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College of Radiographers Policy

The radiotherapy career framework initially published by the College in the 2000 strategy document(1) was designed in part to address the acute shortage of staff resulting from high attrition rates both from the profession and from pre-registration courses exacerbated by poor recruitment to the latter. The strategy proposed a four- tier structure from Assistant Practitioner through Registered Practitioner, to Advanced Practitioner and Consultant. In A Framework for Professional Leadership in Clinical Imaging and Radiotherapy and Oncology Service(7) the Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR) emphasised in 2005 the importance of full implementation of the career pathway model for the future development of the profession in addition to the impact on service delivery.

Implementing Radiography Career Progression: Guidance for Managers(8) published by the CoR in 2005 outlines a model underpinning service delivery which:

  1. "Defines radiographic teams by the skills and competencies that best deliver the patient or client’s needs;
  2. Maintains practice standards and develops the inherent potential of all staff involved in imaging and radiotherapy services;
  3. Promotes new and extended roles, encourages lifelong learning, and offers challenging and rewarding careers;
  4. Widens the routes of access to clinical careers and improves recruitment and retention of the radiographic workforce."

The key features of the career framework and subsequent policy and guidance documents published by the CoR include support for/acknowledgement of:

  • Occupational standards, competency-based development of new roles and extension to current roles;
  • the necessity for appropriate education and training to support development of individuals who undertake such roles;
  • skill mix which ensures the development of flexible, effective practitioners;
  • the need for the majority of practitioners to remain clinically active with consequent overlap of competencies between levels of practice at senior level;
  • the essential nature of life-long learning and continuing professional development;
  • the importance of mentorship
  • the necessity for a period of preceptorship in a new role;
  • interdisciplinary working;
  • the importance of clinical supervision.

Implementation of the career framework, which incorporates these features, underpins the development of individuals and the workforce required to support delivery of patient-centred care and the NHS cancer strategy.

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