New Covid-19 guidance for students and HEIs

Published: 06 April 2020 Students

A joint statement that sets out the way ahead for radiography and other AHP students has been published by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the chief allied health professions officers in the four UK countries, and the Council of Deans of Health.

All final year students who have completed clinical placements and have been approved by their education provider as ready have been automatically registered on the new temporary register by the HCPC. These new temporary registrants are invited to join the workforce as AHPs (indicative Agenda for Change (AfC) band 5).

The HCPC will work with providers to sign off each student "as per normal processes and enable them to graduate, at which point they will be able to apply for full HCPC registration. This sign off process may require additional theoretical learning and assessment."

Students who are in their final year and have not yet completed their clinical placements, and students who are in their second year of their BSc (3rd year in Scotland), or first year of an MSc, will be invited to opt in to a revised programme structure where they work in a paid support worker role which will be remunerated (indicative AfC band 3).

These roles be used to support achievement of required practice hours; higher education institutions (HEIs) will determine if this is the case. "The intention," the statement says is "to sustain learning and progression whilst recognising the reduced capacity to support clinical placements within the health and care system."

First year students and year two in Scotland will continue with their university programme; clinical placements will be paused. This means students will focus on the academic and theoretical part of their education and provision will be made to enable clinical hours to be achieved during year two and three (three and four in Scotland). These students may also wish to volunteer to support the front line in their spare time.

The statement is signed by Suzanne Rastrick, CAHPO England; Ruth Crowder, CAHPA Wales; Jennifer Keane, CAHPO Northern Ireland; Carolyn McDonald, CAHPO Scotland; John Brwick, CEO HCPC; and Professor Brian Webster-Henderson, Chair Council of Deans of Health.