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Advanced practitioner accreditation

Why should I apply for advanced practitioner accreditation?

Accreditation is time-limited and is granted to individuals who have met pre-defined College of Radiographers (CoR) requirements which are detailed in the sections below.  Accreditation evidences to your peers, employer and those who use your services that you have met professional body requirements and that you practise in all four core domains of higher-level practice at advanced practitioner level.

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

‘Accreditation’ is not the same as registration, licencing, validation, certification or credentialling.  Accreditation is applied to the whole practitioner and all their practice rather than very specific small elements, competencies or capabilities. 

Accreditation is not linked to registration and ‘Accredited Advanced Practitioner” is not a protected title and is not a statutory requirement.  It may be a requirement of your employer.

Accredited advanced practitioners will be able to access the Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR) online discussion group which is for accredited individuals only. This group will give you access to resources, information and most importantly the opportunity to network with other accredited advanced practitioners throughout the United Kingdom.

 

Is my practice ‘advanced’?

Advanced practice is more than just reporting images or carrying out on-treatment patient reviews.  These are examples of high-level skills that require in depth post-graduate knowledge but on their own they’re not advanced practice.  For practice to be classed as ‘advanced’ the practitioner must work in all four core domains.  If you don’t have elements of all four domains in your role, your practice will not be classed as advanced.

The College does not specify how much time you should spend in each domain.  However, advanced practitioners usually spend at least 50 % of their time carrying out expert practice and then varying amounts of time in the other domains.  All four domians must be included in your role.

The Education and Career Framework (SCoR, 2013) may help you decide if your practice is ‘advanced’. 

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How do I apply for advanced practitioner accreditation?

It’s easy.  All tiers of accreditation are completed in CPD Now.  Just login to the Society of Radiographers’ (SoR) website and click the ‘Visit CPD Now’ button on the home page.  In CPD Now click the menu item ‘Start accreditation application’.

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What information do I need to provide in my application?

Your accreditation application is made up of several sections.  There are assessment criteria, hints and tips on each section below.

My Practice (maximum 500 words)

This section is a summary of you as a professional.  It should include your job title, what you do, where you work, who uses your services.  You may also like to include special projects you are undertaking and areas of research interest.  It’s useful to include your role in education and training of students and learners.

Hints and tips:

  • Review your CPD Now framework before completing this section.  If your framework is up to date you may be able to copy and paste it to the My Practice section of your application.

Level of Practice

This is a very quick and easy section.  You just need to tick “advanced practitioner”. Ticking this box ensures that if accredited, the accreditation tile on your CPD Now homepage shows the correct title and expiry date.

Areas of Expertise

There is a list of common areas of expertise in CPD Now. Tick the ones that apply to you. However, if you’re an expert in an area that isn’t listed there’s an ‘other’ box you can fill in.  You’ll have to provide evidence to prove that you are an expert in all the areas you tick.

Your selections in this section will help the education and accreditation team at SCoR select the most appropriate person to assess your application on behalf of the College.

Hints and tips:

  • Ticking lots of areas of expertise isn’t always the best way to complete your application.  Pick the ones that you are expert in rather than all those you occasionally take part in. The analogy ‘less is more’ is sometimes key to completing this section and the application successfully.

Education and qualifications

There are two parts to this section, a summary and then evidence of your qualifications.

Education summary (maximum 500 words)

Describe the qualifications you’ve gained most recently and especially those you are still working on.

Assessment criteria:

  • Initial accreditation – You should have started at least a master’s level qualification.  In England, Wales and Northern Ireland this is a Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) level 7 qualification and in Scotland it is a Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 11 qualification.  Doctoral qualifications are FHEQ level 8 and SCQF level 12.  The first two years of a doctorate may be at FHEQ level 7/SCQF level 11.
     
  • Re-accreditation – Master’s qualification completed.  However, despite master’s qualifications being completable part-time within three years it frequently takes longer due to timing, career, finance, work, life, family and a multitude of other reasons.  The College understands this.  By the time you come to re-accredit it’s desirable to have completed your master’s but, depending on the stage you’re at, a firm commitment to completing your master’s may be acceptable.

Hints and tips:

  • You might find it helpful to refer to the learning outcomes associated with your post-graduate qualification.
  • If you haven’t completed the qualification yet, include key dates. For example, the date you are due to hand in your last assessment or dissertation or the date of the assessment board. This is very important if you haven’t yet completed a master’s qualification yet.

Qualifications

This is a straightforward section.  You just need to select the relevant qualifications from those you’ve already entered into the ‘Qualification’ section of CPD Now. It’s important to ensure that there is evidence of your qualification attached.  Evidence could be a scan or photograph of your qualification certificate, assessment board letter or academic transcript from your education provider.

If you haven’t entered any qualifications into CPD Now you need to do this before submitting your application.

Linked CPD

This is a very important section. The continuing professional development (CPD) you link to the application in this section provides the evidence that you’re working within all four core domains of higher-level practice.  It also provides evidence that you’ve expertise in all the areas you selected earlier in the application.

You should link your best quality CPD. It should be reflective and evaluative and identify where you’ve had a significant impact on service delivery, your own practice, colleagues’ practice, users of your service, learners and your profession.  This is not an exhaustive list.

Your CPD should include references to publications and presentations that have formed your practice and also to your own publications and presentation. It doesn’t matter what reference style you use.

Examples of CPD related to the four core domains

There’s overlap between the core domains so you may choose to map your own evidence to a different domain than listed below. These are not exhaustive lists. You might find it helpful to review the Education and Career Framework (SCoR, 2013) for further suggestions.

Expert practice – you must meet this core domain

  • Reflective interactions with colleagues and those who use of your service, related to your areas of expertise.
  • Achievements and impact on service and those who use your service.
  • Decision making and high level of autonomy.
  • Evolution of your scope of practice.

Professional leadership and consultancy – you must be at least working towards this core domain

  • Representative at meetings related to your areas of expertise – local, regional and national.
  • Local or regional projects related to your areas of expertise.
  • Changes to service delivery in your workplace.
  • Mentoring of workplace colleagues.
  • Documents you have contributed to and reviewed for your employer which are related to your areas of expertise.
  • Invited speaker at local and regional study days related to your areas of expertise.
  • Supporting, motivating and leading colleagues, related to your areas of expertise.

Education, training and development

  • Providing training for colleagues related to your areas of expertise.
  • Teaching on formal education programmes related to your areas of expertise.
  • Contributing to formal education curriculum development.
  • Providing and supporting colleague’s CPD related to your areas of expertise.
  • Interprofessional education, learning and training related to your areas of expertise.

Practice and service development, research and evaluation

  • Poster accepted at regional or national conferences
  • Proffered paper presentation at local and regional conferences and study days (national/international ones would be excellent)
  • A lead author for Imaging and Therapy Practice, or similar periodical article
  • Evaluating areas of service or service development
  • Leading elements of audit and review related to your areas of expertise.
  • Presenting project findings locally or regionally.

If you’ve already got your CPD recorded in CPD Now you should be able to complete this section quickly. You just need to select the 6-8 most appropriate bits and link them to your application by ticking the box beside them.

Hints and tips:

  • Ensure you are at the centre of your application – say what you do, not what your team does.
  • Do not breach patient, business or yet to be published research confidentiality.  Breaching patient confidentiality means your application will be deferred.
  • Include references to your publications, posters and presentations if you have included CPD related to them.  CoR assessors always want to review publications because they’re interested in you, your role and your research.
  • Proofread your application, then proofread it again.  Ideally, ask a colleague to proofread it for you as well.  College of Radiographers’ assessors are looking for evidence that you can write at a level that could be published.  Ensure you’ve checked spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and defined all initialisms and abbreviations.
  • Check you’ve evidenced all four core domains within your CPD, at the level required.
  • Do not include more than ten pieces of CPD evidence.  You should be able to evidence all domains and areas of expertise within 6-8 pieces.
  • Include a good range of different CPD types, e.g., writing for publication, discussion, experiential learning.
  • Make it easy for the assessor – be clear which piece of evidence relates to which core domain.
  • Sell yourself.  If it isn’t in the application the assessor won’t know you do it.

Personal statement (maximum 1,500 words)

This is another very important section. You might find it helpful to use the four core domains as headings in this section, but this isn’t a requirement. One way to approach this section is to consider, “If I was applying for my own job, what would I write?

This is a good place to outline projects you’re currently working on that haven’t been included as a piece of CPD. CoR assessors really like timelines to be included with project descriptions. You could include a Gantt chart, a bulleted list of milestones with estimated dates or something else entirely.

You may want to include refences to your posters, presentations and publications in this section, but if the reference list takes up too many words you can enter the list into a CPD activity and link it to your application just as you would a normal piece of CPD.

How you approach this section is up to you, but you might find it helpful to discuss it with colleagues who are accredited advanced or consultant practitioners.

Hints and tips:

  • Consider using headings
  • Use the terminology of the four core domains
  • Proofread your work carefully

Evidence of CPD Now accreditation

All applicants for advanced and consultant practitioner accreditation need to have CPD Now accreditation before they can submit to attestors. CPD Now accreditation is gained automatically when you have recorded:

  • 12 pieces of CPD;
  • over the course of 2 years;
  • that meet at least 6 CPD Now professional outcomes.

The green bars on your CPD Now framework tile are indicators of CPD Now accreditation progress.
In your application you will need to select a date from which the two years are counted back. This will normally be “today”.

CPD Now will link all the CPD you have recorded in the past 2 years to your accreditation application and it will be visible to both attestors and CoR assessors.

Assessment criterion: All the CPD you have recorded must meet the minimum standards of CPD required by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Hints and tips:

  • Visit the HCPC website to gain a better understanding of their standards of CPD.

  • Ensure you do not breach the confidentiality of those who access and use your services.  You must alsoensure that no colleagues confidentiality is breached.

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How is my application assessed?

Your application must meet the accreditation requirements detailed in each of the sections above. Attestors and CoR assessors will also consider how your application meets the high-level outcomes detailed in the Education and Career Framework (SCoR, 2013).

There are two parts to advanced practitioner accreditation assessment, approval by two attestors and by one CoR assessor.  The assessment criteria used by both attestors and the assessor are the same.

Assessment criteria: Attestors and CoR assessor are asked to declare:

“I attest that this:

  • is an accurate summary of the applicant’s practice.
  • applicant is working at this [advanced practitioner] level of practice.
  • applicant demonstrates expert practice in these areas.
  • is an accurate summary of the applicant’s qualifications.
  • evidence meets the requirements for CoR advanced practitioner accreditation.
  • is a true representation of this applicant’s knowledge, skills and role and it meets the requirements for CoR advanced practitioner accreditation.
  • application meets the baseline HCPC standards of CPD.
  • application meets all the requirements for College of Radiographers’ advanced practitioner accreditation”.

Attestors

You choose two attestors. Attestors are registered professionals, usually diagnostic or therapeutic radiographers who are registered with the HCPC. Attestors could also be professionals who are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, General Medical Council or another statutory regulator. It is your responsibility to ensure that your attestors are registered.

Accreditation applicants often choose people they work closely with to be their attestors. For example, an accredited consultant practitioner radiographer, senior colleague or manager.  It’s important to choose an attestor who understands diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers’ CPD and accreditation requirements.  If you’re thinking of choosing a non-radiographer attestor, ensure they understand what they’re declaring by passing your application. An attestation is not the same as a reference. You could send them the link to this webpage if they’re unsure what’s required.

Attestors will provide you with written feedback about your application which you can view through CPD Now.  This feedback should be balanced, constructive and be clear about what you have done well and what you need to improve.

College of Radiographers’ assessor and boards

College of Radiographers’ assessors are experienced academic and clinical radiographers appointed to assess accreditation applications, education programmes and clinical placements. They have received initial training for this role and take part in regular update events. They always abide by the Society and College’s confidentiality requirements.

An assessor will review your application thoroughly and determine if it meets the College’s accreditation requirements, as in the sections above. They will take your attestors’ feedback into consideration when they do this.  Assessors will either pass or defer your application.

If your application is passed by an assessor, they are making a recommendation to the Approval and Accreditation Board (AAB) to approve your accreditation. The AAB meets three times a year and is similar to assessment boards at universities.

If AAB approves your application, it makes a recommendation to the College Board of Trustees (CBoT). It is CBoT who makes the final decision to approve or defer your application. They meet four times a year.You will get official confirmation about your accreditation application following the CBoT meeting. It is only after you have received this confirmation that you are ‘accredited as an advanced practitioner’.

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How long does accreditation last for?

Advanced practitioner accreditation lasts for three years. After this time, it will expire.

What happens if I don’t agree with attestors’ or the assessor’s decisions?

Contact the Society and College of Radiographers’ Professional Officers for Education and Accreditation via: accreditation@sor.org.. They will be happy to advise and guide you with regards the feedback you have received and the assessment decision.

All decisions made by the Approval and Accreditation Board, and advice given by that Board to the College Board of Trustees are final.

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Where can I get further help and advice?

If you are thinking about applying for advanced practitioner accreditation and still have questions, please email your questions to: accreditation@sor.org.

You will find the Online Live Tutorials on CPD, reflection and accreditation useful. You can register for these free events through the resources tab of CPD Now.

Page last updated: 15 October 2019

 

 

 

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