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Return to practice

Information in this section is for diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers seeking to return to practice and employers seeking to support a returnee.

To work as a radiographer in the UK, or indeed to use the title diagnostic radiographer, therapeutic radiographer or radiographer, you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.

The Health and Care Professions Council set and assess the standards that registrants must achieve before being readmitted to the register.  Potential returnees should read the HCPC ‘Returning to Practice’ pages and follow the links as well as reading the SoR pages.

For individual advice, as either a potential returnee or an employer looking to support a returnee please contact the Society of Radiographers professional officer responsible

Return to practice update

Did you know...Radiographers are still classed as a shortage profession on the Government's shortage occupation list?

The latest National Radiology Benchmarking data suggest that in 2016 there was around a 10% vacancy rate for diagnostic radiographers in the NHS. 

Therapeutic radiographers are also in short supply.  The CoR census in 2016 indicated a vacancy rate of 6.2%.

The diagnostic radiographer and therapeutic radiographer workforces are under pressure yet further growth in demand is expected. 

The NHS is trying to improve cancer diagnosis and treatment outcomes setting ambitious targets in its cancer plan for initial diagnostic tests, report availability and faster access to treatment. 

Health Education England, amongst others , are developing workforce plans to support this growth in demand. 

It makes sense to support those who have experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to re-enter the radiographic workforce and help to deliver high quality patient outcomes.

The process

The process is intended to be flexible in recognition of the varied characteristics of returnees by professional background, experience, expertise and proposed role on return. 


Potential radiographer returnees need to attend clinical departments for supervised practice to help them achieve the standards and regain entry onto the register. 

All of these people have a commitment to the profession and a desire to use the skills gained at NHS expense to continue benefitting patients.

They are mature and committed individuals who are willing to travel significant distances and accept the financial impact of an honorary contract just to ‘get back’.

They all demonstrate a level of commitment and personal drive that would enhance any department.

Visit the News link for the latest information about recruitment campaigns and financial or other support for returnees and employers.

International applicants

If you do not hold a UK qualification in radiography and have never been on the Register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), you will need to apply to the HCPC through the international route.

Please note that the readmission route for returners is only available for UK qualified radiographers.

Return to Practice in Ultrasound

The SCoR has produced useful information about ultrasonographers returning to practice, which can be found here.

Useful Resources

E learning for health modules

An NHS e-mail address allows free access to these excellent resources, relevant for both diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers. A small fee allows access for those without an NHS e-mail address – use ‘contact us’ on the ELfH home page

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