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Developments in Training and Regulation for the Clinical Technologist Profession November 2007 Jim Methven VRCT Registr PowerPoint Presentation
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Developments in Training and Regulation for the Clinical Technologist Profession November 2007 Jim Methven VRCT Registrar. The Future Healthcare Science Workforce. “Requires: Team working Flexible working Streamlined working Modern education and training New and flexible careers”

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Developments in Training and Regulation for the Clinical Technologist Profession November 2007 Jim Methven VRCT Registr

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Developments in Training and Regulation for the Clinical TechnologistProfessionNovember 2007Jim Methven VRCT Registrar
the future healthcare science workforce
The Future Healthcare Science Workforce


Team working

Flexible working

Streamlined working

Modern education and training

New and flexible careers”

Professor Sue Hill

Department of Health,Chief Scientific Officer

To IPEM Annual Scientific Meeting September 2007

human resources
Human Resources

The shape of the future Healthcare Science workforce?

Corrective activity / Specialised Roles / Management activity

Registration point?

PPM activity ? Stop / Go device support?


Skilled Staff – Enhanced Roles?

Unskilled Staff

HCS Pathway

Level 4

Level 6

Level 5

new developing roles
New & Developing Roles

Creating opportunities for different staff groups

  • Assistants

Equipment libraries, simple PPM, community equipment support, swapping out faulty units – technical and people skills

  • Patient support staff

Technological nurses, clinical engineers, clinical technologists – clinical skills

  • Trainers

Nurses, therapists, engineers – good teaching and communication skills

  • Health Technology assessors & equipment evaluators

Engineers, scientists, economists – able to challenge clinical staff

  • Organisation equipment managers

Engineers, managers, professionals – commercial & people skills, able to work across organisations and into primary care

who are clinical technologists
Who Are Clinical Technologists?
  • Employed in the practical application of physics and engineering in Healthcare. This includes the NHS, Private Healthcare, Academic Institutions and the Medical Device Industry
  • Clinical Technologists perform a vast range of routine and non-routine technical tasks in relation to patient diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation or improving the quality of life. These range from undertaking invasive procedures to the exercise of judgement in unsupervised situations
  • Educated to Degree, HNC or HND in Engineering or Physical Sciences. In the future all new entrants to the profession will require to have completed a Degree or Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Technology
  • The profession emerged in the late 1940s as the NHS came into being
  • Physicists, engineers and technicians worked together to develop new medical devices - radiotherapy and imaging were key areas
  • This involved the application of practical electronic and mechanical engineering skills within medical physics and clinical engineering departments
  • As devices came into use specialised staff were also required to operate the equipment – it was a natural progression for technicians to do this work
  • The 1950’s saw the availability of ONC, HNC and City & Guilds qualifications in physics and engineering.    
  • The 1960’s and 1970’s saw co-operation with Radiographers and with Medical Laboratory Technicians to develop qualifications leading to State Registration – to no avail!
  • In the 1970’s the first specialised medical physics qualification was established: The ONC and HNC in Medical Physics and Physiological Measurement.
  • The 1980’s also saw the launch of the Medical Physics In-Service Training Scheme by the Department of Health – which, for its time, was excellent but was never universally accepted!
  • In the 1990’s the Association of Medical Technologists merged with IPEM which led to the establishment of the term “Clinical Technologist”
  • 2000: The Voluntary Register of Clinical Technologists launched
  • 2001: Making the Change published by the Department of Health
  • 2001: The IPEM Clinical Technologist Training Scheme launched
  • 2004: The Health Professions Council agrees to regulate the Clinical Technologist Profession
  • 2006 and beyond: Regulation for all Healthcare Scientists?
the drivers
The Drivers
  • Government’s need for NHS modernisation
  • Leading to the NHS Plan, a 10 year strategy for reform, creating a patient-centred NHS, from which came “Making the Change – A Strategy for Healthcare Science”:
  • For Clinical Technologists this means:

Embracing change and working in new ways, including:

      • Agenda for Change
      • Regulation:
        • Protecting the Public
        • Training Fit for Purpose
        • Personal Development
        • Lifelong learning
the clinical technologist specialties
The Clinical Technologist Specialties

Clinical Engineering

Medical Engineering

Radiation Engineering

Rehabilitation Engineering

Renal Technology

Clinical Physics:

Radiation Physics

Radiotherapy Physics

Nuclear Medicine

Developing innovative

medical devices

Medical Engineering Technologist

  • Providing safe and fully
  • functional equipment

Radiation Physics Technologist

Measuring irradiance inside a UV treatment cabin for skin disease

Making Quality Assurance measurements on a diagnostic X-ray machine

Radiation Physics

Treatment Planning, Dosimetry & Patient immobilisation devices

Radiotherapy Physics Technologist

nuclear medicine technologist
Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Production and administering of radiopharmaceuticals, performing imaging and non-imaging tests

Support for powered wheelchairs and design and manufacture of assistive technology

Rehabilitation Engineering Technologist

the voluntary register of clinical technologists
The Voluntary Register of Clinical Technologists
  • The VRCT was formed by IPEM in partnership with the Association of Renal Technologists and the Institute of Incorporated Engineers (now the Institution of Engineering and Technology)
  • The VRCT is managed by the VRCT Assessors’ Panel comprising representatives of each constituent professional body
  • The VRCT opened in October 2000
  • There are now almost 2,800 Registrants
  • This may represent up to two thirds of the workforce
ipem training scheme
IPEM Training Scheme

IPEM Clinical Technologists Education and Training Prospectus October 2001

The Green Book – out of date and not compatible with Scope of Practice published by VRCT

The Green Book is currently being reviewed

To be published on the IPEM website as an e-document, it will be kept up to date as and when the Scope of Practice changes

ipem training scheme21
IPEM Training Scheme


Continuing Professional Development



role of ipem
Role of IPEM
  • Accredit Education Provider
  • Accredit Training Centre
  • Register Trainees appropriately
  • Support for the Trainee
  • Support the Supervisor
  • Support Clinical Competencies
    • External Moderators
    • Supporting Moderators
    • Chief Moderator
the voluntary register of clinical technologists23
The Voluntary Register of Clinical Technologists
  • Entry to the VRCT can be achieved as follows:

Primary Route:

    • Completion of a Vocational Degree in Clinical Technology, or
    • Completion of a Graduate/Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Technology plus the IPEM Training Scheme, or
    • Completion of the IPEM Training Scheme

Grand Parenting Route:

    • Working as a Clinical Technologist prior to 2001 and still in employment as a Technologist: Immediate entry
    • Employed as a Clinical Technologist on or after 1 August 2001:

Completion of a formal training scheme + Degree or equivalent + 3 years

No approved training scheme + Degree or equivalent + 4 years

    • Employed as a Clinical Technologist on or after 1 January 2007:

Completion of an approved training scheme

scope of practice
Scope of Practice
  • Regulation requires each profession to have well-defined entry pathways
  • In order to achieve this the VRCT has defined a Scope of Practice for each of the seven Clinical Technology disciplines
  • The Scope of Practice defines what is expected of a newly qualified and hence, regulated, individual.
  • It is anticipated that after 2010 the entry pathway will be through the completion of a Clinical Technology degree or postgraduate diploma
  • Leading up to 2010 there will be a number of different options available – as well as grandparenting the main option will be the IPEM Training Scheme for Clinical Technologists along with the recently announced ART Training Scheme
  • The rationale of regulation is to ensure that all those who have the potential to cause harm to patients are trained “Fit for Purpose” and have their practice overseen
  • Until 2004 only 12 professions were deemed to have that potential! – regulated via the CPSM
  • In 2003 the CPSM was replaced by the Health Professions Council which now has the ability to regulate new professions
  • First groups to be considered included Operating Department Practitioners and Psychologists
  • Process formally commenced for unregulated healthcare scientist groups in early 2003
  • Clinical Technologists, Physiologists, Perfusionists and Medical Illustrators were deemed by DH to be ready to proceed
  • The VRCT application was prepared and submitted to HPC in March 2004
  • The application was heard in May 2004 and was approved but with conditions
  • In October 2004 the HPC agreed to regulate the profession
the next steps
The Next Steps
  • The DH Regulation Branch needs to go out to public consultation and then formulate legislation – this has been delayed because of the 2005 General Election and the Shipman Inquiry and has now been delayed further. This process will:
      • Define “Standards of Proficiency” and “Scope of Practice”
      • Establish the “protected titles”
      • Define the processes required to deal with those currently in training or unable to join the Register
      • Overcome the doubts that a number of individuals have expressed regarding regulation
  • It now appears that it will be at least 2009 before regulation of the profession occurs.
the next steps28
The Next Steps
  • More degree and postgraduate education programmes require to be established. The VRCT Education Providers Group has defined the prospectus for Clinical Technology degree programmes
  • The IPEM Clinical Technologist Training Scheme is being updated and the Association of Renal Technologists is currently launching their scheme.
  • There needs to be a campaign to encourage all eligible individuals, who are not on the Register, to join
  • Employer awareness requires to be raised
  • The key issue of funding requires to be resolved in order to ensure successful implementation
the next steps29
The Next Steps

Modernising Scientific Careers

A common framework for training & developing Healthcare Scientists seeking to establish:

  • Flexibility
  • Accountability
  • Standards of Training
  • Framework for Regulation
  • Sustainable funding
  • Workforce planning
  • Leadership
  • Research
the next steps30
The Next Steps

What Can You Do?

  • Embrace and support these developments
  • Raise awareness with your colleagues
  • Raise awareness within your organisation
  • Engage with all interested parties
  • If you haven’t done so yet – join the VRCT now or establish what you need to do to join!
the final steps
The Final Steps

When the profession is regulated by the Health Professions Council we will have established:

  • The bona fide professional title of “Clinical Technologist” and its other protected titles
  • A structured, competence-based, properly financed, education and training system for Clinical Technologists which is independently assessed
  • The exemplary qualifications for the profession:-

The BSc Honours Degree or Postgraduate/Graduate Diploma in Clinical Technology


Thanks are due to:

  • Mr. Paul Robbins – Chair IPEM Clinical Technologist Education and Training Panel
  • Mr. Alan Thompson – Secretary IPEM Clinical Technologist Education and Training Panel
  • Mr. Lindsay Yuile – Engineering Registrar for the IPEM Clinical Technologist Training Scheme
  • Ms. Tina Jones - Chief Moderator for the IPEM Clinical Technologist Training Scheme
  • Dr. Derek Pearson – ex IPEM Vice-President for Professional Issues
how to contact the vrct
How to Contact the VRCT
  • Voluntary Register of Clinical Technologists
  • Fairmount House
  • 230 Tadcaster Road
  • York YO24 1ES
  • Telephone: 01904-610821
  • e-mail:
  • Coming Soon! New Web Address: