CPD Training for Radiographers

CPD Training for Radiographers

22 Mar 2022

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Radiographers use different kinds of radiation to diagnose, or treat, ill or injured patients. This article will provide a brief overview to CPD Training for Radiography professionals in the UK, including the Health and Care Professions Council requirements, and where to find courses for Continuing Professional Development.

What is a Radiographer?

Radiographers are medical technologists who specialise in the use of radiological imaging and are an essential part of a working hospital and healthcare environment. Their duties include using radiographic equipment to do x-rays and other diagnosis, analysing and reporting on the results to Doctors, and ensuring that emergency procedures are performed. There are two main types diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers.

Why is CPD important for Radiographers?

The vast majority of medical disciplines use some form of radiological imaging to diagnose and treat people who are either injured or ill. Combining health and science, patient care and emerging technology, radiography is a dynamic, hands-on profession at the heart of modern healthcare.

Radiographers work closely with doctors and patients to provide services which are central to improving health and wellbeing. They are specially trained to understand a wide variety of cutting edge equipment and imaging technologies to produce high quality images which play a vital role in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. 

Often working in a variety of high-stress places, from operating theatres to accident and emergency rooms, Radiographers need to possess a unique skillset to assist other medical professionals when treating patients. Continuing Professional Development, or CPD, adds to a Radiographers existing skills or knowledge to ensure they stay up to date within the profession. CPD is important for retaining competence and keeping up to date on the most current medical imaging and radiation therapy practice.

To become a radiographer in the UK you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Once registered, radiographers must continue to meet the standards of proficiency and CPD requirements that are relevant to their scope of practice.

What are the types of CPD for Radiographers?

Continuing Professional Development is a self-directed reflective approach centred around the practitioner. CPD has a much broader ambition of developing a wider range of skills beyond those core skills needed for continuing practice, aiming instead to develop the individual across their whole career.

Generally speaking, CPD covers a wide range of activities: anything that helps an individual to learn or develop specific knowledge and skills can count towards an individual’s CPD, providing it enhances their professional practice.

CPD can be broadly categorised into 4 main types:

  • Work-based learning. For example, reflecting on experiences at work, considering feedback from service users or being a member of a committee
  • Professional activity. For example, being involved in a professional body or giving a presentation at a conference
  • Formal education. For example, going on formal courses or carrying out research
  • Self-directed learning. For example, reading articles or books.

CPD Radiographer Examples

CPD activities are those that have significant intellectual or practical content primarily directed to a practitioner’s practice or expansion of practice. It is often recognised that CPD should involve several different types of learning activities to be most effective.

Examples of CPD activities include:

  • participating in postgraduate studies relevant to practice needs or scope of practice
  • attending accredited training or vocational courses with recognised skills or knowledge
  • conferences, forums, workshops and seminars
  • undertaking research and presentation of work or case studies
  • researching, preparing or editing an article published in a relevant professional publication or healthcare related article
  • attendance at in-services, case presentations or reviews specific to medical radiation practice
  • distance education or online learning that includes an examination, assessment or certificate evidencing learning outcomes
  • participating in a clinical audit or similar review activity
  • formal supervision of medical radiation practice students or practitioners
Radiography Examples for CPD

Who are the professional bodies for Radiographers in the UK?

Health Professionals working within the UK National Health Service (NHS) are currently expected to adhere to the standards set by their individual regulatory bodies. As a radiography professional, you will be regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), but can join as a member of a professional body such as the Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR).

A Regulatory Body maintains a register of individuals who have achieved the required qualification of that profession to practice and can evidence continuing competence at the required level.

HCPC CPD Radiographer requirements

The Health and Care Professional Council exists to protect the public, and make sure that radiographers meet certain industry standards for training and skills. The HCPC have agreed the following standards for Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

A registrant must:

1. Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities; 

2. Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice;

3. Seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery; 

4. Seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user; 

5. upon request, present a written profile (which must be their own work and supported by evidence) explaining how they have met the Standards for CPD. 

For a full list of the standards of proficiency, you can visit the HCPC here.

All Radiographers should maintain a professional development portfolio in line with requirements stipulated by the HCPC. The HCPC do not set a number of hours or points that you have to complete and do not ‘approve’ or ‘endorse’ any CPD activities. Instead they request that healthcare professionals identify their own development needs and choose appropriate activities to help meet them.

Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR) CPD requirements

The Society of Radiographers (SCoR) is the professional body for radiographers in the United Kingdom. It is the only organisation that truly represents the interests of everyone working in clinical imaging, radiotherapy and oncology. The Society of Radiographers works in partnership with the College of Radiographers to deliver unique resources and support to the industry.

RCR CPD Scheme

The RCR CPD Scheme is open to all clinical radiologists who are practising in the UK, other than those in training posts. The scheme is designed to be personalised, meaningful and valuable to Fellows and members.

RCR’s scheme maintains the principle that doctors should, as a minimum, achieve at least 250 credits over five years in order to remain up to date in their specialties. Ideally, this should be evenly spread, with approximately 50 CPD credits achieved per year.

Difference between Radiography vs Radiology

Radiographers and radiologists are both key professions in the medical field, and play important roles in the healthcare system. While diagnostic imaging and testing technology is at the core of both professions, radiographers and radiologists perform different roles and there are a few key differences.

Generally speaking, radiographers are medical technicians who perform diagnostics imaging tests and are responsible for carrying out the scans with medical imaging technology. Radiologists on the other hand usually do not perform the imaging tests. Instead, they are doctors trained to review and interpret the scans to aid in making a diagnosis.

Recording CPD Radiography Activities

Recording CPD Activities

Radiographs should reflect on their own practise, identify their own individual learning needs, plan to meet these needs and then evaluate their learning. When recording your CPD activities you should include the following:

  • Details of activity
  • Date, time and location of activity
  • Details of activity (e.g. journal article, seminar, lecture, workshop)
  • Source, reference or provider details (e.g. journal name, provider name)
  • Number of CPD hours (excluding breaks) and the type of CPD hours (substantive or general)
  • Evidence of participation (e.g. attendance certificate, copy of enrolment or sign-in sheet)
  • Reflection 

Reflection is a self-assessment of what you are learning/have learnt throughout the CPD activity. It should include a self- assessment of their learning, their practice and any actions to be taken – it is not simply an evaluation of the study day or event. For instance, you should be able to:

  • identify how the CPD activity contributes to your body of knowledge and skills
  • analysis of the impact of the CPD activity on your practice, including how knowledge and findings can be integrated into practice
  • identify further learning that could be done. 

It is the responsibility of each radiographer to document evidence of all CPD activities, such as a portfolio in paper or electronic format. This should contain space for reflection on the activity and how this relates to the everyday duties of the radiographer and ultimately to improved patient care and service delivery. The free myCPD Portal record tool can be used to manage any ongoing CPD requirements effectively, set annual CPD targets, store CPD certificates of attendance, and track learning progress in one simple place.

Where to find CPD courses for Radiographers?

Radiography courses and training can be useful to gain medical knowledge and patient care skills, and learn how to use a variety of technical equipment. There are Radiography CPD courses covering all topics from image appreciation, radiographic reporting and mammography and many other core practices associated with radiography.

Depending on the type of learning, you will get to choose modules that best suit your needs so that your learning is relevant for you. Within the Healthcare & Medical Hub, you can find a full scope of Radiography CPD providers and courses covering a range of subjects to build confidence when working in these areas.

Online CPD for Radiographers

With the advancement in available industry training and development, there is an increasing variety of different online learning opportunities to explore. Online CPD Radiography courses offer more flexibility than regular forms of training, and apply to anyone either looking to gain new skills or improve their existing knowledge within their healthcare and Radiography career.

Become an accredited CPD provider

The accreditation of CPD activities by a recognised organisation provides an assurance that training has been reviewed for its educational quality and relevance. The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996, and is the leading independent CPD accreditation organisation working across all industry sectors. Thousands of CPD training courses, events, e-learning, conferences, workshops and seminars are formally CPD certified by us every year.

We hope this article was helpful. If you are a Radiographer or other healthcare organisation and are thinking of applying CPD accreditation to your existing training courses and educational events, please contact our team to discuss your requirements in more detail.

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For more information from CPD News Team, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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