PDA Radiographic Imaging

The PDA in Radiographic Imaging at SCQF level 8 has been developed to equip assistant practitioners working in radiography in NHSScotland with the knowledge, skills and clinical expertise to extend the scope of their professional practice.

There are four main aspects common to each Unit within the award; these are:

  • anatomy and pathology of the specific area of interest
  • knowledge of new equipment and relevant physics
  • health and safety issues not previously taught within the HNC
  • performing the examination and critical analysis of the examination

This qualification is available through colleges or NHS health boards.

Why deliver this qualification

The PDA in Radiographic Imaging meets the employment requirements of the sector and has been developed in conjunction with the College of Radiographers, the professional body for those working in clinical imaging services.

Who does this qualification suit

The PDA in Radiographic Imaging is designed for clinical imaging practitioners in NHSScotland who are seeking continuing professional development. It will enable candidates to widen their scope of practice in specific areas of radiology services.


Access is at the discretion of the centre. However, it is a requirement that candidates wishing to undertake this award should hold an HNC or CertHE in Diagnostic Imaging, or have an equivalent qualification in Diagnostic Imaging at SCQF level 7, and be able to demonstrate a minimum of one year of post-qualification employment as an assistant practitioner in radiography.


Some assistant practitioners may want to progress and study for a BSc (Hons) in Radiography. Although formal articulation routes have not been sought to this qualification, the opportunity exists for successful candidates to apply for recognition of prior learning on an individual basis.


Centres interested in offering this qualification should come forward for approval and contact SQA’s Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Systems and Qualification Approval Guide (510 KB). The specific delivery requirements are set out in the Group Award Specification (Arrangements Document).

How to assess

Ongoing course assessment will apply. Each individual Unit specification gives detailed information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment for each Unit.

Where can you take this course?


Course code: GC8W 48 (16 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 8


The PDA Radiographic Imaging is achieved on the successful attainment of any two Units from the following six optional Units.


Radiography: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Non-Contrast Scans of Internal Auditary Meati (IAMS), Lumbar Spines and Knees — FN6E 35
Radiography: Antero-Posterior Chest X-Rays using Static General X-Ray Equipment — FN6F 35
Dental Radiography: Dental Panoramic Tomography (DPT) and Dental Occlusal Radiography — FN6G 35
Radiography: Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) — FN6H 35
Radiography: Routine non-contrast enhanced Computerised Tomography Head Scan — FN6J 35
Radiography: Orbito-meatal (OM) of the orbit and lateral skull radiography using static equipment in the non-acute setting — FN6K 35

Any other information

The choice of Units should be made in consultation with the candidate’s manager/mentor and will be dependent on both the candidate’s preference and service delivery need. Each radiography department within NHSScotland will have a different service need and will therefore develop the skills of their assistant practitioners in different ways. This is why this Group Award does not have a mandatory section.

The College of Radiographers, the professional body for those working in clinical imaging services, has been involved from the outset in the development of the PDA in Radiographic Imaging. During training, candidates will need to work to a revised local Scope of Practice that will have been agreed by the College of Radiographers. On completing the PDA, candidates should contact the College of Radiographers to update their annotation on the voluntary register to indicate the Units they have achieved. Employing departments should also ensure that a revised Scope of Practice is in place.

The Units can be accessed using HN Unit Search.