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Covid-19: Pre-registration education providers

Version 4. Updated 26 March 2020.

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.

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Temporary registration

Version 2. Updated 25 March 2020.

This information will be updated once more details have been published by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

  • Whilst you have been given the flexibility to utilise your professional expertise in relation to changes to assessment, it is your responsibility to ensure that learning and assessment standards are maintained.
  • Education providers should ensure that students achieve all of the learning outcomes of the programme and that they meet College of Radiographers’ Education and Career Framework (2013), Scope of Practice (2013) – Pre-registration and above, as well as HCPC requirements.
  • Students should have no outstanding deferred assessments.
  • Regular communication should be provided to students, even if it is just one sentence, to minimise their anxieties during this unprecedented time.
  • Consideration should be given to how students entered on the temporary register can be supported during this time, in conjunction with practice placements, ensuring appropriate supervision will be in place.
  • Decisions made, and actions taken, regarding whether each student can be entered onto the temporary register should be documented for future reference.
  • Provide an action plan to those students who do not yet meet the learning outcomes.
  • For employment guidance about students working on the temporary register, see below.

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Many staff in UK higher education institutions that deliver pre-registration radiography education courses have been approached to support radiography students to become employed as a Healthcare Support Worker in local trusts/health boards. What are the current requirements for educational programmes in order that students may be considered in this role?  

The relevant educational requirements to be a radiography assistant practitioner are detailed within the SCoR document Education and Career Framework for the Radiography Workforce. Qualification levels for a support worker in radiography are also deatiled in the same document.

The Society's opinion is that current first year students (second year students in Scotland) will have met these educational levels and could be considered as a support worker employee. Normal minimal educational level for support workers is a National Vocational Qualification at Level 2 in Health and Social Care.

These outcomes are normally achieved at Level 5 of the Higher Education Credit and Qualifications Framework, or Level 8 of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.

It must be stressed that the concept of support staff working in clinical imaging and radiotherapy departments is long established, as is their valuable contribution to service delivery. It is also recognised that the range of tasks and duties carried out by support staff varies considerably according to locally determined needs. In no circumstances should a support worker deliver clinical services using ionising radiations; their role is mostly supporting the registered radiographer. During temporary employment as an support worker, the student will have the employer's vicarious liability as employment insurance cover.

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Many staff in UK higher education institutions that deliver pre-registration radiography education courses have been approached to support radiography students to become employed as a Radiography Assistant Practitioner (AP) in local trusts/health boards. What are the current requirements for educational programmes in order that students may be considered as a Radiography Assistant Practitioner?

The educational outcomes to be a Radiography Assistant Practitioner are detailed within the SCoR document Education and Career Framework for the Radiography Workforce, in which the outcomes for an Assistant Practitioner are detailed. These outcomes are normally achieved at Level 5 of the Higher Education Credit and Qualifications Framework (HEQF), or Level 8 of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).

SCoR is of the opinion that present 2nd year students (3rd year students in Scotland) will have met these AP outcomes and could be considered as an AP employee. The important thing to remember is that when a trust/board employs an AP in radiography (even on a temporary basis), the employer needs to check for 'adequate training' (theory and practice) under Schedule 3 of IR(ME)R 2017 (2018, in Northern Ireland) before entitling the individual as an IR(ME)R Operator in a particular scope of practice.

To do this, a check on whether the student has passed the relevant clinical assessments that he/she will be practising during this temporary AP employment must be undertaken (a good reference is the published SCoR AP Scope of Practice).

Usually in diagnostic practice, this would mean that they are competent in undertaking standard radiographic imaging of:

  • Appendicular skeleton
  • Axial skeleton excluding skull and cervical spine
  • Chest and thorax
  • Abdomen and pelvis

Students working as an AP, still require supervision by a registered radiographer. This would be indirect supervision for those practices for which they are deemed competent and direct supervision for more complicated practices. During temporary employment as an AP, the student will have the employer's vicarious liability as employment insurance cover.

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Education programme approval process during Covid-19 - Education providers

To follow government guidance on restrictions during the months of Covid-19, we are making small changes to the way we can assess programmes for College of Radiographers’ approval. 

Please go to the Education approval and accreditation page for details.

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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

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