(Date updated: 01/09/2023)
Click on the below sections to access the Level 6 Diagnostic Radiographer apprenticeship standard.
(Date updated: 01/09/2023)
Click on the below sections to access the Level 6 Diagnostic Radiographer apprenticeship standard.
This occupation is found in the health and care sector and includes the NHS and private healthcare providers.
The occupation’s broad purpose is to provide excellent care by obtaining images of a high diagnostic quality, using a range of high-cost and complex imaging equipment. This includes imaging using X-rays and cross-sectional imaging methods (Computed Tomography or CT), fluoroscopy and Interventional Radiology, and assisting in other imaging modalities, such as Ultrasound, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Breast Imaging and Nuclear Medicine. Diagnostic Radiographers work with a broad range of service users, including those with learning/cognitive and /or physical limitations, those in distress, children and the terminally ill. They work independently to assess, authorise, obtain consent and undertake individual examination requests for diagnostic radiography procedures. They evaluate images and determine appropriate actions. The work is physically and mentally demanding and involves direct contact with service users, which can be of a sensitive nature.
In their daily work, a diagnostic radiographer interacts with service users, their carers, members of the public and other healthcare staff e.g. porters, nurses, other allied health professionals, doctors, external contractors, engineers and medical physicists etc. They primarily work in diagnostic imaging departments in hospitals, but also provide mobile imaging on wards, including the intensive care unit, neonatal unit, emergency department and operating theatres. Diagnostic radiographers may also provide imaging in stand-alone satellite units.
Diagnostic radiographers are responsible for safely using imaging equipment and conducting examinations, including protecting service users, themselves, staff and visitors from radiation. As registered autonomous practitioners, they are professionally and legally accountable for their own actions, and for those operating under their supervision, as they deliver safe and compassionate care. They may work independently or as part of a team, and they may refer to another healthcare professional for advice; however, this may not always be available at night in smaller organisations or in satellite departments.
They are expected to contribute to a 24-hour, 7-day week imaging service, with varying shift patterns and on-call service and, on occasion, may be the sole provider of imaging services for the organisation.
Typical Job Titles include:
Entry requirements will be stipulated by individual HEIs.
Duty 1 Practise safely and effectively within the scope of practice and within the legal and ethical boundaries of the profession.
K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8
S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13
B1 B2 B4 B6 B7
Duty 2 Look after own health and wellbeing, seeking appropriate support where necessary.
Duty 3 Practise as an autonomous professional, exercising professional judgement.
S16 S17 S18 S19 S20 S21 S22
Duty 4 Practise in a non-discriminatory and inclusive manner recognising the impact of culture, equality and diversity.
K12 K13 K14 K15 K16
S23 S24 S25 S26
Duty 5 Communicate effectively, maintaining confidentiality and records appropriately.
K17 K18 K19 K20 K21 K22 K23
S27 S28 S29 S30 S31 S32 S33 S34 S35 S36 S37 S38 S39
B2 B5 B7
Duty 6 Work appropriately with others.
K24 K25 K26 K27 K28 K29 K30 K31
S40 S41 S42 S43 S44 S45 S46 S47 S48 S49 S50
Duty 7 Reflect on, review and assure the quality of own practice.
K32 K33 K34 K35 K36
S51 S52 S53 S54 S55
B1 B4 B5
Duty 8 Draw on appropriate knowledge and skills to inform practice and apply the key concepts of the knowledge base relevant to the profession.
K37 K38 K39 K40 K41 K42 K43 K44 K45 K46 K47 K48 K49 K50 K51 K52 K53 K54 K55 K56 K57 K58 K59
S56 S57 S58 S59 S60 S61 S62 S63 S64 S65 S66 S67 S68 S69 S70 S71 S72 S73 S74 S75 S76 S77 S78 S79 S80 S81 S82 S83 S84 S85 S86 S87 S88 S89 S90 S91 S92 S93 S94 S95 S96 S97 S98 S99 S100
Duty 9 Establish and maintain a safe practice environment.
K60 K61 K62 K63
S3 S101 S102 S103 S104 S105 S106 S107
B1 B2 B4
Duty 10 Promote public health and prevent ill health.
B2 B4 B5
K1: The importance of continuing professional development throughout own career.
K2: The importance of safeguarding, recognising signs of abuse and the relevant safeguarding processes.
K3: What is required of them by the Health and Care Professions Council, including but not limited to the standards of conduct, performance and ethics.
K4: The importance of valid consent.
K5: The importance of capacity in the context of delivering care and treatment.
K6: The scope of a professional duty of care.
K7: Legislation, policies and guidance relevant to own profession and scope of practice.
K8: The legislative, policy, ethical and research frameworks that underpin, inform and influence the practice of diagnostic radiography.
K9: The importance of own mental and physical health and wellbeing strategies in maintaining fitness to practise.
K10: How to take appropriate action if own health may affect own ability to practise safely and effectively, including seeking help and support when necessary.
K11: The need for active participation in training, supervision and mentoring in supporting high standards of practice, and personal and professional conduct, and the importance of demonstrating this in practice.
K12: Equality legislation and how to apply it to own practice.
K13: The duty to make reasonable adjustments in practice.
K14: The characteristics and consequences of barriers to inclusion, including for socially isolated groups.
K15:That regard to equality, diversity and inclusion needs to be embedded in the application of all HCPC standards and across all areas of practice.
K16: The emotions, behaviours and psychosocial needs of people undergoing diagnostic imaging, as well as that of their families and carers.
K17: When disclosure of confidential information may be required.
K18: The principles of information and data governance and be aware of the safe and effective use of health, social care and other relevant information.
K19: The need to ensure confidentiality is maintained in all situations in which service users rely on additional communication support, such as interpreters or translators.
K20: How concepts of confidentiality and informed consent extend to all mediums, including illustrative clinical records such as photography, video and audio recordings and digital platforms.
K21: The characteristics and consequences of verbal and non-verbal communication and recognise how these can be affected by difference of any kind including, but not limited to, protected characteristics, intersectional experiences and cultural differences.
K22: The need to support the communication needs of service users and carers, such as through the use of an appropriate interpreter.
K23: The need to provide service users or people acting on own behalf with the information necessary in accessible formats to enable them to make informed decisions.
K24: The principles and practices of other health and care professionals and systems and how they interact with own profession.
K25: The need to build and sustain professional relationships as both an autonomous practitioner and collaboratively as a member of a team.
K26: The qualities, behaviours and benefits of leadership.
K27: That leadership is a skill all professionals can demonstrate.
K28: The need to engage service users and carers in planning and evaluating diagnostics, and therapeutic interventions to meet own needs and goals.
K29: Information from other healthcare professionals and service users, in order to maximise health gain whilst minimising risks to the service user, such as from radiation dose.
K30: The need to involve service users in service design, service delivery, education and research.
K31: The need to engage service users and carers in planning and evaluating their diagnostic imaging and interventional procedures.
K32: The value of reflective practice and the need to record the outcome of such reflection to support continuous improvement.
K33: The value of multi-disciplinary reviews, case conferences and other methods of review.
K34: The value of gathering and using data for quality assurance and improvement programmes.
K35: The principles and regulatory requirements for quality control and quality assurance as they apply to their profession.
K36: The quality improvement processes in place relevant to their profession.
K37: The structure and function of the human body, together with knowledge of physical and mental health, disease, disorder and dysfunction relevant to their profession.
K38: Recognise the roles of other professions and services in health and social care and understand how they may relate to the role of radiographer.
K39: The structure and function of health and social care systems and services in the UK.
K40: The role of the diagnostic radiographer and other operators in the promotion of health and health education in relation to public health, healthy living and health screening for disease detection.
K41: The harms and benefits of population and targeted health screening.
K42: The radiobiological principles on which the practice of diagnostic radiography is based.
K43: The concept of risk vs benefit with regards to ionising radiation and non-ionising radiation, acknowledging this will differ depending on modality, and communicate this with service users, taking into consideration service user judgement.
K44: The philosophy and principles involved in the practice of their profession.
K45: The principles of ionising radiation production, interaction with matter, beam modification, administration of radionuclides and radiation protection.
K46: The physical and scientific principles on which image formation using ionising and non-ionising radiation is based.
K47: Radiation dosimetry and the principles of dose calculation.
K48: The theoretical basis underpinning service user assessment prior to and during their procedure.
K49: The capability, applications and range of equipment used in their profession.
K50: The concepts and principles involved in the practice of their profession and how these inform and direct clinical judgement and decision making.
K51: The pharmacology of drugs used in their profession.
K52: The legislation, principles and methods for the safe and effective administration of drugs used in their profession.
K53: The mechanisms for the administration of drugs, including intravenous and oral contrast agents.
K54: The principles of the safe storage, transportation and disposal of medicinal products used in relation their profession.
K55: The different communication needs, anatomy and disease processes and their manifestation in children.
K56: The signs and symptoms of disease and trauma that result in referral for diagnostic imaging procedures and their image appearances.
K57: The structure and function of the human body in health, disease and trauma, as well as common pathologies and mechanisms of disease and trauma, including the:– musculoskeletal system– soft tissue organs– regional and cross-sectional anatomy of the head, neck, limbs, thorax, pelvis and abdomen– the cardiovascular, respiratory, genitourinary, gastrointestinal and neuroendocrine systems.
K58: A range of research methodologies relevant to own role.
K59: The value of research to the critical evaluation of practice.
K60: The need to maintain the safety of themselves and others, including service users, carers and colleagues.
K61: Relevant health and safety legislation and local operational procedures and policies.
K62: Appropriate moving and handling techniques.
K63: The correct principles and applications of disinfectants, methods for sterilisation and decontamination, and for dealing with waste and spillages correctly.
K64: The role of the profession in health promotion, health education and preventing ill health.
K65: How social, economic and environmental factors, wider determinants of health, can influence a person’s health and well-being.
S1: Identify the limits of own practice and when to seek advice or refer to another professional or service.
S2: Recognise the need to manage own workload and resources safely and effectively, including managing the emotional burden that comes with working in a pressured environment.
S3: Keep own skills and knowledge up to date.
S4: Maintain high standards of personal and professional conduct.
S5: Engage in safeguarding processes where necessary.
S6: Promote and protect the service user’s interests at all times.
S7: Respect and uphold the rights, dignity, values, and autonomy of service users, including own role in the assessment, diagnostic, treatment and/or therapeutic process.
S8: Recognise that relationships with service users, carers and others should be based on mutual respect and trust, and maintain high standards of care in all circumstances.
S9: Obtain valid consent, which is voluntary and informed, has due regard to capacity, is proportionate to the circumstances and is appropriately documented.
S10: Exercise a duty of care.
S11: Apply legislation, policies and guidance relevant to own profession and scope of practice.
S12: Recognise the power imbalance which comes with being a health care professional, and ensure it is not for personal gain.
S13: Practise in accordance with current legislation governing the use of ionising and non-ionising radiation for medical and other purposes.
S14: Identify own anxiety and stress and recognise the potential impact on own practice.
S15: Develop and adopt clear strategies for physical and mental self-care and self-awareness, to maintain a high standard of professional effectiveness and a safe working environment.
S16: Recognise that they are personally responsible for, and must be able to, justify their decisions and actions.
S17: Use own skills, knowledge and experience, and the information available, to make informed decisions and/or take action where necessary.
S18: Make reasoned decisions to initiate, continue, modify or cease treatment or the use of techniques or procedures, and record the decisions and reasoning appropriately.
S19: Make and receive appropriate referrals, where necessary.
S20: Exercise personal initiative.
S21: Demonstrate a logical and systematic approach to problem solving.
S22: Use research, reasoning and problem-solving skills when determining appropriate actions.
S23: Respond appropriately to the needs of all different groups and individuals in practice, recognising this can be affected by difference of any kind including, but not limited to, protected characteristics, intersectional experiences and cultural differences.
S24: Recognise the potential impact of own values, beliefs and personal biases, which may be unconscious, on practice and take personal action to ensure all service users and carers are treated appropriately with respect and dignity.
S25: Make and support reasonable adjustments in own and others’ practice.
S26: Actively challenge barriers to inclusion, supporting the implementation of change wherever possible.
S27: Adhere to the professional duty of confidentiality.
S28: Respond in a timely manner to situations where it is necessary to share information to safeguard service users, carers and/or the wider public and recognise situations where it is necessary to share information to safeguard service users, carers and/or the wider public.
S29: Use effective and appropriate verbal and non-verbal skills to communicate with service users, carers, colleagues and others
S30: Communicate in English to the required standard for the profession
S31: Work with service users and / or own carers to facilitate the service user’s preferred role in decision- making, and provide service users and carers with the information they may need where appropriate
S32: Modify own means of communication to address the individual communication needs and preferences of service users and carers, and remove any barriers to communication where possible
S33: Use information, communication and digital technologies appropriate to own practice
S34: Formulate and provide information and support for service users about their treatment and / or imaging process and procedures, with regular reappraisal of their information needs as appropriate
S35: Advise other healthcare professionals about the relevance and application of imaging modalities to the service user’s needs
S36: Provide appropriate information and support for service users throughout their diagnostic imaging examinations
S37: Keep full, clear and accurate records in accordance with applicable legislation, protocols and guidelines
S38: Manage records and all other information in accordance with applicable legislation, protocols and guidelines
S39: Use digital record keeping tools, where required
S40: Work in partnership with service users, carers, colleagues and others
S41: Contribute effectively to work undertaken as part of a multi-disciplinary team
S42: Identify anxiety and stress in service users, carers and colleagues, adapting own practice and providing support where appropriate
S43: Identify own leadership qualities, behaviours and approaches, taking into account the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion
S44: Demonstrate leadership behaviours appropriate to own practice
S45: Act as a role model for others
S46: Promote and engage in the learning of others
S47: Demonstrate awareness of the need to empower service users to participate in the decision-making processes related to their profession
S48: Demonstrate awareness of the need to encourage, support and mentor staff at all practitioner levels
S49: Demonstrate awareness of roles and responsibilities where work is delegated and how this applies in practice
S50: Interpret and act upon information from other healthcare professionals and service users, in order to maximise health gain whilst minimising risks to the service user (such as from radiation dose)
S51: Engage in evidence-based practice
S52: Gather and use feedback and information, including qualitative and quantitative data, to evaluate the responses of service users to own care
S53: Monitor and systematically evaluate the quality of practice, and maintain an effective quality management and quality assurance process working towards continual improvement
S54: Participate in quality management, including quality control, quality assurance, clinical governance and the use of appropriate outcome measures
S55: Evaluate care plans or intervention plans using recognised and appropriate outcome measures, in conjunction with the service user where possible, and revise the plans as necessary
S56: Demonstrate awareness of the principles and applications of scientific enquiry, including the evaluation of treatment effcacy and the research process
S57: Demonstrate awareness of the philosophy and the development of the profession of diagnostic radiography to inform understanding of current practice
S58: Apply the principles of ionising radiation production, interaction with matter, beam modification, administration of radionuclides and radiation protection
S59: Distinguish between normal and abnormal appearances on images
S60: Recognise and respond to adverse or abnormal reactions to medications used in relation to their profession
S61: Demonstrate awareness of the current developments and trends in the science and practice of diagnostic radiography
S62: Demonstrate awareness of the principles of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and deep learning technology, and its application to practice
S63: Change own practice as needed to take account of new developments, technologies and changing contexts
S64: Gather appropriate information
S65: Analyse and critically evaluate the information collected
S66: Select and use appropriate assessment techniques and equipment
S67: Undertake and record a thorough, sensitive, and detailed assessment
S68: Undertake or arrange investigations as appropriate
S69: Conduct appropriate assessment or monitoring procedures, treatment, therapy or other actions safely and effectively
S70: Critically evaluate research and other evidence to inform own practice
S71: Engage service users in research as appropriate
S72: Formulate specific and appropriate management plans including the setting of timescales
S73: Assess, monitor and care for the service user across the pathway of care relevant to their profession
S74: Undertake and record a thorough, sensitive and detailed clinical assessment, selecting and using appropriate techniques and equipment
S75: Use physical, graphical, verbal and electronic methods to collect and analyse information from a range of relevant sources including service user’s clinical history, diagnostic images and reports, pathological tests and results, dose recording and treatment verification systems
S76: Interrogate and process data and information gathered accurately in order to conduct the procedures most appropriate to the service user’s needs
S77: Appraise image information for clinical manifestations and technical accuracy, and take further action as required
S78: Manage complex and unpredictable situations including the ability to adapt planned procedures
S79: Operate diagnostic imaging equipment safely and accurately
S80: Check that equipment is functioning accurately and within the specifications, and to take appropriate action in the case of faulty functioning and operation
S81: Select and explain the rationale for radiographic techniques and immobilisation procedures appropriate to the service user’s physical and disease management requirements
S82: Position and immobilise service users correctly for safe and accurate procedures
S83: Authorise and plan appropriate diagnostic imaging examinations
S84: Calculate radiation doses and exposures and record and understand the significance of radiation dose
S85: Perform a broad range of standard imaging techniques, including examinations requiring contrast agents for relevant modalities across a variety of diagnostic or screening care pathways
S86: Assist with a range of more complex diagnostic imaging techniques and interventional procedures providing radiographic support to the service user and other members of the multidisciplinary team
S87: Provide appropriate care for the range of service users and their carers before, during and after imaging examinations, minimally invasive interventional procedures and contrast agent examinations
S88: Perform a range of imaging examinations where the service user’s individual characteristics require examinations to be carried out using nonstandard techniques
S89: Perform a range of techniques using mobile imaging equipment outside of a dedicated imaging room
S90: Manage and assist with imaging techniques performed on anaesthetised or unconscious individuals
S91: Adjust ionising radiation exposures and image recording parameters to achieve required image quality at optimal dose for children and adults
S92: Perform a range of imaging techniques and interventions on children
S93: Use to best effect the processing and related technology supporting imaging systems
S94: Manage and assist with fluoroscopic diagnostic and interventional procedures, including those that are complex and involve the use of contrast agents
S95: Perform a broad range of computed tomographic (CT) examinations, including standard head CT examinations, and assist with CT examinations of the spine, chest and abdomen in acute trauma, and to contribute effectively to other CT studies
S96: Perform standard magnetic resonance imaging procedures
S97: Assist with ultrasound imaging procedures
S98: Assist with imaging procedures involving the use of radionuclides including PET tracers and particle emitters
S99: Critically analyse clinical images for technical quality and suggest improvement if required
S100: Distinguish disease trauma and urgent and unexpected findings as they manifest on diagnostic images and take direct and timely action to assist the referrer
S101: Demonstrate awareness of relevant health and safety legislation and comply with all local operational procedures and policies
S102: Work safely, including being able to select appropriate hazard control and risk management, reduction or elimination techniques in a safe manner and in accordance with health and safety legislation
S103: Select appropriate personal protective equipment and use it correctly
S104: Establish safe environments for practice, which appropriately manages risk
S105: Apply appropriate moving and handling techniques
S106: Ensure the physical safety of all individuals in the imaging/ therapeutic work environment, especially with regard to radiation safety and high-strength magnetic fields
S107: Use basic life support techniques and deal with clinical emergencies
S108: Empower and enable individuals (including service users and colleagues) to play a part in managing own health
S109: Engage in occupational health, including being aware of immunisation requirements
B1: Demonstrate a calm demeanour with empathy, compassion and underpinning emotional resilience to manage day-to-day pressures in unpredictable, emergency and distressing situations, e.g. individuals in cardiac arrest, suffering life changing injuries and/or disease diagnosis.
B2: Confident, flexible and adaptable within own scope of practice.
B3: Demonstrate emotional intelligence.
B4: Act with professionalism, honesty, integrity and respect in all interactions. Maintain good character as outlined in their professional Code of Conduct and not bring their profession or organisation into disrepute.
B5: Reflect on own impact on others, take responsibility and be accountable for own actions. Sensitively challenge others and raise issues when appropriate.
B6: Actively reflect on own practice and accept and respond to constructive criticism. Be proactive in implementing improvements in order to improve service delivery and patient care.
B7: Be aware of and take responsibility for their own fitness in context of physical and/or mental health issues which may affect performance. Seek help and/or guidance as appropriate. Inform Health and Care Professions Council and employer of any change of circumstance that may affect the right to practise.
English and Maths
Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.
Other mandatory qualifications
BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography or (where the apprentice already holds a level 6 honours degree) a pre-registration MSc in Diagnostic Radiography approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
This is a regulated occupation.
Health and Care Professions Council
Training Provider must be approved by regulator body
EPAO must be approved by regulator body
This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years
Example progression routes
Enhanced clinical practitioner
Advanced clinical practitioner (integrated degree)