Doc menu

D. Recommendations

D.  Recommendations

D.1 

Recommendations arising from this project are set out below. In addressing these, it is important that they are dealt with as a whole, although particular recommendations have been aligned with relevant stakeholders in order to facilitate engagement.

D.2 Education Commissioners

Health Education England (HEE)

1. The Quality Framework for LETBs should include evidence of systematic planning to ensure that the number of pre-registration student commissions is aligned with placement opportunities such that students in the same cohort do not share a placement*  and that overlaps with other cohorts are avoided.

Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs) and associated Local Partnership Groups

1. Education and training commissions should be based on the explicit demonstration that the ratio of student numbers to placement availability is such that students in the same cohort do not share a placement and that overlaps with other cohorts are avoided.

2. To ensure a comprehensive experience, the full range of placement opportunities in a radiotherapy centre across the cancer patient pathway must be offered.

3. A written policy for managing unavoidable placement sharing must be in place, including where placements are shared with another HEI.

4.  There should be evidence of the number of placement opportunities matching student numbers.

5. A Practice Educator (PE) is required in each centre.

6. A formal local service level agreement (SLA) that sets out the duties and expectations of each should be in place between the HEI and its individual placement providers. 

7. The opportunity for a clinical visit must be made available by centres prior to any offer of a place on a pre-registration therapeutic radiography programme.

8. Consideration should be given to re-balancing placement providers used by specific HEIs or even reducing the present number of HEIs providing pre-registration education to meet the objective in 1 above.

In addition to the recommendations above, Education Commissioners should note that students expressed significant concerns related to personal finance as a contributor to student attrition. While these concerns are outside the scope of the project and not explored in this full report, commissioners cannot ignore this matter if they are serious about maximising student retention.

* A placement is defined as one of the necessary practice learning experiences within the patient pathway that student therapeutic radiographers must have to meet the standards for HCPC registration. See attached flow chart for further information.

D.3 HEIs

1. A formal service level agreement (SLA) that sets out the duties and expectations of each should be put in place between the HEI and its individual placement providers and reviewed annually.

2. Programme developmental review and revalidation should mitigate placement overcrowding through placement plans that avoid overlaps between cohorts.

3. A written policy for managing unavoidable placement sharing must be in place, including where placements are shared with another HEI. 

4. Student selection must be made more rigorous and comprehensive through the inclusion of interviewing and the use of appropriate tools such as psychometric testing, values assessment, and team working skills observation.

5.  Prospective students must have undertaken a clinical visit and submitted a report to be considered during the selection and recruitment processes, and prior to the offer of a place.

6. Clinical staff must be included in the selection and interviewing processes and, where possible, service users and existing students should be involved.

7. Comprehensive, inclusive preparation for placement must be prioritised in programmes.

8. Clinical staff education and training in student support and assessment must be formalised and managed by the HEI and annual updates must occur.

9. Bullying and harassment in the academic and clinical environments is unacceptable and procedures demonstrating its active management and monitoring must be in place.

10. Academic staff must be up to date, professionally credible and have a visible presence in practice.

D.4 Radiotherapy Centres

1. Centres must have education and training plans that demonstrate commitment to learning and development by ensuring opportunities for all staff to engage in appropriate CPD in accordance with the profession’s career framework.

2. Staff responsibilities in relation to student education should be embedded in job descriptions and monitored through personal professional development reviews (PDR).

3. Centre policies and practices should acknowledge the different needs of students as a group and promote visibility and inclusivity.

4. Bullying and harassment, where it occurs, must be actively managed and eradicated.

5. A formal service level agreement (SLA) with the HEI, which sets out the duties and expectations of each, should be in place and reviewed annually. 

6. The full range of placement opportunities in the radiotherapy centre and across the patient pathway must be utilised to ensure a comprehensive experience.

7. A written policy for managing unavoidable placement sharing must be in place.

8. The opportunity for a clinical visit must be made available prior to an offer of a place.

9. Staff must engage fully in programmes of education and training for student support and assessment.

D.5 Radiotherapy Centres and HEIs jointly

1. All the provisions of the service level agreement (SLA) should be utilised to ensure that student education and support is prioritised appropriately by staff at all levels in the organisations.

2. Preparation for placement must be realistic and include VERT-based practical skills, relationship skills and emotional resilience.

3. An early, developmental placement to clarify the student role and develop an individual action plan that enables a personalised approach to student learning and support should be devised. 

4. Students should be assigned a suitably prepared mentor who has received training or update in student support and assessment within the past 12 months.

5. Regular clinical tutorials and peer action learning sets should be agreed and integrated into placement learning.

D.6 The Society and College of Radiographers

1. Minimum standards of education and training for mentors/assessors should be developed, to include a developmental pathway from mentor (20 credits) to practice educator (PgCert).

2. Guidance about appropriate psychometric tests and values assessment for student selection should be offered.

3. Guidance and a template for a clinical visit report to be used during the selection process should be developed.

4. Capability standards for the profession in response to the expressed view that a national approach is needed to underpin and bring consistency to the assessment of practice in pre-registration programmes should be developed.

5. Strategies that increase the visibility and value of the profession should continue to be developed.

Content tools

Accessibility controls

Text size

AA A

Colour