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Naval Laser Safety

Laser Safety Training FAQs

Table of Contents

  1. What level of LSSO training do I need?
  2. Where is training available and how much does it cost?
  3. What do I need to do to be qualified to conduct ALSO training?
  4. My activity has unique needs; can I train ALSO students with my own course material?  
  5. Why do I need to be TLSO certified before I can take an RLSS or LSS course?

What level of LSSO training do I need?

There are four certifications for Laser System Safety Officers (LSSOs). Brief summaries of each are given below. For a complete description of each, see Enclosure 1 of OPNAVINST 5100.27/MCO 5104.1.

  • » ALSO (Administrative Laser Safety Officer) - Certified for administrative tasks such as the maintenance of a laser safety program, laser inventory, or medical surveillance program.
  • » TLSO (Technical Laser Safety Officer) - Certified to perform all ALSO duties and can teach ALSO certification (ALA & LNTL approval required). Understands laser hazard evaluation and can perform annual laser range safety compliance inspections.
  • » RLSS (Range Laser Safety Specialist) - Certified to perform laser range certifications and conduct technical range investigations. Also qualified to teach the ALSO and RLSS certification courses (ALA & LNTL approval required).
  • » LSS (Laser Safety Specialist) - Certified to conduct laser hazard measurements and evaluations to determine laser hazard classification, hazard distances, and safety eyewear requirements. Also qualified to teach the ALSO and the TLSO certification courses (ALA & LNTL approval required).

Commanding officers should determine which certification of LSSO is appropriate for their activity considering their mission, types of lasers being used, and size of the laser safety program.


Where is training available and how much does it cost?

The ALA maintains a list of approved LSSO instructors. A list of other LSSO certification course (TLSO, RLSS, and LSS) dates and locations are available in the Training area of this website.

If you have a group that is in need of a dedicated TLSO, RLSS, or LSS certification course, email the LNTL.


What do I need to do to be qualified to conduct ALSO training?

To conduct ALSO training, you must:

  • » Be certified TLSO
  • » Submit a request to the ALA and LNTL
  • » Be recommended via memorandum to the ALA and LNTL by another ALSO instructor who observed your delivery of the course material 
  • » Await approval and instruction from ALA and LNTL

My activity has unique needs; can I train ALSO students with my own course material?

To be an ALSO instructor, you must be authorized by the TLA and LNTL.

In order to obtain ALSO certification, a student must pass the standardized ALSO exam. In order to do this, they should be taught the standardized ALSO course material. ALSO certification is based only on the ALSO course material, so the ALSO exam shall not be modified. However, the standardized course material is the minimum required information that can be taught. If your activity has unique needs, additional information beyond the standardized ALSO course material may be included in the instruction and a supplemental exam be given to cover your activity's unique needs.


Why do I need to be TLSO certified before I can take an RLSS or LSS course?

RLSS and LSS courses contain very specific technical information that is not necessary for most LSSOs. However, in order to fully understand the topics involved in the RLSS and LSS courses, it is necessary to have an understanding of the course material taught in the TLSO course. If TLSO certification was not pre-requisite to RLSS and LSS, it would require that these courses be lengthened to cover the material. By requiring the pre-requisite, people who are TLSO certified can become RLSS or LSS certified without needing to be re-taught the same material they already know. Additionally, LSS certification is a pre-requisite for teaching TLSO courses, so having taken a TLSO course is helpful in preparing to teach one.