BNMS CPG Frequently asked questions (FAQs): Employment queries from overseas
This section provides some useful guidance around working in the United Kingdom if you are considering travelling from overseas. Please note the following information is guidance and you should always seek to contact the relevant NHS Trust / independent sector company if you are thinking of applying for a post in the United Kingdom.
How do I register for work as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist / Radiographer in the United Kingdom and / or do I need a licence?
As Nuclear Medicine Practice in the UK is undertaken by Radiographers and Clinical Technologists, there is a mixture of professional representation within this field of imaging. Radiographers are governed by registration on the Health Professions Council (HPC), which is mandatory if you are going to practice under the protected title of a "Diagnostic" or "Radiotherapy" Radiographer in the UK. This is not the same for Clinical Technologists at present, hence why the Voluntary Register of Clinical Technologists (VRCT) is voluntary at this moment in time. If you are a Clinical Technologist it may be worth applying for registration on the VRCT, as this may help with your application for employment in the United Kingdom. More information on the VRCT can be obtained from: http://www.vrct.org.uk/
My training also includes CT experience; can I therefore apply for vacancies which include hybrid imaging?
This will depend on individual NHS Trusts / independent sector companies. Some NHS Trusts operate SPECT/CT systems which are capable of undertaking stand-alone / diagnostic CT, in addition to low-dose and attenuation correction examinations. There are usually a number of clinical protocols indicating what level of CT can be undertaken by a Clinical Technologist or a Radiographer. Appropriate training may be necessary within the local NHS Trust / independent sector company, in order to comply with specific regulations relating to the appropriate and safe use of CT within a hybrid imaging environment.
Where do I search for job vacancies in the United Kingdom?
You can search for jobs in the UK by visiting the NHS jobs website: http://www.jobs.nhs.uk but it is important to remember that nuclear medicine posts may be advertised for both Radiographers and Clinical Technologists. We also have a number of independent imaging companies here in the UK, who provide patient imaging services (e.g. PET/CT and nuclear medicine). It may be worth trying the following two employers:
Alliance Medical Ltd: http://inside.alliancemedical.co.uk/
Inhealth Group: http://www.inhealthgroup.com/current-vacancies.php
Vacancies may also be advertised in RadMagazine: http://www.radmagazine.co.uk/Default.aspx (You will need to register to view vacant positions, but this is free).
Another useful website: http://www.jobisjob.co.uk/nuclear-medicine/jobs This site highlights the areas of the United Kingdom where jobs in Nuclear Medicine are being advertised.
How do I apply for a work visa?
You would also need to investigate your visa application (should you apply for and obtain a post here in the UK), but this is normally undertaken in conjunction with the NHS Trust who employs you. More information on this is available from: http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/explore_oversea_immigration-rules.shtml). In the past, nuclear medicine has been identified as an area within the health service that is at risk, in terms of insufficient numbers within the workforce. This situation may be regional and change over time. Workforce planning is performed within specific areas of the United Kingdom, however there may be in a delay in the publication of results highlighting any potential skills shortages within the health service. This status may impact on your success in obtaining a working visa and / or an extension to your visa if you are successful in obtaining a position in the United Kingdom.
What opportunities are there for working in Nuclear Medicine in the United Kingdom?
Vacancies are most likely to be more frequent within the larger cities, such as London, Manchester and Birmingham. However an effective way of searching for positions is to register on the NHS jobs website. When you apply for any position, the Human Resources department and the clinical manager will need to know where you trained (i.e. which university) and the level of your qualification. This is important is it may determine suitability for a position at an early stage in your application process.
In addition to working within the clinical nuclear medicine environment, there may also be opportunities to work within the clinical research field of nuclear medicine.
What are the professional bodies associated with Nuclear Medicine in the United Kingdom?
The Society and College of Radiographers provide professional representation for both Radiographers and Clinical Technologists working within Nuclear Medicine. The website address for SCoR is http://www.scor.org.uk .
IPEM is the professional body representing Clinical Scientists and Clinical Technologists across a spectrum of health and engineering disciplines. The website address for IPEM is http://www.ipem.ac.uk
The BNMS is an organisation concerned with the clinical practice, education, research and development of nuclear medicine within the United Kingdom.
Are there any institutes that offer post graduate training in the United Kingdom?
Yes, there are three Universities which offer post graduate training education in Nuclear Medicine in the United Kingdom:
City University, London: http://www.city.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/nuclear-medicine-technology
Salford University: http://www.salford.ac.uk/course-finder/course/1361
University of the West of England, Bristol: http://courses.uwe.ac.uk/b80a42/2011
Can I obtain some examples of clinical protocols / techniques demonstrating typical procedures performed in the United Kingdom?
Yes, you can freely access BNMS Clinical Guidelines from: http://www.bnms.org.uk/bnms-clinical/
Can I join the BNMS?
Yes, you can join the BNMS by going to the following website: http://www.bnms.org.uk/membership/membership-application.html
FAQ for Radiographers and Clinical Technologists wishing to work in the United Kingdom. August 2011