University of Exeter Handbook (Medical Imaging) Questions/Comments Department (Medical Imaging)

Code of Practice for Clinical Placements

The D)epartment intends that the professionalism and integrity of its Medical Imaging (Diagnostic Radiography) graduates should be recognised as second-to-none. It therefore expects all students on clinical placements to comply with the letter and spirit of this Code of Practice and a student who is unable to do so may not be able to continue on this programme.


Clinical placements are provided at ten hospitals as follows:

Personal Conduct

Medical Imaging students on placement must:

Students must undertake training, education and personal development so that, when qualified, they will be able to act at all times in accordance with the Health and Care Professions Council's Standards of Proficiency for Radiographers and Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics.

Students who become members of the Society and College of Radiographers will also need to comply with its Statements of Professional Conduct [pdf] (login required).

Placement Induction and Safety

At the start of each new placement, students will undergo an induction process. This will cover the topics specified in the Clinical Placement Induction Processes Checklist, as they apply to a particular placement site. During this induction period students must ensure that they read and understand the placement department's 'local rules' (for safe working practice) and other policies, and adhere to these at all times.


Students will be expected to participate in the normal working hours of the placement workplace. These will often, but not always, be 0900 to 1700 Monday to Friday, with one half-day off during this period. Students will also be required to work a number of 'out-of-hours' sessions, especially during the Stage 2 and 3 years. Time off during normal working hours will be allocated to compensate for this (at a rate of one hour for each hour worked out-of-hours).

In order to encourage participation in sports activities, students are permitted Wednesday afternoons off. However, at the discretion of the Link Radiographer, you may take alternative mornings or afternoons off. Any personal business (for example medical or dental appointments) should be arranged during this half-day off and not during clinical placement time. Students must fully attend their clinical placements, and taking holiday during this period is not permitted. Students not completing sufficient hours will be required to attend additional clinical placements to make up any shortfall. This may take the form of a period of 'clinical recovery' outside of the typical placement period, subject to agreement by the Department.


A student who is unable to attend their placement for good reason, e.g. illness, must inform both their placement department and the Student Services Office. Regardless of the cause of absence, a minimum of 95% attendance in the non-elective parts is required to pass the placement. If attendance drops below this level, or the student expects to be absent for a significant period of time, they must inform the Clinical Placement Co-ordinator as soon as possible, so that the required period of additional placement to meet the minimum attendance requirement can be arranged.

Indemnity Insurance

Students are covered by NHS insurance during the non-elective placements at NHS hospitals within the South West region. For elective placements, such indemnity insurance should be provided by the placement provider, whether NHS or not (see also the Radiography Elective Regulations). However, students may wish to have their own personal insurance, particularly for the Stage 3 year as they will start to take more delegated responsibility in their practical work, and especially for peace of mind if undertaking elective placements outside the NHS. A convenient way of doing this is by joining, as a student member, the Society & College of Radiographers which includes suitable cover as a benefit.

Allocation of Placements

Students will attend one clinical placement site per year, with a total of three major placements over the three year programme. In addition to this, supplementary placements to experience specialities may be required and these will be in the form of short-term placements of one week. Before the commencement of the programme, students will be invited to list preferred placements. However, depending upon demand in certain areas and the appropriate range of experiences required during the course, students may not be allocated their preferred placements. Students will be required to sign the Practice Placement Preferences form [pdf] before the commencement of the course which includes an agreement to attend placements wherever necessary in any of the ten base hospitals.

Students may, for good reason (e.g. due to a significant change in personal circumstance), request an alteration to their allocated placements by completing the Change to Clinical Placement Request [pdf] form.

Clinical Placement Allocation Policy

Students are able to state placement preferences on the Practice Placement Preferences form [pdf]. The top three sites indicated on this form by the student are considered to be their preferred placement sites. However, there is limited capacity at each site and therefore students may be placed at a site which is not included as one of their preferred placements, if the demand for those particular placements is too high. In such a situation, placements will be allocated with the following priorities taken into account:

  1. Disability / chronic medical condition which impacts on travelling, requires medical care in one area, requires support services, accommodation adaptations and any other reasonable consideration.
  2. Pregnancy / maternity.
  3. Carer / dependents.
  4. Financial Hardship (including employment commitments).
  5. Marriage / Civil Partnership.
  6. High-level sporting activity (part of a University first team, county, national or international level competition).


Many of the hospital sites provide accommodation. Students will be invited (by email) to complete the Request for Hospital Accommodation form [pdf] at the appropriate times throughout the programme. However, for those that do not and travel is required there is a facility within the bursary system to provide travel expenses. For full details refer to the booklet Financial Help for Healthcare Students

In order to use a car to travel to and from a clinical placement sites, the Request Use of Private Vehicle form must be completed, and confirmation obtained from the car insurance company that there is adequate cover for all costs and claims and that no liability is placed on the University or any NHS body.

Please note that all travel tickets or other documentary proof such as official receipts, MUST accompany the travel claim, which should be handed in to the Student Services office on a monthly basis.

Uniform, Personal Hygiene, etc.

Students on clinical placement are required to dress appropriately in accordance with the workplace policy. They should be clean, not use strong scents, and maintain a smart and professional appearance at all times, and comply with requests made by the Link Radiographer.

As a guide, students should wear the standard University of Exeter radiography uniform. Shoes should be plain, flat and black. Trainers, backless shoes or sandals are not permitted. Long hair should be tied back neatly. Minimal jewellery is permitted; wedding rings and small stud ear-rings are acceptable. However, facial piercings, large ear-rings, large rings and wrist-watches are not permitted. It should be remembered that all rings create an infection-control risk and should therefore be minimised.

In order to protect patients any instance of ill-health (including colds) and/or injuries should be reported to the Placement Co-ordinator and the Link Radiographer. Uniforms must not be worn outside the workplace.

It is the student's responsibility to report immediately any pregnancy, or possible pregnancy, to both the Link Radiographer and the Clinical Placement Co-ordinator. This information will be treated entirely confidentially, but working practices will be amended in accordance with departmental radiation protection policies.

Patient Confidentiality

Students must ensure confidentiality by only accessing medical records, images or reports for patients when they are directly involved in the care of that patient. Access must be limited to material directly relevant to the care of the patient, and the information must be used for no purpose other than the benefit of the patient.

In other words, students must not access such information about other students, staff, friends or relatives, etc., unless doing so is directly required as part of their treatment. Contravention of this rule will be regarded as a direct breach of this Code of Practice and may result in a student being unable to continue on this programme.

Examples of unacceptable behaviour include:

This list is not exhaustive but is indicative of the type of activity that will be regarded as unacceptable. Any written work submitted for assessment (including case-based reports) must not contain any information that could make it possible to identify an individual or the hospital department.

All hospital databases record activity. In other words, it is possible to identify whose hospital records a student has accessed during a clinical placement. This type of monitoring will be undertaken at the request of any member of the staff or student body if it is suspected that inappropriate accesses have been made.

Students should also note that making unauthorised access to computer records is a criminal offence (Computer Misuse Act 1990).

Role of Placement Link Radiographers

A detailed description of the role of a Link Radiographer is given in the Medical Imaging Handbook.

Role of Clinical Tutors

A detailed description of the role of a Clinical Tutor is given in the Medical Imaging Handbook.

Role of Clinical Assessors

A detailed description of the role of a Clinical Assessor is given in the Medical Imaging Handbook.


Students are supervised at all times while working during their clinical placement. A student who feels the level of supervision is inadequate has a duty to raise their concerns with the Clinical Placement Co-ordinator.

Rotation Through Areas

All students may expect a rota which enables the range of experience required by the placement module descriptor to be covered. If the rota does not cover each area for the correct number of weeks, the student has a duty to notify the Clinical Placement Co-ordinator without delay so the issues can be addressed.

Clinical Practice

Students should familiarise themselves with Departmental protocols at the start of each placement. They should be aware that, between departments, protocols and practices may be different, and that within departments, protocols and practices may develop over time. However, if a student is uncertain about an aspect of practice that they have witnessed, it is the student's responsibility to discuss this with a qualified practitioner in a timely manner.

Forensic Radiography

The phrase 'forensic radiography' refers to examinations that are undertaken for medico-legal purposes. Forensic radiography is not a requirement or competency within clinical practice placements. Students must not participate in, or observe, forensic radiography examinations. Briefly, the reasons for this prohibition are that: (a) any person present at such an examination is liable to be called as a witness to the post-mortem by a Coroner or a Court. (Students who found themselves in this position would have their studies disrupted and could be vulnerable to a professionally and psychologically damaging attack under cross-examination due to their lack of professional experience.), and (b) such procedures can be exceptionally distressing to observe.

University of Exeter Handbook (Medical Imaging) Questions/Comments Department (Medical Imaging)