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Training the next generation of clinical technologists and moderators

The end of March marks the closing date for applications to the next round of IPEM’s Clinical Technologist Training Scheme (TTS), and as well as welcoming new applications, IPEM are looking for moderators to share their experience and help guide the next generation.

The TTS has earned a strong reputation in the sector, offering a robust, externally validated education and training framework for clinical technologists, and ensuring a workforce fit to practice. Successful completion of the TTS sees graduates awarded IPEM’s Diploma in Clinical Technology and opens a route to joining the Register of Clinical Technologists (RCT).

Right place

To join the IPEM training scheme an applicant must first be employed as a Trainee Clinical Technologist in one of over twenty IPEM Accredited Training Centres across the UK. 

Laura Metcalfe is Training Scheme Coordinator with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde:

“The IPEM clinical technologist training scheme oversees technologist training through a network of accredited training centres. The accreditation process validates the centre's training programme and supervisors, whilst the training programme is enhanced by the experienced IPEM moderators. Through the training centres, the IPEM clinical technologist training scheme develops the perfect skillset for technologists to meet the current demands in the NHS. “

Robin McDade is an Advanced Specialist Clinical Technologist in the Nuclear Cardiology Department of Glasgow Royal Infirmary and a Training Scheme Lead:

Robin McDade

“I have the joy of meeting every inductee onto our scheme and personally setting them on the road to their hard-earned success. Our IPEM Dip (T) graduates are second to none; both in terms of academic achievement and crucially, competence.

The scheme has grown in recent years - evidenced by the number of our examiners more than doubling. Our programme has evolved and grown to meet the needs of the workforce. Our success, it's ultimately summed up in the confident and capable practitioners we produce." 


Right time

Potential TTS applicants liaise with the Training Co-ordinator of their training centre to complete their application, and also apply for Associate Membership of IPEM. Induction day for the next cohort will be held in May 2021.

Gerard McKiernan is a Clinical Technologist in Nuclear Medicine based at Belfast City Hospital, and graduated from IPEM’s TTS in 2020:

"I joined IPEM Clinical Technologist Training Scheme (TTS) to improve my practice as a Clinical Technologist in Nuclear Medicine. It was a very helpful way to learn how to become a clinical technologist and ensured that I was working to a high standard."

Moderators needed

Moderators are a crucial part of the trainees’ journey, with each trainee allocated two, an external moderator and a supporting moderator. The external moderator carries out visits at the trainee's workplace to assess practical skills and offer advice on production of the training portfolio.  The trainee can discuss practical skills and issues, whilst the external moderator also benefits from building relationships with colleagues from different locations, sharing ideas and good practice.

 “The external moderator helped as they provided feedback on my practice, ensuring that I was performing to a high standard. They also provided more of an insight into other aspects of Nuclear Medicine that I was not familiar with. “said Gerard.

 The supporting moderator usually gets involved at the end of the training (although they can also offer an independent opinion, help or advice earlier if needed) and marks the portfolio.

Becoming a moderator is hugely rewarding, and perhaps more accessible than some may think. It’s also a great way to build CPD and of course also gives those established in their career the opportunity to help mould the next generation of technologists. Sue Hinks is an experienced TTS Moderator:

Sue Hinks

“Being involved with the IPEM TTS and ultimately the future of radiotherapy services, is not only interesting and rewarding in its own right but enhances both the department and my skillsets.”

To be eligible for an External Moderator role, candidates must be a Fellow or Full Member of IPEM working as a Clinical Technologist or a Clinical Scientist in a Medical Physics or Clinical Engineering role, OR be an Associate Member with RCT registration working as a Clinical Technologist in a Medical Physics or Clinical Engineering role. They should also have some prior involvement in the workplace with training/assessment of colleagues/staff, and knowledge of the requirements of the IPEM Clinical Technologist Training Scheme.

 An IPEM training day for approved moderators (those who have already applied and been accepted)will take place on 22nd March, so new applicants could still be approved in time to join in. 

 A route to registration and IPEM full membership

Completing the scheme offers accredited registration via the Register of Clinical Technologists (RCT), and it is highly valued, as RCT Registrar Iain Threlkeld explains:

 ‘The Technologists Training Scheme is a long-established track to applying for RCT registration via the Primary Route. Applying to join the accredited RCT demonstrates a real commitment to the field of work and your ongoing professional development. and to becoming part of a professional the Clinical Technologist community shows employers you are working to demonstrably high standards and practices.

IPEM President Stephen O’Connor said:

‘Once you have been awarded RCT registration, you can upgrade to Full Membership of IPEM, joining more than 4,600 medical physicists, biomedical engineers and clinical technologists working in hospitals, academia and industry. Becoming a full and active member of this community sets you apart – demonstrating a mutual commitment to pursuing the very best in professional achievement in practice, research and development.’