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Joined: May 2003
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As I stated earlier, I am positive about the idea of state registration. My only real concern is over the acceptance criteria.
As an example, IPEM have a minimum of 2 years medical experience as prerequisite to application. We have a few capable techs in our department - and by capable I mean able to apply good sense and judgement - who have come in from other fields [mostly Armed Forces] within the last two years. Does this mean that, whilst they are precluded, other more dangerous elements [see earlier messages!] can gain registration?
I see that there is something fundamentally wrong with accepting someone purely on the basis of experience on paper, or for that matter qualifications on paper. But registration has to begin somewhere. I would certainly not want the nightmare of sorting out who can wear the club tie and who can't.
By the way, Bill: I'm not sure that I see it as a universal panacaea, more of a pre-med. It's a step in the right direction.
Unless of course they don't accept me, in which case DOWN WITH VRCT!!! eek


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It's not just about paper - there are age, academic qualifications, acceptable training, work experience, current job-role and other aspects to it. As I've said before, there was a grandparenting clause that has expired now I think. Most of those interested involved working in the NHS and aware of the VRCT have probably taken advantage of this. I think what you are saying is that a number of forces biomeds may have qualifications below the minimum requirement e.g. C&GLI or ONC. Well pitching the minimum requirements for age, academic performance, training and experience has to start somewhere and they can be easily obtained over time - remembering that the HNC is a technician qualification, of course and that professional qualifications are at degree level usually. Whitley terms and conditions for Medical engineering and Medical Physics Technicians state the requirement of HNC preferable for the "working grade" e.g. MTO3 and the AfC job profiles are pitching towards HND/BEng. We are involved in a knowledge and skills based occupation are we not? Hopefully the knock-on effect of a requirement for registration is that training, education and development wil be available to those who wish to take advantage of it.

Joined: May 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by RL:
Hopefully the knock-on effect of a requirement for registration is that training, education and development wil be available to those who wish to take advantage of it.
I hope that this is the case. Many of us are comfortable with the idea of more academic learning - whilst perhaps a little apprehensive at going back into the clasroom environment.
For others though, the thought of higher learning is daunting, even terrifying.
It would be a bad thing if good technicians were effectively segregated/prejudiced because of their concerns over academic achievement. This is why higher learning should be there for those comfortable in tackling it, but not making second class citizens of proven technicians who for their own reasons can't cope with more academic learning. frown


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Personally speaking I wouldn't want a multi-tier working environment imposed on Technicians already in the job, whatever their situation, differentiating on the basis of academic qualifications, under any circumstances at all. I know what it's like to be discarded when my "usefulness has been outlived" and it's not a pleasant feeling at all. However for new starters it would be simple - if the job role required certain criteria for the working grade then that would be that - end of story - meet the requirements or work towards them whilst in post, working on probation perhaps.

Joined: Sep 2000
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Visionary
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I applaud & agree with your sentiments, but I do not think State Registration will be the biggest driving force for development being available to all staff- you seem to have forgotten the Knowledge & Skills Framework(KSF)part of AfC.
Whilst everyone is, understandably, concentrating on the Job Evaluation System, the ramifications of the KSF is being overlooked.

On a slightly different tack, does anyone hold a Professional Portfolio? Is this an individual choice or does everyone in the department do it?
This will probably necessary for State Registration, but is a great idea anyway. In one document you should have evidence of a number of things....
1. Record of CPD Continuing Professional Development.
2. Record of Personal Development Plans and there completion (KSF)
3. Compliance to National Occupational Standards (should be introduced later this year), and as the new Healthcare Scientist Career Pathway is directly linked to the NOSs you will have evidence for ascending the skills escalator.

Now I really must go and get a life....

Andrea

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I sense a hint of resentment in your posting Andrea - good points about the NHS initiatives but I haven't heard much about NOS or KSF since I'm not in the "old-boys (and girls) club" that is involved and no-one involved seems to want to respond to questions. Do you and your colleagues in South Manchester know what's going on? Here in a North Manchester EBME, I just rely on precedents like the Clinical Scientists and the advent of state registration and IPEM accredited training schemes around the country that have convinced me state registration will actually have a significant influence on initiatives like NOS and KSF.

The Physicists state registration seems to have ensured that only those Physicists, Professional Engineers and Clinical Scientists trained on the IPEM nationally accredited schemes, aiming to be state registered eventually, are employed on grades with career prospects, training, CPD, etc, etc. Otherwise, without state registration (if you can get into a post at all), it's almost impossible to be let loose in an environment where harm can be done, without supervision. It's almost nigh impossible to move up into, or between, senior Physicist grades as far as I can tell. Apply this thinking to the possibility of state registration for technician grades and I'm sure that it doesn't take much imagination to guess what could be on the way.

Anyway sorry to hear that some of us are still looking for a life - 50% of mine is spent working or with things associated with getting to and from work; until I win the lottery anyhow. I guess that trying to improve this 50% is as important to me as improving what remains outside work. Difficult for some to understand perhaps.

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As the Registrar of the Voluntary Register of Clinical Technologists may I take this opportunity to rectify a number of misconceptions posted in this thread.

Firstly, the VRCT is a partnership of three professional bodies: the Institute of Incorporated Engineers (IIE), The Association of Renal Technologists (ART) and the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM). It is administered by IPEM but IPEM has no monopoly on the way the Register is managed and organised. Furthermore, there is signifcant support from Clinical Scientists in IPEM for the VRCT. However, let me be very clear - the VRCT is run by Technologists for Technologists. It does not seek to be elitist and positively encourages all Technologists to apply to join.

Secondly, the grandfathering clause is still open to all who apply. The conditions for registering were very carefully thought out to take account of those with significant prior experience of working within the profession. It should be emphasised that one of the key aspects of the profession is clinical experience. Thus those who may have significant engineering experience but no clinical experience need to demonstrate that they have acquired the necessary clinical skills to ensure that they are trained "fit for purpose" and are thus safe to practice in a patient environment.

Regulation of the practice of Clinical Technologists will, in the near future, be a mandatory requirement. Thus, at some time soon, all new entrants to the profession will have to acquire a registerable qualification (probably at degree level) and will also require to have completed a formal programme of competence based training.

The entire regulation agenda is being led by the Department of Health and will not be voluntary! If you are not registered on the VRCT now is the time to do so.

Additionally, the VRCT submitted its application for regulation to the Health Professions Council in May. An announcement regarding the outcome will be made to Registrants in the next ten days. I will post a copy of that announcement on the Forum. In the meantime if you require any further information on the VRCT this can be obtained from the websites of the participating professional bodies:
IIE http://www.iie.org.uk,
ART http://www.artery.org.uk or
IPEM http://www.ipem.org.uk
or by email to vrct@ipem.org.uk

Jim Methven
Registrar
Voluntary Register of Clinical Technologists

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My view is that there will continue to be misunderstandings if IPEM does not improve its communications with non-IPEM members and "push" the potential benefits of state registration rather than wave the "big-stick" of mandatory regulation. Of course, as an IPEM member, I can only criticise IPEM, not the other institutions......

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In response to RL. I have been advocating regulation of Clinical Technologists since 1994. The VRCT campaign commenced in 2000 - since that date I have spoken at numerous meetings, circulated information in numerous journals and websites and spent most of my waking life trying to raise the profile of Clinical Technologists. I have never shaken a "big stick" - the VRCT documenation explains very clearly why regulation is important and what its implications are. This process has been supported by a signifcant number of like-minded individuals who care about the profession. Thus we attempt to use clear and unambiguous language to extoll the benefits of becoming professionally organised and hence regulated!

What we have said is: if you wish to be treated as a professional, first and foremost become one! Get involved; improve standards; raise the profile; seek excellence; stop complaining and criticising. Sorry about all the cliches but actions speak louder than words and at this time action is required - not a talking shop criticising those involved or about bemoaning the demise of some concept that doesn't exist!

One final point, I have no problems about identifying who I am, where I work and what I do. I am willing to stand up and be counted for my interest in promoting the profession in a positive light.

Jim Methven

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Jim, my criticism is not of you personally, it is of IPEM generally, unless "you are IPEM", rather than a representative, that is. Actually this may come as a shock to you but many are critical and sceptical about IPEM - especially those working in EBME departments - probably due to a lack of information and misunderstanding. They cannot be blamed for information not being made available and the institution failing to "market itself" more proactively to non-member technologists.

I am an IPEM member on the VRCT, who only knows about IPEM and VRCT because I worked for a long time in Medical Physics, and I find it difficult to convince my EBME colleagues that there is "something in it" for them i.e IPEM hasn't really given me any "tools" or a "lever" for me to help "push" VRCT and promote the ideas of state registration. Of course you should be given fair dues and credit for your involvement and hopefully your hard work is bearing fruit - I for one am glad to see it. However this is a forum - a place where comments, information, views and opinions (including criticism) should be welcomed and tolerated in my opinion.

However there is no monopoly on commitment - irrespective of whether it is to an institution promoting a profession or technicians and engineers just working hard and getting on with it the best they can. I like to think I've helped at least some of the people I've worked with giving basic knowledge or assistance beyond the call of duty and spreading the word about IPEM, VRCT and state registration whenever I can. We can't all be "at the front-end" or at the "top of the tree". Have you read my previous postings in this thread - the ones that promote IPEM, VRCT and state registration? Would someone disinterested spend their own time posting this?

I don't think I should personally be criticised just because, like many others, I am not that involved (because of personal and work circumstances). After reading your response fortunately I am not that involved so I take offence, when my institution is criticised on an issue, anyhow. Precisely because of the time that VRCT has been established I think that information on VRCT could have been more widely released through the "members network" and then onto non-members working in EBME and other non Medical Physics but related areas for example. Don't forget we are not all in a position to promote the profession (and sometimes expose it, warts and all).

Many of our employers are not even aware of IPEM or not yet convinced of the benefits of IPEM and VRCT precisely because I think IPEM has not pushed it hard-enough to non-members e.g. EBME departments particularly. A point raised recently by the Chairman in an IPEM circular recently.

The fact is that you chose to respond to a posting originally asking for information on the VRCT way down a thread after it had been started to "clear up misconceptions" yet responded very quickly to my criticism of IPEM perhaps demonstrates my point. Maybe if you had responded to the inital question rather than choosing to point out the misunderstandings that occurred later on - i.e. clarifying the issue; then there wouldn't have been as many misunderstandings. One last thing - this is a talking-shop Jim - it's a forum, an oppotunity to share views, information and have a discussion whether it attains some individuals personal high standards or not, I suppose.

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