Chapter 1: How Standards Are Created

The Hierarchy of Legal Authorities: Laws, Statutes and Regulations

The hierarchy of legal authorities (also known as statutes, regulations and standards) guides radiologic technologist practice in licensure states, but it can be confusing when the terms used to refer to legal authorities change from state to state.

Watch a presentation that describes the types of legal authorities and their order of importance. It’s also important to understand how authorities can be changed to positively affect radiologic technologists’ daily practice.

The Legislative Process

Each state has its own process for introducing and enacting bills. Knowing the critical points of the legislative process can help you and understand how a bill moves from introduction to enactment and therefore increase the odds of your bill's success. To learn how a bill goes through the legislative process, read "How an Idea Becomes a Law." 

The Regulatory Process

Regulations are rules passed by executive branch administrative agencies. While each state may set particular guidelines for its own rule-making process, the basic requirements for the adoption of a regulation are usually outlined by the legislature in a statute referred to as the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).

Enforcement of Standards

For laws to be effective, statutes and regulations must be enforceable, but also have due process for individuals who might be investigated for not complying with the law. Read The Enforcement of Standards to learn how suspected noncompliance with licensure laws can be investigated, adjudicated and penalized.


View a comprehensive list of available information on each state’s legislative process, administrative code and register, regulatory process, and other helpful state-specific documents. 

State radiation program control offices have knowledge about state-specific radiation statutes and regulations.

To discuss specific issues and needs your affiliate society may have, email the ASRT State Advocacy and Government Relations Department at