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Consultant practitioner accreditation
All applications for consultant 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 items of CPD have been completed within two years.
Applications for consultant practitioner accreditation are assessed according to the core functions of higher level practice (Department of Health, 2000). These can be evidenced through clinical practice, research, consultancy and education. You should demonstrate your experience and expertise in all four core functions (advanced practitioners need to evidence meeting the first and at least show they are working towards the others).
- Expert practice
- Professional leadership and consultancy
- Education, training and development
- Practice and service development, research and evaluation
Examples of the above could include (but are not limited to):
- Demonstration of your expertise in your specialist area.
- Being asked for your insight and opinion by external and internal organisations and colleagues, being a key contact for other health care professionals in relation to your practice, including your research area(s). Leading service innovation.
- Delivering expert lectures – these do need to be at expert level and should be significantly more than tutorials. Post graduate lectures and national/international conferences should be included. Taking a regular, significant and active role in the education and learning of others. Your own education should be demonstrated. PhD, Professional Doctorate or similar is desirable.
- Leading practice and service developments for the benefit of service users and/or colleagues and evaluating those developments. A record of your publications in peer reviewed journals. There should be articles where you are the sole or lead author. You should also be actively engaged in research and should demonstrate a leading role.
Of course all of the above depend on your scope of practice – your speciality. You should ensure that your application is focussed on your consultant 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 consultant 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.
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 consultant 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.
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 consultant 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 four functions of higher level practice.
- 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 consultant practice, not management roles (unless your scope of consultant 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 consultant practitioner applicants
Overview of the range of clinical work
Interaction with colleague and patients
Scope of practice
Achievements (targets etc)
Decision making – autonomy
Leadership and Service Development
Representation at meetings – local, regional and national
Changes to service delivery
Documents you have reviewed
Teaching and Education
Presentations at conferences
Audit and Research
Projects you have lead or been involved in
The impact on the patient/service
Evidence collated to change practice
Presenting the projects
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
Skills for Health (2008) Career Framework Descriptors, Bristol: Skills for Health.