Interventional radiology (IR) and interventional neuroradiology (INR) are progressive and evolving specialties of clinical radiology. They are exciting areas of modern medicine delivering precise, targeted treatment for complex diseases and conditions throughout the body. Using advanced and minimally invasive image-guided techniques, interventional radiologists and interventional neuroradiologists provide high quality care and treatments that offer many benefits to patients, the health system and the broader community through shorter procedures, faster recovery times, fewer complications and often at a lower cost compared to some surgical and medical procedures.
Interventional radiologists and interventional neuroradiologists are qualified clinical radiologists and experts in interpreting medical imaging. IR and INR practice requires high levels of technical and clinical skills to assess and care for patients, make clinical decisions, deliver treatment and provide post-procedure follow up care.
The interventional radiologist and interventional neuroradiologist actively participates in the clinical management and follow-up of patients. Specialist IR and INR practice requires an advanced skillset to manage a wide range of conditions and to perform comprehensive image-guided diagnostic and interventional procedures beyond those acquired during core clinical radiology training. Advanced training and understanding across all imaging modalities ensure optimal interpretation, minimal radiation exposure and enhances the overall accuracy and safety of the treatments delivered.
The interventional training journey starts within the RANZCR Clinical Radiology Training Program, where registrars develop a range of basic procedural and clinical competencies. This training program lays the foundations required for interventional practice, which can be built upon through Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities or by undertaking a Fellowship in IR or INR upon receiving the FRANZCR.
These Fellowship positions equip radiologists to perform complex procedures requiring specialised interventional skills. With hospitals increasingly recognising the value of IR and INR in delivering cost-efficiencies and optimal patient outcomes, radiologists who complete these Fellowships often go on to practice in full time IR or INR consultant positions.
Fellowships for Interventional Radiology are typically one year in duration. Once the Fellowship is completed, some IRs choose to sit the European Board of Interventional Radiology (EBIR) examination offered by CIRSE.
Fellowships for Interventional Neuroradiology are a minimum two years in duration. Once the Fellowship is completed, INRs can apply for a recognition of training in INR through the Conjoint Committee for the Recognition of Training in Interventional Neuroradiology (CCINR).
Fellowships are offered at most major hospitals and some regional centres. For a list of current Fellowship opportunities, please visit the RANZCR Jobs website.
Note: both EBIR and CCINR are not mandatory for practice.
To offer a comprehensive IR or INR service, specialists must work within a team that allows for appropriate assessment, work-up, treatment and follow-up of patients.
This team should include:
In 2017, the College established the Interventional Radiology Committee (IRC) to work across the spectrum of intervention-related issues, from basic interventions performed by all radiologists to high-level complex procedures. The IRC was established to improve the recognition and support for IRs and INRs within the College structure, and to better advocate for these rapidly evolving specialties.
The IRC provides advice to the Faculty of Clinical Radiology Council and represents the interests of College members working in IR and INR – improving the flow of information, raising the voice and profile of IR and INR in key forums, interacting with stakeholders, and ensuring that decision-making is guided by the needs of patients and the best patient outcomes achievable. To view the IRC's Terms of Reference, see the RANZCR Committees page.
The IRC is working towards achieving two key priorities:
Laying the groundwork for these priorities involves many areas of work, below is an outline of the foundational and ongoing work currently being progressed:
The Road Map for Advancing Interventional Radiology and Interventional Neuroradiology across Australia and New Zealand articulates the importance of IR and INR as clinical specialties and the widespread benefits they provide to radiology, health systems and patients, and outlines RANZCR’s commitment to achieving this.
In 2022 RANZCR launched the first version of the Standards of Practice for Interventional Radiology and Interventional Neuroradiology, representing the culmination of the first dedicated and comprehensive standards of practice for IR and INR in Australia and New Zealand. These Standards offer a framework for a nationally consistent approach for interventional radiologists, interventional neuroradiologists, radiology leaders and hospital administrators to support the delivery of high-quality patient care and outcomes and are applicable to all IR and INR services across Australia and New Zealand.
The Specialist Interventional Radiology and Interventional Neuroradiology Range of Practice document outlines the full range of IR and INR practice than an interventional radiologist and interventional neuroradiologist may practice based on their training, qualification, competency, performance and professional experience.
The Tripartite Committee was established by RANZCR and is a collaborative committee represented by:
The purpose of the committee is to have a regular communication forum that facilitates a shared understanding of the common areas of interest in IR and INR. Please review the Terms of Reference for more information.
A key role for the IRC is to advocate for IR and INR by responding to government and other medical colleges and societies' consultations and submissions. Recent examples include:
Opportunities for members to contribute to the work of the IRC can be found, here.
The aim of the Interventional Radiology (IR) and Interventional Neuroradiology (INR) Training Pathway Working Group is to develop and implement a best practice post-Fellowship training pathway to facilitate professional practice across the continuum of radiologists practicing in IR and INR.
The Interventional Radiology and Interventional Neuroradiology training pathways will be developed under RANZCR’s training framework and will utilise the AMC and MCNZ specialty program accreditation standards as the structure for the sequence of projects required to achieve RANZCR’s aim of obtaining specialty recognition for Interventional Radiology and Interventional Neuroradiology.
The training pathway will be designed to build upon the basic interventional skills gained in the core clinical radiology training program and offer a seamless, dedicated Fellowship level program for all clinical radiologists who choose to specialise in IR or INR in Australia and New Zealand.
The working group is working towards key milestones agreed to by the working group, they are:
The diagram depicts the key milestones of the IR and INR Training Pathway Working Group:
All of the Group’s work is underpinned by the College infrastructure to support the development, delivery and evaluation of a specialist medical education training program View Terms of Reference. The training pathway is being developed to meet the Australian Medical Council standards.
The Group guided by a Medical Educationalist, comprises broad and representative membership from:
For a range of resources, information and education opportunities relating to IR and INR, see below links to local and international interventional societies: