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12.7 Staff development, education and continuing professional development (CPD)

The service must be properly directed and staffed to achieve its stated goals and objectives. Practitioners are responsible for identifying, developing and maintaining the necessary skills and competences relevant to the service and its objectives and to ensure the provision of high quality care.

To achieve the standard, the following must be evident:

  • the service is staffed by qualified, registered, practitioners holding an accredited professional qualification appropriate to the speciality of the examination being performed. It is recognised that not all sonographers will be able to register with a statutory regulatory body such as the HCPC or NMC but should do so if this is possible. Those who are unable to should apply to register with the Public Voluntary Register of Sonographers which is administered by the College of Radiographers
  • there is a current written organisational chart, denoting  clear lines of responsibility and accountability
  • diagnostic images are interpreted by independent practitioners working within an overall clinical governance framework
  • the Ionising Radiation Regulations and their subsequent amendments specify four duty holders: employer, referrer, practitioner and operator.  The roles and functional responsibilities of the various duty holders can be vested in one and the same person. However, it is a requirement that the employer must ensure that the practitioner and operator be ‘adequately trained’. In addition, entitlement to undertake any of the duty holder functions is the responsibility of the employer and must be specified within agreed protocols
  • there should be a continuing educational programme, supporting CPD and maintaining competencies in the relevant areas of practice. This should utilise professional and other resource material and should also encourage research to ensure independent practitioners are fully aware of advances in practice. Members of the SCoR can use the on-line resource CPD Now to maintain and develop their CPD portfolio; this will be helpful when evidence is requested by the HCPC or other regulatory body at registration renewal
  • all practitioners need to recognise and work within their own limitations and scope of practice
  • all staff need to be aware of occupational hazards such as work-related musculoskeletal disorders and take measures to avoid/minimise them.

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