Coronavirus (Covid-19): Advice for pre-registration education providers and students

Communication with students and practice placements essential

Published: 17 March 2020 Educators

Information about the global spread of coronavirus is changing rapidly, and guidance and resources are being regularly updated.

The Council of Deans of Health is working on this urgently at a UK level with the chief profession’s officers, NHS leaders, and the regulators. It is expected that there will be a national communication within the next day or so.

The Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR) recognises the importance of continuing to deliver safe and effective patient care during this challenging time and the impact that this may have on the availability of practice placements.

Each education provider should assess the risks and implement the appropriate strategies they deem necessary to minimise the disruption to the education of the students and to adhere to government guidance. For some, this has meant closing universities and providing online learning for their students. For others, this will mean changes to the assessment strategy and, for some, will mean postponing students’ practice placement. 

Some education providers are already sharing information, via the Heads of Radiography Education group, about what is happening locally and how they are responding. This will support and reassure those that a creative and flexible approach is important to minimise disruption, and ensure that students are not disadvantaged by circumstances outside their control. 

It is the responsibility of the education provider to ensure that learning and assessment standards are maintained and that any changes made are within the spirit of the College of Radiographers’ Education and Career Framework (2013), Scope of Practice (2013) - Pre-registration and above, and Quality Standards for Practice Placements (2012). All changes should be communicated to students in a timely manner.

Where changes would be considered a ‘major change’, we would ask that you keep us informed so that our records remain up-to-date. In these exceptional circumstances, we recognise that notification may come to the CoR after, rather than before, changes are implemented.

Some education providers and practice placements are stipulating that students must not be involved with imaging patients with confirmed or suspected Covid-19. The decision (if relevant) should be communicated to students and all involved in their learning in placement.

Education providers should maintain regular communication with their students and practice placements. Consideration should be given to mental well-being of staff and students.

The College of Radiographers does not stipulate the number of clinical placement hours that must be completed. It is up to the educator providers to determine whether a student has met the learning outcomes and to be flexible as to when students are accessing their placement.

Education providers are encouraged to:

  • Follow government guidance as it emerges
  • Make judgements in the best interests of your students, staff and partner organisations
  • Use normal university systems and processes for supporting students who need to take time out due to illness, or who have extenuating circumstances
  • Use normal university systems and processes for managing delayed placements and/or module completion
  • Work collaboratively with service provider partners to identify local solutions which are mutually acceptable
  • Also, keep up to date with the guidance from your university and from the HCPC as regulator when developing contingency plans.

We recognise that decisions should be made at a local level to fit with the circumstances of the education provider, students, and partner organisations, whilst following government guidance.If you have any specific queries or concerns, please email.

Important resources
Guidance for education providers from the Health and Care Professions Council

Guidance for educational settings

Information for healthcare professionals

Infection prevention and control advice for healthcare professionals

For country specific information, please refer to:
Health Protection Scotland
Public Health Wales
Public Health Agency Northern Ireland