Ionising radiation is essential to the diagnosis and treatment of major diseases. Ensuring a high level of quality and safety of medical applications involving ionising radiation requires appropriate levels of staffing and education and training.
The EU-REST study aims to collect and analyse data on workforce availability, education, and training needs to ensure quality and safety of medical applications involving ionising radiation in the EU. To address the needs for a highly-qualified workforce as well as proper forecasts of staff requirements, the study aims to make widely available current data on staffing, education, and training of the key professional groups in EU Member States. Another objective is to develop guidelines for staffing and education/training for medical and other professionals involved in medical radiation applications in Member States and to consult relevant stakeholders in this process. Finally, the EU-REST study’s goal is to develop conclusions and recommendations on EU workforce availability, education, and training needs for the quality and safety of medical applications involving ionising radiation, which will undergo stakeholder consultation.
The study covers radiology, radiotherapy, nuclear medicine, and other medical practices utilising ionising radiation, and the main categories of staff under the Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom (BSSD) definitions of ‘Practitioner’, ‘Medical Physics Expert’, and staff carrying ‘practical aspects of medical radiological procedures’.
The 24-month European Union Radiation, Education, Staffing & Training (EU-REST) study, funded under the EU4Health Programme of the European Union and managed by the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA), was awarded to a consortium led by the European Society of Radiology (ESR) and consisting of the ESR, European Federation of Organisations for Medical Physics (EFOMP), European Federation of Radiographer Societies (EFRS), and European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) (with input from other stakeholders, including the European Association of Nuclear Medicine, EANM).
The EU-REST study is part of the EU4Health 2021 Work Programme and will contribute to the implementation of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. It is also part of the actions of the Strategic Agenda for Medical Ionising Radiation Applications (SAMIRA) Action Plan in the area of Quality and Safety of medical applications of ionising radiation.
SAMIRA includes an action to improve workforce availability, education and training with the aim to reduce the gaps between workforce supply and demand and to ensure that all categories of staff involved in radiology, radiotherapy and nuclear medicine receive adequate education, training and continuous professional development in radiation quality and safety.
The EU-REST study started in September 2022 and will continue until 31 August 2024. Results will be published upon conclusion and approval by the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA) and the European Commission.