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Advanced practitioner accreditation

All applications for advanced practitioner accreditation (and any other accreditation) must be completed via CPD Now. The application can be started by clicking on the appropriate link on the right side of CPD Now.

As well as the criteria below, applicants must also have completed CPD accreditation. This is an automatic process and CPD accreditation is awarded once 12 activities of CPD have been completed within two years.

Assessment criteria

Applications for advanced practitioner accreditation are assessed according to the core functions of higher level practice (Department of Health, 2000). These can be evidenced through clinical practice. You should demonstrate expert practice and show progression into the other three (consultant practitioners need to evidence meeting all 4).

  1. Expert practice
  2. Professional leadership and consultancy
  3. Education, training and development
  4. Practice and service development, research and evaluation

Examples of the above could include (but are not limited to):

  1. Reporting in your specialist area, running treatment review clinics, technique/technology review and implementation.
  2. Being asked for your insight and opinion by external/internal organisations/colleagues, being a key contact for other health care professionals in relation to your practice.  Leading elements of service innovation.
  3. Delivering expert lectures at a university/hospital – these do need to be at expert level as practitioners commonly do tutorials and lectures too.  Lectures to post graduate students could perhaps be included.  Taking an active role in the education and learning of others.  This must be more than just mentoring students.
  4. Leading (or leading aspects of) practice and/or service developments for the benefit of service users and/or colleagues and being involved in the evaluation of those developments.  This could include service audit.  Starting your publishing career – this could be in Imaging and Therapy Practice or better still a peer reviewed journal such as Radiography.  You do not need to be the sole or lead author.   You wouldn’t be expected to have many publications but you should show evidence of starting to publish.  You should also be engaged in research and/or audit in some way.  You may not be leading the research but you should be playing a significant part in it.

There are further examples here and further information here. You will also find the Education and Career Development Framework (CoR, 2013) useful. This is available from the Document Library.

Of course, all of the above depend on your scope of practice – your speciality. You should ensure that your application is focused on your advanced practice and not your general radiographic/management duties.

Linking CPD activities to the application

You must link at least six pieces of CPD Now evidence to your advanced practitioner accreditation application. You are welcome to link more than six if you wish to but more than eight is probably too many. Remember, it is these pieces of evidence that the College of Radiographers’ assessor will use to approve your application.

Attestors

You must provide the names and contact details of two attestors. You can contact any person you work with who can attest that you are working at an advanced level within your scope of practice. Commonly, applicants choose their line manager or someone with whom they work closely.  The two attestors must be registered professionals with their appropriate body (HCPC, GMC, NMC etc).

College of Radiographers’ Assessors

Each application is reviewed by a College of Radiographers’ Assessor. You can find out more about Assessors here.

Re-accreditation

Accreditation lasts for 2 years.  The re-accreditation process and assessment criteria are the same as those relating to the initial accreditation.  Applicants can start their re-accreditation application as soon as their initial application has been completed.

Hints and tips for advanced practitioner accreditation

These may seem obvious but some applications miss out these key items.  The first one is especially important.

  • Consider carefully the evidence and attachments you are providing.  Do they break any confidentialities?  For example, do they include colleagues’ names or contact details?  Do they include any other identifiable information?  Do they include any employer, business or academically sensitive information?  If they do, rewrite the evidence or anonymise it.  You could also seek permission from the person(s) concerned, and evidence that permission.
  • Proof read your submission carefully.  Assessors often comment on spelling, grammar and punctuation if it's poor.
  • Ensure that you've included evidence that clearly shows you meet the first function of higher level practice and are at least working towards the others.
  • Write clearly and concisely and define acronyms at their first use - the assessor might not be used to the same ones you are.
  • Provide references where appropriate, especially for your own publications.
  • Your evidence should be concerned with your advanced practice, not management roles (unless your scope of advanced practice is management).
  • Make sure you have a good mix of different types of achievement i.e. writing, discussion, experiential learning.
  • Ensure you are at the centre of the application - say what you do, not what your team does.
  • Make it easy for the assessor - be clear which piece of evidence relates to which core function(s).
  • Sell yourself.  If it isn't in the application, the assessor won't know you do it.

Examples for advanced practitioner applicants

Clinical Excellence - must meet this core function

  • Overview of the range of clinical work
  • Interaction with colleague and patients
  • Scope of practice
  • Responsibilities
  • Achievements (targets etc)
  • Decision making – autonomy
  • Context

Leadership and Service Development - must be at least working towards this core function

  • Representation at meetings – local, regional and national
  • Projects
  • Changes to service delivery
  • Mentoring
  • Documents you have reviewed

Teaching and Education – must be at least working towards this core function

  • Who?
  • Where?
  • What?
  • University links
  • Presentations at conferences
  • Posters
  • Published articles

Audit and Research – must be at least working towards this core function

  • Projects you have lead or been involved in
  • The impact on the patient/service
  • Evidence collated to change practice
  • Presenting the projects

References

College of Radiographers (2010) Education and Professional Development Strategy: New Directions: Advanced Practitioner [online] [25 Jan 2013].

College of Radiographers (2013) Education and Career Framework [online] [15 Nov 2013].

Department of Health (2000) Meeting the Challenge: A Strategy for the Allied Health Professions, London: Department of Health

Bibliography

Skills for Health (2008) Career Framework Descriptors, Bristol: Skills for Health.

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