Title Optimisation in Imaging with Ionising Radiation MPE
Type Stage Two
Code HPE110
Requirement Optional

Module objective

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will be able to analyse, synthesise, evaluate and apply knowledge with respect to the optimisation and use of ionising radiation in medical imaging in their own area of Medical Physics in a manner consistent with the roles and responsibilities of a Medical Physics Expert to ensure the safety and efficacy of medical radiation exposures for patients.

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will be able to analyse, synthesise, evaluate and apply knowledge in their own area of Medical Physics practice, and will:

  • Describe and appraise the role of imaging in the patient pathway, including:
    • the normal and pathological appearances in imaging, including areas of pathological interest and normal tissue;
    • the role of imaging procedures in diagnosis, therapy and treatment response evaluation;
    • the use of mathematical techniques to derive quantitative indices from images;
    • for each imaging modality, target imaging outcomes (e.g. in terms of image quality criteria) relevant to diagnostic
  • Compare and contrast the technical performance and clinical application of different imaging techniques, including:
    • the technical performance of various modalities/techniques;
    • the clinical applications of each modality/technique, the variables involved and how they can be derived and compared, including the adaption’s needed for specific patient groups, e.g. paediatrics;
    • inverse problem mathematical techniques used in image reconstruction (including both convolution and iterative methods and the advantages and disadvantages of each);
    • the following: temporal/frequency domain representation of signals, Fourier transform, statistical description of signals, power spectral density, autocorrelation function, sampled (discrete) signals, delta function and its Fourier transform, Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT), the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT), the effects of finite sample intervals, linear processors, impulse response, convolution integral and theorem, various types of filters used in the processing of medical signals;
    • the selection, evaluation and use of test objects and anthropomorphic phantoms; quantitative image quality analysis such as variance maps, Modulation Transfer Function (MTF), noise power spectrum, detective quantum efficiency; theory of human image perception/observer performance; image quality techniques using human observers (Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC), Free-response Receiver Operating Characteristic (FROC), etc).
  • Critically evaluate the risk to patients from ionising radiation, including those from research exposures, including:
    • the principles of patient risk management as applied to ionising radiations in their own area of Medical Physics practice;
    • the process and practical implementation of patient risk assessments in their own area of Medical Physics practice, including techniques for the qualitative and quantitative assessment of risk;
    • how research exposures are managed in their own area of Medical Physics practice, including the processes of ethical review and the use of dose constraints where appropriate;
    • alternative methods of imaging, including those using non-ionising radiation, and the strengths and limitations of each technique.

Technical and clinical skills

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will be able to critically apply their knowledge and understanding to develop and evaluate investigative strategies/procedures/processes that take account of relevant clinical and scientific evidence and other sources of information and would be expected to critically reflect on their performance as they apply in practice a range of clinical skills and will be able to:

  • Critically apply their understanding of the measurement of image quality and patient dose measurements* through:
    • assessing imaging device performance levels requirements and scanning settings for specific clinical tasks at a variety of dose settings;
    • making quantifiable measurements of image quality using appropriate test objects;
    • applying the theory of human image perception/observer performance to the optimisation of image interpretation;
    • evaluating image quality from psychophysical studies with human observers.
  • Critically apply their understanding of imaging equipment and techniques by:
    • applying the theory of image reconstruction and post-processing to achieve optimal image quality for a specific clinical task;
    • giving advice on the choice of imaging modality for a specific clinical task;
    • giving advice regarding the adjustment of protocols to the needs of particular patients in studies that are complex, unusual, beyond-protocol, or non-predictable;
    • advising on protocol modifications for paediatric imaging with respect to diagnostic effectiveness and safety;
    • optimising patient radiation protection in high-dose or high-risk practices, e.g. interventional radiology, CT, health screening programmes, irradiation of children, neonates, or the foetus.
  • Critically apply their knowledge of radiobiology and radiation risk to patient protection by:
    • using radiobiological dose-effect relationships relevant to estimate patient risk (including adverse incidents involving high exposures);
    • applying the concepts of justification, optimisation and diagnostic reference levels to patient protection;
    • providing advice on the development of policy and procedures relating to patient safety within a radiation facility to demonstrate compliance with the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2000;
    • evaluating the use of imaging with ionising radiation or radioactive materials within clinical trials;
    • setting dose constraints for research exposures.

*Patient dose measurements are covered in the Dosimetry module – HPE126.

Attitudes and behaviours

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST would be expected to consistently demonstrate the attitudes and behaviours necessary for the role of a Medical Physics Expert working within the limits of professional competence and will be able to:

  • Apply evidence based personal and team professional practice placing the patient at the centre of care:
    • act in accordance with the principles and practice of patient-centred care, regularly reflecting on your practice and revising judgements and changing behaviour in light of new evidence and feedback;
    • critically assess and evaluate personal and team-related performance in the context of evidence-based patient care and the safety of workers and the public, identifying areas of good practice and make improvements where necessary.
  • Display a professional commitment to ethical practice, consistently operating within national and local ethical, legal and governance requirements:
    • accept professional ethical standards and encourage informed debate and critical reflection within healthcare teams;
    • seek advice of peers, legal bodies and regulators in the event of ethical dilemmas, which could include disclosure and confidentiality;
    • respect requests from patients, workers and the public that information should not be shared unless this puts the patient or others at risk of harm;
    • share and discuss information about patient care with the patient unless they have expressed a wish not to receive such information.
  • Apply the principles of Good Scientific Practice and the professional standards performing to the highest standards of personal behaviour in all aspects of professional practice:
    • lead by example, setting high standards of personal behaviour and acting with openness, fairness and integrity, listening to the views of others;
    • work and act in accordance with the requirements for professional regulation;
    • promote professional attitudes, values and behaviours at all times;
    • be truthful and admit to and learn from errors;
    • inform the statutory regulator if they are cautioned, charged with a criminal offence, suspended or have restrictions placed on their own scientific, clinical, or professional practice.
  • Consistently operate in accordance with relevant current national legislation, policy and practice:
    • identify and assess the implications of national legislation, policy and advice for service organisation and delivery of high-quality services;
    • consult with peers and service users as part of obtaining agreement to align services with national legislation, policy and advice.


Code Title Action
HPE1-2-20 Imaging Physics [v1] View