In the RAF
‘As a military radiographer I am first and foremost a SNCO, my role is to ensure clinical competency to deploy at short notice on operations and contingency exercises.
I am able to lead a dedicated team of radiographers and from the training provided, deliver an NHS standard imaging service, often in challenging environments and if deployed alone. I have the responsibility for implementing radiation safety and managing radiology and IT equipment to ensure radiology images are diagnostic and transmitted to Royal Centre for Defence Medicine.
The core elements of radiology equipment I am expected to deploy with and utilise are Direct Digital Radiography, CT scanning, Image Intensifiers and PACS systems.'
‘I routinely work along side my NHS colleagues whilst maintaining necessary clinical expertise to deliver trauma radiography on deployment. I am expected to maintain clinical knowledge and help develop junior personnel. I am state registered with HCPC and seek opportunities to develop.
The care of patients is a priority and delivering high quality imaging to Service personnel and civilians for clinical diagnosis is a way of contributing to the RAF Medical Services.’
Your career will start with a 10 week Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. As well as fitness and military training, you will also learn about the RAF lifestyle.
If you are joining without qualifications in radiography, you will study for a BSc in Diagnostic Radiography at the Birmingham City University (BCU), a 3 year course with practical training in Ministry of Defence Hospital Units (MDHUs) and civilian hospitals. This degree will qualify you for state registration as a Radiographer with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). When you have completed your degree you will get your first assignment.
Additional Qualification Opportunities
You will have opportunities for further professional development throughout your career, including postgraduate qualifications.
Ongoing Training/Development Opportunities
As a radiographer, you will need to maintain your registration with the HCPC and the RAF is therefore keen to support your attendance at radiography training days and conferences.
Your First Tour
Your first posting will be to a MDHU within an NHS Hospital. You will work as part of a team of military Radiographers to allow you to gain confidence and experience.
Your Future Career Prospects/Progression
You will initially join the RAF for a period of twelve years on a Notice Engagement with effect from 1 April 2015. You will be promoted to Senior Aircraftman after 1 year total service. Those already qualified will be promoted to corporal on posting to their first productive unit. Subsequent promotion to corporal and sergeant, subject to the completion of service courses, will be on a time promotion basis.
The graduate and postgraduate qualifications you can earn are the same as those for your civilian counterparts – whenever you decide to leave the RAF, you will be well placed to find a job in radiography.
Qualified Applicants: State-registered radiographer with BSc Hons in Diagnostic Radiography or equivalent.
Unqualified Applicants: Min of 120 UCAS tariff points, at A Level or equivalent (including a recognised science subject). It is important to check BCU website for current entry requirements.
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To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria detailed below.