For Employers

Classification of Medical Illustrators in the NHS 

Medical illustrators working in the NHS are classified as Healthcare Scientists and form part of the “Physical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering” group of the Healthcare Science workforce. 

Members of the Healthcare Science workforce perform a range of different roles depending on their qualifications, experience, and level of specialisation. Although the workforce comprises approximately 5% of the overall healthcare workforce in the UK, their work underpins 80% of all diagnoses as well as therapeutic interventions. It has been estimated that more than 65,000 individuals make up the Healthcare Science workforce. 

Pay and Conditions 

The national pay system for Medical Illustrators working in the NHS is the Agenda for Change  (AfC) scales which apply to all directly employed staff except doctors and the most senior managers. 

Gradings are dependent upon job descriptions and person specifications but as a general guide the following are applicable to this profession: 

  • AfC Band 4 or  AfC Band 5 (Annex 21for Assistant Clinical Photographers/Medical Illustrators and those in training. 
  • AfC Band 5 basic qualified grade for qualified and registered Clinical Photographers/Medical Illustrators.  
  • AfC Band 6 for section leaders/more senior Clinical Photographers/Medical Illustrators. 
  • AfC Band 7 for expert practitioners/team leaders/section leaders of large departments/heads of small departments. 
  • AfC Band 8a and 8b for Heads of Service. 

Sample job descriptions and person specifications are available from the Institute of Medical Illustrators on request. Please contact the Honorary Secretary at: 


Medical Illustrators are an essential part of the clinical team with the potential to do real harm to patients should things go wrong.  

The Institute of Medical Illustrators strongly recommends that all medical illustrators who are patient-facing are qualified and registered on the Academy of Healthcare Science (AHCS) register which is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). 

For more information read the Clinical Photography an accredited register profession (PDF)

Registration shows that an individual is committed to upholding high professional standards and to keeping their knowledge, skills and experience up-to-date through ongoing professional development. 

There are various routes to qualify for registration including a Certificate of Competence that is run by the Institute of Medical Illustrators on behalf of the Academy of Healthcare Science. 

You can search the register to check the practising status of a medical illustration practitioner here: 


The Institute of Medical Illustrators’ website is the go-to place when searching for employment opportunities and any NHS organisation can advertise posts by submitting a job free of charge or for more information contact:

Interview Assessment  

The Institute of Medical Illustrators offers NHS organisations the opportunity to have a senior practitioner sit on interview and assessment panels free of charge. Please contact the Honorary Secretary at:  

Organisational Policy 

Medical Illustrators work in a field that must strictly adhere to legislation with regard to consent and confidentiality. Medical Illustrators are often responsible for developing Trust-wide policy for organisations. Where such resource is unavailable, the Institute of Medical Illustrators can provide assistance in providing information and sample policies. 

News and Tendering Opportunities 

The Institute of Medical Illustrators’ website is the knowledge hub for all practitioners and news worthy items can be promoted here and via our social media networks. Please contact the IMI webmaster:

Find a Professional 

Potential employers can search our membership for a professional medical illustrator. 

You can search by keywords such as legal, art, photography, video or design as well as searching by profession, town and region.