How to get a job as a radiographer in the UK

16 April  •  Working Abroad
How to get a job as a radiographer in the UK

Working as a radiographer in the UK is a fantastic career path with plenty of room for growth and specialisation. For experienced overseas healthcare workers looking to continue their career in radiography in the UK, transitioning involves navigating new regulations, cultures and working arrangements. In this article, we’ll learn how to get a job as a radiographer in the UK by looking at the different types of jobs available, visa requirements and ways to successfully establish yourself here.

Understanding the Role of Radiographer in the UK

Working in the UK as a radiographer places you at the cutting edge of the healthcare industry. You’ll be using the latest technology and imaging techniques, including X-rays, MRI, and ultrasound, to diagnose injuries and diseases in patients. You will work closely with other healthcare professionals to ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment. The role requires a strong understanding of anatomy, physiology, and imaging technology, alongside excellent patient care skills.

Diagnostic vs. Therapeutic Radiography

It's important to differentiate between the two main branches of radiography in the UK: diagnostic and therapeutic. Diagnostic radiographers focus on producing and interpreting high-quality images to diagnose conditions. Therapeutic radiographers, on the other hand, use radiation to treat diseases, most commonly cancer.

Navigating UK Registration and Certification

If you’re coming to the UK to work as a radiographer, then you’ll need to meet a few requirements before you can secure a job. Radiography is a regulated profession in the UK, which means you will have to register with the appropriate regulatory body and meet their entry requirements.

HCPC Registration

The first step for any overseas radiographer aiming to work in the UK is to obtain registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). This regulatory body ensures that healthcare professionals meet the necessary standards for training, skills, and behaviour. You will typically need to provide evidence of your qualifications, which may include an assessment of your training against UK standards, and you may also have to complete a proficiency test depending on your country of origin.

Credential Evaluation

It is advisable to undergo a credential evaluation early to determine if your qualifications are recognised in the UK. If there are gaps in equivalence, you might need additional training or to pass specific exams. The HCPC provides detailed guidance on these processes, which can vary depending on your country of origin.

Professional Bodies

Joining a professional body such as the Society of Radiographers (SoR) is also helpful when preparing to work in the UK as a radiographer. Membership provides access to resources, networking opportunities, and professional development tools that can be invaluable when settling into a new healthcare system.

Visa and Immigration Requirements

To work in the UK, you will need the appropriate visa that allows you to seek employment while staying in the UK. Most healthcare professionals will apply for the Health and Care Worker visa, which is part of the Skilled Worker route. There are a few other visa types that allow you to live and work in the UK, such as:

Working as a Locum Radiographer in the UK

When it comes to finding a suitable working arrangement in the UK as a radiographer, you’ll likely consider either working in a permanent contract or as a locum. Both options have their own benefits and drawbacks, but for many people locuming is a preferable option for a few reasons.

Better Pay

As locum radiographers are expected to be more flexible and adaptable in terms of where they work, they tend to earn more than their permanently contracted counterparts. Locums can earn anywhere from £28 to £44 per hour depending on their specialism and experience, making it a very lucrative way of working.

Better Work/Life Balance

Another big benefit of choosing to locum as a radiographer is the enhanced work/life balance that you’ll enjoy. As you choose the assignments you take on, you can decide how much - or little - you will work over a given week or month. By striking a better work/life balance, you will reduce the risk of things like burnout.

Working with Specialist Recruiters

Partnering with a specialist recruiter can be particularly advantageous for overseas radiographers. Recruiters who focus on healthcare placements, like our team at Globe Locums, can guide you through the complexities of the UK job market, help negotiate contracts, and ensure compliance with UK healthcare regulations. They can also provide valuable insights into both permanent and locum opportunities.

Preparing for the UK Healthcare Environment

Understanding the cultural and professional environment of UK healthcare is important if you’re an overseas radiographer. This includes familiarising yourself with the NHS system, patient interaction protocols, and professional conduct standards. Engaging in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities and connecting with other healthcare professionals through forums and professional groups can aid in this transition.

Continuing Professional Development

Maintaining and enhancing your professional skills does more than prepare you for the healthcare environment in the UK - it’s mandatory to retain your HCPC registration. CPD activities in the UK may include attending workshops, participating in research, and pursuing further education. Staying proactive in your professional development ensures you remain competitive and compliant in the UK healthcare sector.

Find Your Career Path as a Radiographer in the UK

Transitioning to a radiography career in the UK as an experienced overseas healthcare worker is a daunting process, but it yields some tremendous rewards. By securing the necessary registrations, choosing the right visa and leveraging specialist recruiters like Globe Locums, you can navigate this complex process successfully. Moreover, ongoing engagement with CPD and the broader professional community will help ensure your long-term success and integration into the UK healthcare system.

If you’re interested in working in the UK as a locum radiographer, then our team at Globe Locums are here to help. Take a look at our latest radiographer vacancies or get in touch if you have any further questions.

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