Everything you need to know about how to become a radiographer in the UK

29 March  •  Locum
Everything you need to know about how to become a radiographer in the UK

Working as a UK radiographer

If you’ve been working in radiography or diagnostic imaging jobs for most of your career, knowing how to become a UK radiographer might seem an odd concept. However, different countries have different health practices and procedures, as well as desired experience and qualifications, to consider. As experts working in locum healthcare and providing high quality professionals for locum work, we’ve covered some of the key things to consider if you want to work in radiography in the UK, as well as what benefits you could gain.

HCPC registration

In the UK, with the NHS being the primary healthcare provider, if you’re looking for locum radiography jobs, you’ll most likely be working in an NHS trust. As the NHS is a public body, it has to follow government rules and standards of practice when it comes to healthcare professionals.

The number one thing you’ll need in order to access UK radiography jobs is registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). This the UK governing body that monitors and regulates healthcare professionals working in both NHS and private healthcare. The HCPC sets out the standards required by each healthcare professional body, as well as determining which programmes are acceptable standards of education and practice.

For radiographers, the most important thing to understand from the HCPC is the standards of proficiency document. This is an agreement you accept when you take on a UK radiography job, and it outlines the standards to which you must practise and what is expected of you. This may be more or less strict than your usual practicing methods, so be sure to have a thorough read to see what differences might be expected of you.

Registering with an agency

Locum radiography jobs are most often placed through the use of healthcare agencies. Not only do agencies often get the first pass on jobs offered to them, but they can also help negotiate better rates of pay. They also often have good relationships with certain hospitals and specialisms, so if you’re looking for locum work in order to boost your skills and experience, choosing an agency can be a great way to gain this.

Registering with a locum agency also means you add an extra layer of professional protection and advice, should you need it. There are many locum agencies who can help you get the jobs you’re looking for, whether you’re here for a working holiday or simply wanting to supplement your income.

Globe Locums is proud to be a leading UK agency specialising in placing EU and international radiographers for locum work - you can view our vacancies here.

What visa or entry qualifications do I need?

If you’re from anywhere outside of the EU, you’ll need to register for a Health and Care Worker Visa. The UK government site gives clear details on what is required and how to obtain one. There is always a high demand for locum radiography jobs and with the COVID-19 crisis, this hasn’t changed. The more staff a hospital has available to help, the better.

If you’re from Australia or New Zealand, as well as your HCPC registration, you have the option of a Youth Mobility Visa. This is available to people under 30 and allows you to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years. You will still need to have relevant qualifications and a minimum of 12 months' experience, but it’s a great way to travel to the UK and beyond while still earning and gaining experience.

Is there a demand for locum radiographers?

In short, yes! There are many NHS trusts throughout the UK, and all of them rely on locum support in order to deliver the high standards of care the NHS is known for. Some will have a higher demand than others, but there are always plenty of opportunities to work and gain new experience. If you’re planning to travel the UK while working, this could be a great way to help fill gaps where locums are needed while seeing more of the country.

Typically, locum work is most in demand through the summer months, around school holidays, and at Christmas in the UK. As people have taken fewer holidays over the past year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the demand for locum work has been more spread out across the year. As the UK vaccination programme gets well underway, it’s expected that locum work will rise in demand as permanent staff take holidays from work. The need to have staff distinctly separated in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak also means that having locums available who have not been exposed is a great help, and means treating patients can continue as normal. That being said, demand is always strong in Radiography throughout the year, so there is never a bad time to come and embark on a career as a locum Radiographer.

How Globe Locums can help

If you want to find out more about how locum radiography jobs could work for you, our expert team here at Globe Locums is on hand to provide insight and guidance. You can explore listed vacancies for locum healthcare positions, refer a friend or gain some further insight if you’re looking to become a locum radiographer.

We always work with our candidates to ensure they are placed in appropriate, professional environments where their skills are valued and can grow. Why not explore what Globe Locums has to offer today, or speak to a member of our team for more insight.

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