Breast clinicians credential - Frequently asked questions

If you have an enquiry about the credential programme that is not answered below please contact credentials@rcr.ac.uk

Application process

Undertaking the credential

Completion of the credential


Pilot Application Process

Would you sponsor an international doctor’s visa?

Employing trusts are responsible for arranging sponsorship of Tier 2 visas for applicants already registered with the GMC and who have passed the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test.

Can I apply to work part-time?

Yes, but any less than three full clinical days per week would make training very difficult.

Can I defer starting this job to 2020?

No. The pilot is intended to run for three years commencing August 2019.

Will there be another round of recruitment?

The viability of creating another intake of trainees will be established once the evaluation is complete. Please email your expression of interest in future recruitment opportunities to credentials@rcr.ac.uk and breastacademy@mft.nhs.uk.

Undertaking the credential

What would the role of the pilot trainee involve?

The three year training programme will equip you with the necessary skills to lead screening services, family history clinics and work in symptomatic clinics. Job plans will vary across trusts and may include screening assessments, observations, supervised radiology skills, mammography reading, symptomatic and FHx clinics.

Trainees are also expected to sit the “Scientific Basis of Imaging” or “Physics” module of the First FRCR examination within the first year of training. To prepare you for the examination, it is recommended that you attend local radiology physics teaching. This will be negotiated with the local radiology Head of School and study time will be factored into your job plan.

Is there any on-call commitment?

No on-call commitment will be required as part of the training programme.

Will I still have a relationship with my deanery?

No. The pilot programme is not within the remit of deaneries, so please contact your educational supervisor or the Training and Education team at RCR using the email credentials@rcr.ac.uk if you need further support with your training and/or placement.

What is the progression review process?

Similar to the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) process for specialty training, the review of credential trainees will be carried out by a national panel, convened by the Credential Project Board. A national review panel will ensure that a consistent standard is applied to all trainees across all training sites within the pilot programme. It will be independent of the pilot sites, ensuring impartiality and avoiding decisions on progression being made by the same people responsible for the training of an individual trainee.

The Process for the Review of Trainee Performance and Progression document gives full details of the process and the panel.

Can I still work towards the credential outside of the pilot?

Yes. The same training routes and guidelines will still apply, however gaining agreement from your employer to allow you the necessary time and support to train will be entirely up to you.  Training and supervision will also need to be arranged and resourced locally, as will access to local physics teaching. Neither the RCR nor the Credential Project Board, will be able to offer any assistance in these local discussions or guarantee that this will be available. Before being accepted onto the credential programme you will need to provide a letter from your employer confirming that they will support you undertaking the credential and that appropriate educational and clinical supervision will be provided.

Upon satisfactory completion of the credential, participants will be able to practice as a breast clinician and apply for permanent substantive posts. If you are interested in pursuing the credential outside of the pilot, please email credentials@rcr.ac.uk for more information.

I am already working as a breast clinician; can I still work towards the credential?

Yes. Please refer to the response above for details of what is required. Please note, however, that because the credential is still in a pilot phase, there is currently no mechanism for counting prior learning and experience as a breast clinician towards the credential. Anyone undertaking the credential will be required to complete the full three-year programme and meet all requirements of the curriculum. There is currently no equivalence process.

How will I be assessed?

Trainees are required to pass the Physics module of the First FRCR Examination in their first year of training. In addition to the physics examination, assessment is workplace-based and formative in nature leading to an annual review. Full details of the assessment programme are included in the credential curriculum.

Trainee breast clinicians will be given access to the RCR’s e-portfolio to document progress.

What is Kaizen?

Kaizen is the RCR’s trainee e-portfolio. You and your supervisors will be able to record learning in all its forms, such as workplace-based assessments and appraisal meetings, and monitor progress through the credential curriculum. You will also be encouraged to maintain a personal portfolio on Kaizen for self-assessment, reflective learning, and personal development plans. A user guide for trainees and a user guide for supervisors are available and will be sent by email to all involved. 

Do I need to become a member of RCR?

Yes. Credential trainees must become Associate Members of the RCR in order to access the e-portfolio and have their training recognised for award of the credential.

Do I need to become a member of the Association of Breast Clinicians (ABC)?

We strongly encourage all credential trainees to join the ABC. The ABC offers a range of online resources as well as useful meetings and a supportive network. Details on how to join are on the ABC website.

What will the FRCR1 Physics exam involve?

The syllabus for the physics exam can be found in section 2.2 of the Clinical Radiology Specialty Training Curriculum. Details of the exam including dates, venues and how to apply are published when available on the website.

Who can act as an educational supervisor/clinical supervisor?

Educational and clinical supervisors should be recognised on the GMC register as GMC approved trainers. Your clinical supervisors should ideally be consultants, working in an area of practice related to the element of training they are supervising. Your educational supervisor is likely to be a consultant breast radiologist or a senior breast clinician.

My unit doesn’t have any breast clinicians at the moment; where can I seek support?

Please contact your educational supervisor if you have any concerns around training and support. If you would like more general advice, the Association of Breast Clinicians will be happy to hear from you. For any concerns regarding your employment or any other matter, we would advise you to contact your trust’s Professional Support Unit.

Completion of the credential

What will I receive at the end of the training?

Following successful completion confirmed by a final review panel, trainees will be awarded an RCR-Certified Credential Certificate following completion of training. A formal record of training will also be maintained by the RCR.