The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has revised the funding band for the training of diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers, a move which many hope will encourage more higher education organisations to provide degree apprenticeships in radiography.
The IATE has confirmed that the Secretary of State has accepted its recommendation that the training standard should be at band 27, which has an upper limit of £24,000.
The news was greeted positively by radiography apprenticeship campaigners, who welcome the ‘financially viable funding band’.
‘I know this means that more Higher Education Institutes will provide degree apprenticeships in radiography, with ease in relation to End Point Assessment requirements and in line with HCPC and CoR requirements,’ said Maria Reynolds, the Society's diagnostic radiography degree apprenticeship trailblazer chair.
She added that the band revision will open up the profession to individuals from diverse backgrounds.
‘I hope this means we’ll see improved access to radiography degrees , both diagnostic and therapeutic radiography, for our existing workforce as well as those with life experience and care skills in our local population who wish to develop their careers, but need the financial support to achieve this that employers can provide via apprenticeships, which in turn will enrich as well as increase their workforce,’ she said.
While Baz Rogers, therapeutic radiographer trailblazer lead, commented: ‘Improved access to a Radiography degree (therapeutic or diagnostic) is particularly important in the light of the Covid pandemic and the backlogs we are seeing across all NHS services. Speedy access to a cancer diagnosis and subsequent radiotherapy treatment is critical to improving cancer patient outcomes, and the need to address current backlogs can only be achieved with an expansion of the current workforce’.
Charlotte Beardmore, executive director of professional policy at SCoR, said ‘A big thank you to Maria Reynolds and Baz Rogers, leaders of the diagnostic radiography and therapeutic radiography trailblazer groups, and to all involved in pushing for this revision.
‘It has been important that this goal has been achieved, it will support improved access to the radiography professions both within imaging and radiotherapy. We look forward to seeing education providers respond to this brilliant news, working with NHS leaders, to help support growth of the workforce to respond to both the government published Richards report, and to the cancer priorities of the long term NHS plan’.