Summary of advice to students

Published: 14 April 2020 Ezine

After higher education institutions (HEIs) were requested to submit names of students to the HCPC Temporary Register, there has been many requests for advice from student members across the country.

Aspects relating to what happens next are to a large degree devolved to HEIs: who sits exams; how course content is delivered, especially for second year students where the choices are more complex; deciding who has met standards to join the Temporary Register; etc. This inevitably means that there will be some local variation which take time to plan in detail.

The SoR’s team of national and regional officers are regularly engaged with HEIs and have been taking up issues when they are able across the UK, co-ordinated by Nic Smith, our National Student Officer, in conjunction with the professional team and further supported by our UK Student Reps Forum.

We have had some noticeable successes, including clarifying confusion and adjusting plans to make sure the core principles established in the HCPC and national guidance are fairly, safely and sensibly applied. Any students with questions or concerns should continue to raise these with us.

We are also encouraging all members to look at the fuller advice and guidance on our site relating to student members (see the links in the menu to the right).

However, to assist further we think it is helpful to set out the core principles underpinning the national guidance around students joining the Temporary Register. Accordingly:

  • The overwhelming principle is to protect the long-term supply chain of radiographers. It is vital that students are not put-off a sustained career in the NHS by their experiences at this time. This over-rides and guides all of the “How” questions HEIs, Trusts, Boards, the HCPC and student members face throughout this period.
  • Accordingly, there must be no disadvantage if someone chooses to become active in the NHS or not. HEIs are under instruction and obligation to adjust student programmes to accommodate both options. Where HEIs are continuing to set exams or course deadlines, these should clearly be prioritised. Covid should not be allowed to have a detrimental impact on final results. Please see our advice to education providers.
  • HEI’s should make every effort to complete programmes as originally scheduled. HEI’s are especially expected, in revising course programmes, to do everything possible to allow students to graduate on time, to avoid additional financial detriment, or other pressures that could harm the supply chain of radiographers into the NHS. The SoR are clear that this is especially critical for second year students (third years in Scotland).
  • Being entered on the Temporary Register does not imply any obligation to become active in the NHS during the Covid crisis if the student does not wish to do so. Being entered on the Temporary Register is not the choice of the student. They choose if they wish to activate their Temporary Registration. They must not suffer a detriment or undue pressure to do so from the NHS if they’re on a placement for example, or from their HEI because maintaining a course programme is more difficult.
  • The HEIs provide the list of students who they feel can safely join the Temporary Register or take part in support work. Being put forward by your HEI does not mean anyone on it can or will have to work during the Covid period – that choice remains with all students. For those who do, they willgenerally be expected to be paid at AfC Band 3 in a support role or AfC Band 5 if going on the temporary register.
  • HEIs also decide how they are graduating students this year and will depend on a number of factors, including how the course is structured. After graduation, you can apply to join the  Permanent Register. However, again there is no obligation to become immediately active during the Covid crisis. This remains the choice of the student, it could take longer than usual. Those who do will generally be expected to be paid at AfC Band 5.