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All radiographers at the point of registration are competent to practise autonomously in their discipline at the initial level. Clinical skills obtained during the pre-registration period need to be consolidated to provide the foundations for continuing development of this group of staff.
Registered radiographers at the practitioner level undertake a broad portfolio of diagnostic examinations/radiotherapy procedures in the delivery of care for both clinical imaging and radiotherapy patients. The practitioner is an integral member of the clinical imaging or radiotherapy and oncology team delivering high quality clinical care.
Accreditation at this level of practice is achieved as the individual will have completed a recognised programme that entitles them to apply for membership of the Society of Radiographers and registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). At initial registration with the HCPC, they will meet the Standards of Proficiency – Radiographers (2009).
Thereafter, the individual is required to undertake CPD relevant to their practice in order to maintain and demonstrate continuing competence.
For more on the role of practitioners see the document Education and Professional Development: New Directions.
The philosophy of preceptorship is to enable the newly qualified radiographer practitioner to consolidate knowledge, to be inducted into the policies and procedures of the workplace and to reflect on their practice, especially on challenging experiences. At the end of the preceptorship period radiographers should feel confident about engaging with regular clinical supervision throughout their careers, and with mentorship from time to time as appropriate. The aim of the preceptorship period is to introduce and promote independence and confirm good clinical practice in a variety of situations and settings.
During the period of preceptorship it is expected that radiographers will work with their preceptor for a specific period of time during the working week. The period of preceptorship is not time limited but is the subject of a learning agreement that sets out mutually agreed goals in relation to decision making and knowledge in the context of departmental protocols for clinical imaging/treatment delivery and patient care. Preceptorship will end when preceptor, registered practitioner and manager agree that goals have been attained. This whole process is incorporated into the staff development already in place within departments.