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3. Project Management

3.1. Steering Group

The Project was overseen by a Steering Group which determined the direction of the Project and ensured objectives were met.

3.1.1 The role of the group included:

  • Overseeing the establishment of the Project User Group;
  • Receiving and approving the interim and end of Project reports;
  • Commenting on the evaluation and research elements of the Project;
  • Ensuring that the Project considered and made recommendations on the wider use of the tool across other professions;
  • Receiving regular progress reports from the Project Co-ordinators;
  • Overseeing the financial probity of the Project.


3.1.2 Membership of the group consisted of the two VERT Co-ordinators and representatives from:

  • The College of Radiographers;
  • The Department of Health;
  • The Cancer Action Team;
  • The Royal College of Radiologists;
  • The Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine;
  • Higher Education Institutions; and
  • Radiotherapy and Oncology departments.

The Steering Group met 4 times during the course of the Project.

3.2. National User Group

A National User Group, reporting directly to the Steering Group, was established early in the Project to provide a forum for discussing the VERT Project, its evaluation and the technology involved.

3.2.1 The role of the User Group included:

  • facilitating a wide-reaching communication network regarding the use of the VERT technology;
  • ensuring that the Project met the desired outcomes of the stakeholders;
  • generating, sharing and disseminating ideas and best practice regarding the use of the VERT technology;
  • providing the foundation for continued development after the initial supported 18 months;
  • feeding information back to the VERT Co-ordinators as required; and
  • reporting on the discussions to the Project Steering Group.


3.2.2 The VERT Project funded the technology for institutions in England only.  However, it was considered that participation in the National User Group by colleagues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would be beneficial and, consequently, a representative from each of these countries was invited to attend.

3.2.3 The National User Group consisted of:

  • The Society and College of Radiographers;
  • VERT Co-ordinator – Implementation and Education;
  • VERT Co-ordinator - Evaluation and Research;
  • One representative from each of the 10 English educational institutions;
  • One representative from each group of radiotherapy and oncology departments (see 3.2.4 below);
  • One representative from either Glasgow Caledonian University or Queen Margaret University, Scotland;
  • One representative from Cardiff University, Wales;
  • One representative from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland; and
  • Vertual Ltd.

There were 4 National User Group Meetings during the course of the project.

3.2.4 Representatives from educational institutions and clinical departments were expected to cascade information about the VERT technology and generate interest in its use by both students and staff. However, because of the number of participating radiotherapy and oncology departments in England, it was impractical to include a representative from each department on the User Group. A ‘Group Representative’ system was established, therefore. Departments were allocated to one of 10 groups, based on the educational institution from which they received their main cohort of students. This was considered to be the most appropriate arrangement for the following reasons:

  • Geographical location – the majority of the radiotherapy and oncology departments in each group were within a reasonable travelling distance from each other and the educational institution, making it easier to set up Regional User Groups;
  • Most had already established links with each other and the educational institution, although not necessarily with the representatives who attended the National VERT User Group; and
  • Grouping the departments with their associated educational institution was one way of encouraging communication and partnership working between them – essential for meeting the Project objective of sharing learning outcomes associated with the use of VERT across universities and departments. 


3.3. Regional User Groups

3.3.1 One element of the National User Group departmental Group Representatives’ role was to report back to their regional centres.  Some educational institutions and associated departments took the initiative and set up their own Regional User Groups at an early stage to facilitate information exchange and, in particular, to discuss the ways in which VERT could be used with both students and qualified staff.  These groups consisted of the VERT Leads from the educational institution and each associated clinical placement site. 

3.3.2 The potential benefits of Regional User Groups were identified as:

  • promoting a co-ordinated approach to using VERT in meeting the Project objectives;
  • preventing inappropriate repetition of material for the students; and
  • generating a shared understanding of student learning outcomes so that clinical teaching in the radiotherapy and oncology department could be more readily related to learning outcomes.


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