Assistant practitioner accreditation

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Page last updated 05 Dec, 2022

Temporary hold on applications

Please note: we are currently undertaking significant work to the CPD Now platform and accreditation schemes to make everything more user-friendly for members. Therefore, we have put a temporary hold applications for assistant practitioner accreditation and re-accreditation until the new process is in place. 

Part of the development work includes reviewing the processes and requirements of the accreditation scheme for assistant practitioners. Some details of the revised scheme can be found below.

As of Nov 2022, work on revising the accreditation scheme is almost complete. Please keep a check of the webpage over the incoming weeks. 

Accreditation

The College of Radiographers has developed a process of accreditation for individuals practising as mammography associates or assistant practitioners in clinical (diagnostic) imaging, radiotherapy, breast screening and other areas of practice, including the Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) screening programme. 

The Society and College of Radiographers, in upholding its duty to the public, has implemented a Public Voluntary Register of Assistant Practitioners (PVRAP). 

Assistant practitioners and mammography associates can apply for accreditation of their scope of practice on the basis of having successfully completed a College of Radiographers (CoR) approved course of education and training or by the submission of CPD evidence via CPD Now having completed a CoR non-approved course.

The PVRAP, along with the accreditation process, has been developed to ensure that those engaged in clinical imaging or radiotherapy have been appropriately educated and trained for their role.

Why should I apply for accreditation?

It is important that your qualifications, knowledge, experience and practical skills are recognised by colleagues and service users. There is growing emphasis on the need for healthcare practitioners to have clear evidence of their skills and competence.  Accreditation by the professional body can provide this assurance.

Once CoR accreditation is awarded, re-accreditation every two years provides a way for mammography associates and assistant practitioners to demonstrate how they have been maintaining their knowledge and skills relevant to their scope of practice. 

Successful applicants will also be eligible for cover of their accredited scope of practice under the SoR Professional Indemnity Insurance Scheme.

Application process

Applications for accreditation as an assistant practitioner or mammography associate can be made through CPD Now. Under the revised accreditation scheme there will be three overarching pathways for initial accreditation:

  1. Mammography Associate Level 4 pathway
  2. Assistant Practitioner Level 4 pathway
  3. Assistant Practitioner Level 5 pathway

Which pathway you choose firstly depends on your role- either a mammography associate or assistant practitioner.  All mammography associates holding an FHEQ level 4 mammography associate qualification should apply via the mammography associate pathway.  Assistant practitioners should apply via one of the other routes depending on the level of qualification held (either an FHEQ Level 4 or 5 qualification). Help with determining the level of your qualification will be available within the applicant guidance document soon to be published for launch of the schemes:
 

Accreditation Pathways

FHEQ Level 4 
Mammography Associate Accreditation

FHEQ Level 4 
Assistant Practitioner Accreditation

FHEQ Level 5
Assistant
Practioner
Accreditation

Why have new application pathways been added?

The addition of the mammography associate pathway and FHEQ level 5 pathway for assistant practitioners is to ensure the accreditation scheme’s alignment with the CoR’s Education and Career Framework (ECF) (2022).These additional pathways have their own specific learning outcomes as taken from the ECF and other national guidance documents.They encourage and support the development of the support workforce up to FHEQ level 5 and beyond should individuals wish to do so. They also encourage programme approval which helps to ensure the quality and standard of education and training for the radiography support workforce.

Under each pathway two application routes exist for initialaccreditation:

  1. CoR approved qualification route
  2. CoR Non-approved qualification route 
Accreditation PathwayFHEQ Level 4 
Mammography Associate Accreditation
FHEQ Level 4
Assistant Practioner Accreditation
FHEQ Level 5 
Assistant Practioner Accreditation
Application Route
CoR Approved level 4 mammography associate qualification 
 
CoR Approved level 4 AP qualificationCoR Approved level 5 AP qualification

CoR Non-approved level 4 mammography associate qualification
 
CoR Non-approved level 4 AP qualificationCoR Non-approved level 5 AP qualification

If you are unsure whether or not your course is approved, please contact the education provider.

CoR Approved Qualification Routes

The CoR approved routes across all three of the overarching pathways are for those who have completed a CoR approved programme of study in relation to their role within the last 3 years. 

These are fast-track routes and require applicants to:

  1. Complete their role details and upload their agreed written scope of practice.

  2. Select their qualification (choose from the list of approved programmes available) and upload their certificate.
  3. Invite their manager or practice educator to complete the declaration.
  4. Submit application.

CoR Non-approved Qualification Routes

The CoR non-approved qualification routes across all three of the overarching pathways are for those who have completed a programme of study in relation to their role within the last 3 years which does not hold CoR programme approval. 

These routes require applicants to:

  1. Complete their role details and upload their agreed written scope of practice
  2. Enter details of their qualification and upload their certificate
  3. Complete the critical narrative (which is a written reflection), evidencing how they meet all the learning outcomes associated with their chosen pathway, supported by a minimum of 6 pieces of verified CPD (from the last two years).
  4. Invite their manager or practice educator to complete the declaration.
  5. Submit application.

How applications are assessed

Non-approved qualification applications and re-accreditation applications are assessed by independent CoR Assessors.  These are experienced members of the radiography workforce who have knowledge of your area of practice and who have been trained to act as assessors on behalf of the CoR.

Applications following a CoR approved qualification route are verified by the College’s Professional Officers for Education and Accreditation.

Re-accreditation

Once awarded assistant practitioner and mammography associate accreditation lasts for two years after which the individual must apply for re-accreditation.

Applicants will be able to begin working on their re-accreditation application once their current accreditation has been awarded. 

Applicants will only be accredited for the scope of practice which has been assessed by the CoR assessor.

The Society and College of Radiographers must be informed of any changes to an assistant practitioner's/mammography associate’s scope of practice at the time of change.  If your scope of practice changes you will need to apply for re-accreditation for your new scope of practice.  If we are not informed of changes when they occur, you may not be covered by our professional indemnity insurance scheme. 

For re-accreditation applicants will be asked to:

  1. Complete their role details and upload their agreed written scope of practice.
  2. Enter details of their qualification(s), including further learning since accreditation was last awarded, and upload any relevant certificate(s).
  3. Complete the critical narrative, evidencing how they meet all the learning outcomes associated with their chosen pathway, supported by a minimum of 6 pieces of verified CPD (from the last two years).
  4. Invite their manager or practice educator to complete the declaration.
  5. Submit application.

Currently Accredited Assistant Practioners

When assistant practitioners who currently hold CoR accreditation are due to re-accredit they will be automatically directed to their correct re-accreditation pathway. 

Those holding an FHEQ Level 5 qualification will be automatically directed to re-accredit under the Assistant Practitioner Level 5 pathway.

Those holding an FHEQ Level 4 qualification or equivalent, as well as all others, will be automatically directed to re-accredit under the Assistant Practitioner Level 4 pathway. 

Full details of the learning outcomes for all pathways will be available within the applicant guidance which will be made available for launch of the schemes.

Current members of the Society of Radiographers

There is no accreditation fee for members of the Society of Radiographers. Accreditation, CPD Now and support through the accreditation process are provided as a benefit of membership. 

The professional indemnity insurance arrangements for radiographic assistants are not sufficient to cover the range of practice and clinical responsibilities of assistant practitioners.

Considering joining the Society of Radiographers?

If you join the Society of Radiographers you will have to achieve accreditation before you can be given accredited assistant practitioner membership status. You will join as a ‘radiographic assistant’ until you achieve accreditation.

You can find information about joining the Society of Radiographers here.

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