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Education and Training

The assistant practitioner role developed from support workers who were deemed to have the potential to undertake non-complex clinical tasks within a defined scope of practice. It was, therefore, appropriate to develop these skills through work based learning built on proven vocational education programmes. Relevant National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) were available that were considered to provide suitable education and training to underpin practice. Additional skills and competences were developed through National Occupational Standards and are accepted as the basis of the learning outcomes for training programmes to develop assistant practitioners.

Assistant practitioners must have a sound knowledge of the basic concepts of a defined area of practice as described in the SCoR’s Learning and Development Framework.

A number of education providers sought to offer training programmes and submitted these for approval by the Society and College of Radiographers. The SCoR upholds the principle that the minimum educational level is one that equates to an NVQ at Level 3. The NVQ in Health has been discontinued.  The SCoR will consider work based programmes, including apprenticeships, on an individual basis.

Formal education programmes for assistant practitioners include:

  • Certificate of Higher Education
  • Diploma of Higher Education
  • Foundation Degree
  • Higher National Certificate (Scotland)

It is recognised that some assistant practitioners may not be able to offer such qualifications. Student radiographers who have not completed the full degree and have “stepped off” with an award or sufficient credit may be able to be accredited as an assistant practitioner. Assistant practitioners working within the Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm screening programme who have followed the national training programme can apply for accreditation. Those with overseas qualifications may be able to apply for accreditation. Individuals seeking accreditation without SCoR recognised qualifications are advised to contact the Professional and Education department at the SCoR for advice.

Individuals wishing to embark on training to become an assistant practitioner should contact the membership department for an application form. Registering as a trainee enables transition to full accredited status on completion of training.


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