Guidelines and legal requirements which inform role expansion in radiography

Peter White, J. C. Mckay

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Role expansion in radiography is linked to ethico-legal responsibilities and accountability. This paper clarifies the legal requirements, outlines professional guidelines, and suggests that role developments require new rules and standards. Methods: A thorough review of the literature was used to collect information on role expansion and related topics, such as Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and skills mix. Emphasis was placed on case law and professional guidelines. Results: Radiographers who develop their roles must continue to provide a high quality service and demonstrate high level competencies, skills and knowledge. When deciding who should provide the service, the ultimate decision should be based on client benefit. Radiographers who expand their role will be gauged against specialists in that field, e.g. medical professionals, so radiographers must be confident in their own abilities and competent to perform such tasks. If a radiographer claims to be a specialist, the standard of care is that of the reasonable specialist and not that of the general radiographer. In legal terms, a patient is entitled to a greater standard of care from a specialist than from an ordinary practitioner and radiographers must meet that standard. Conclusions: Role expansion in radiography has associated legal responsibilities and radiographers are accountable for acts or omissions arising out of practice. Guidelines should be established which ensure that radiographers have skills and knowledge on a par with specialists in their area of practice so as to maintain the maximum benefit to the client.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


  • Accountability
  • Guidance
  • Responsibility
  • Role development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

Cite this