient is being x-rayed. The standards are for Medical (human) patient protection. The bottom line is a HARP test for your whole body system is a waste of your $.

What to do if you are approached?

Say no.   Call the Ministry of Labour and report the incident.  If you are being pressured into a HARP test, you are being mislead and should take the time to review the regulations for your own peace of mind before you spend your hard earned cash on unnecessary maintenance and/or updating equipment.  As the “responsible person” listed on your MOL application to get a permit for your an X-ray system you are required legally to be fully aware of the regulations surrounding the ownership and use of your x-ray system (s) Here is a link to those regulations:

Here is a link to the HARP act RSO 1990. Note the complete absence of the word “Veterinary” or “veterinarian” in the act. This is intentional.

Look also at the definition of an x-ray machine  in section 1 under Definitions “X-ray machine” means an electrically powered device the purpose and function of which is the production of X-rays for the irradiation of a human being for a therapeutic or diagnostic purpose; (“appareil à rayons X”) Notice the phrase “human being”. Those are not animals they are referring to.


Don’t get the wool pulled over your eyes. Know what you are suppose to be conforming to, and don’t let people talk over your head. Check the facts yourself.

Posted in Policies.