Breast clinicians - credential in breast disease management

Logo of the Association of Breast CliniciansWhat's happening

In response to the current workforce crisis that is affecting breast imaging services in the UK, the College is working with the Association of Breast Clinicians (ABC) and Health Education England (HEE) to develop and pilot a credential in breast disease management with two main aims:

Logo of Heath Education England

  1. to standardise and recognise the training of breast clinicians
  2. to increase the breast clinician workforce to support breast screening and symptomatic services

The implementation of this credential through a pilot programme for 10 trainees in England has the support of Health Education England (HEE) which will be providing funding of £30,000 per trainee per year for the three years of the pilot.

ABC has drafted its Vision for the future which outlines how the pilot trainees will contribute to, and support the service once trained.

The training

The credential curriculum that is being developed (and which will be published here soon) will be based around a number of high-level capabilities in practice. This is what a breast clinician will be expected to be able to do upon completion of the training. It includes considerable overlap with the breast content of the clinical radiology curriculum.Trainees will be required to pass the physics module of the First FRCR Examination in their first year of training. Other elements of the programme will include clinical examination, risk factors such as family history and genetics, and the understanding of the use of prognostic and biological factors that influence oncological treatments. In addition to the physics examination, assessment will be workplace based and formative in nature leading to an annual review and summative assessment to confirm progress. Trainee breast clinicians will be given access to the RCR’s trainee e-portfolio, Kaizen, to document progress. Trainees will be employed by the breast screening units which will largely lead the training, but they will also be linked to the local radiology training programme to access relevant training and physics teaching.

The pilot programme 

With HEE’s support a pilot programme is to be implemented starting in August 2019 with ten trainees across England. Pilot locations have now been identified and are as follows:

RegionEmploying trustHost siteNumber of traineesLink to job advert*
EssexThe MSB TrustMid Essex, Southend, Basildon & Thurrock University Hospitals1 
North WestManchester Foundation TrustNightingale Centre, MFT, Manchester1Job advert
SevernRoyal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust & North Bristol TrustRUH Bath & Bristol Breast Care Centre2 
SouthHampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustRoyal County Winchester Hospital1 
South WestRoyal Cornwall Hospitals NHS TrustRoyal Cornwall Hospital,Truro2 
South WestTaunton & Somerset NHS Foundation TrustMusgrove Park Hospital1Job advert
Yorkshire & HumberLeeds Teaching Hospital NHS TrustLeeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust2 

*Links to job adverts for each pilot site will be added here as they become available

Recruitment of pilot participants

Individual training posts will be advertised and recruited to locally by each pilot site, using the same nationally agreed person specification. Jobs will be advertised on NHS Jobs and links will be added to the table above as soon as they are available.


The pilot is scheduled to start in August 2019 although the exact start dates for trainees will vary slightly depending on their location. 

Potential trainees

The credential training programme will be open to anyone post-Foundation Training but it is anticipated that it may be attractive to those currently in SAS posts or those looking for a change of career and a better work/life balance. The person specification details the entry requirements and the curriculum capabilities illustrate the end-point of training. The full credential curriculum will be published here shortly. 

As soon as each pilot site starts to recruit links to the job adverts will be added to the table above.


Any enquiries should be directed to the credential project team.