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New mammography associate apprenticeship boost to breast screening programme

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: NHS Breast Screening Programme
3 mammographers stood in front of a machine.
Information about the mammography associate apprenticeship, which will help your employees develop their skills

A new mammography associate apprenticeship has been developed to support the delivery of the NHS Breast Screening Programme in England.

This new apprenticeship route, encompassing a defined scope of practice, will enable the development of a mammography associate role able to undertake routine 2-view mammography (x-ray images of breasts).

They will take routine mammograms in a hospital, mobile breast screening unit or medical centre and may also carry out routine mammography on women with symptoms of breast disease. All work will be carried out under the supervision of a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered radiographer.

The role will also involve:

  • preparing women for mammography
  • operating equipment safely
  • reassuring and supporting women during their mammogram
  • taking mammograms to national standards
  • maintaining accurate records
  • using information management systems effectively
  • evaluating own performance and suggesting improvements
  • working as part of a team of different professionals

We are now encouraging breast screening services to consider putting people forward for apprenticeship training. These may be staff already working in breast screening units or symptomatic units who are keen to develop their career.

More information about the acceptance criteria, the role and what qualifications are required is available online.

The first training course will begin in January 2019. For further details please contact the PHE screening helpdesk. We will tell you what you need to do next in order to apply for funding to help with apprentice training and employment costs.

Trailblazer group

The need to develop a year-long apprenticeship role to meet the specific needs of the breast screening service was recognised some time ago by the mammography trailblazer group.

The group was led by employers and has been supported and advised by Public Health England, Health Education England and the Society and College of Radiographers.

The title mammography associate was chosen to distinguish it from the 2 year foundation degree allied health professional assistant practitioner apprenticeship.

It is important to emphasise that this is a new additional role in mammography teams and that nothing will change for the current workforce. Employers are satisfied that the assistant practitioners already taking mammograms are adequately trained and educated for their roles.

This initiative will help to meet the needs of the breast screening service so it can provide timely and efficient screening services to women.

PHE Screening blogs

PHE Screening blogs provide up to date news from all NHS screening programmes. You can register to receive updates direct to your inbox, so there’s no need to keep checking for new blogs. If you have any questions about this blog article, or about population screening in England, please contact the PHE screening helpdesk.


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