A REVIEW of the National Shortage Occupation List has been carried out – and two areas in medical physics have been explicitly mentioned.
The role of radiotherapy practitioner/technologist has now been specifically included in the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) code 2217.
The Home Office has updated the Immigration Rules Shortage Occupation List for skilled workers, including SOC code 2217. This code for medical physicists has been a cause for concern in recent years, as the National Shortage Occupation List (NSOL) had radiotherapy physicist scientists and practitioners and nuclear medicine physics practitioners under the SOC code 2217 (Medical Radiographers).
This has created difficulties with some employers sponsoring Tier 2 visas as UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have not recognised that medical physics roles fall under this category. There was further confusion raised when the specific listing of these roles was removed in the October 2019 update to the NSOL, creating a situation in which UKVI could argue these roles were not, in fact, listed on the NSOL. A number of members raised the issue and IPEM responded with detailed workforce data and vacancy rates and received an assurance that these roles were listed.
This latest review has now been concluded and for the first time the role of radiotherapy practitioner/technologist has been included under 2217. All of these roles are also eligible under the Health and Care Worker visa scheme.
Professor Stephen O’Connor, IPEM’s President, said: ‘It is great news the role of radiotherapy practitioner/technologist has been explicitly included. The challenge remains, however, to ensure the latest SOC codes from 2020 are used by the UKVI, not the older version as is currently the case and which continues to cause confusion and delay.’
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