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Executive Summary

In September 2014, the College of Radiographers (CoR) carried out a census of the diagnostic radiography workforce in the UK. The objectives were to establish the size, structure and vacancy rate of the workforce in order to inform workforce planning. Nearly 100 employers responded to an online questionnaire representing over 200 workplaces delivering radiography services, employing approximately 25% of the diagnostic radiography workforce in the UK. This document presents an analysis of the census results and the following bullet points highlight the main findings:

  • The average number of diagnostic radiography establishment staff by whole time equivalent (WTE) per respondent is 61.7.
  • The average current vacancy rate for the diagnostic radiography workforce is 7.8%. Where respondents use agenda for change (AfC) pay bands or equivalent the highest vacancy rate is at band 5 (10.4%). For staff with no equivalent AfC band (largely non-NHS staff) the vacancy rate is 14.2%.
  • The average three month vacancy rate across all respondents is 3.3%. The highest three month vacancy rate by AfC band is 5.1% at band 7.
  • The average percentage of the establishment headcount on long term absence is 3.8% (comprised of 0.2% on a career break; 1.0% on long term sickness absence and 2.6% on maternity leave).
  • On average each respondent has 3.3 qualified diagnostic radiographers (headcount) in post-registration training. Based on this figure it is estimated there are a total of 1,288 qualified diagnostic radiographers in post-registration training in the UK (661 in ultrasound training, 305 in plain film training and 322 in other training).
  • On average each respondent has 9.4 diagnostic radiographers, sonographers and/or nuclear medicine technologists (headcount) carrying out advanced practice and 0.2 carrying out consultant-level practice. Extrapolating these figures gives an estimate of a total of 3,662 in advanced practice and 86 in consultant practice in the UK.

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