The role of the medical radiation technologist

Breast screening is a service for well women. For most women attending BreastScreen Aotearoa (BSA), the medical radiation technologist (MRT) is the only health professional with whom they interact.

The quality of this interaction is critical to the woman's decision to re-attend for subsequent screens. MRTs therefore require skills that will make this an acceptable experience for women by minimising anxiety at all stages of the screening pathway.

Responsibilities for MRTs

The MRT has two main areas of responsibility:

  • the provision of an acceptable screening experience for women who participate in BSA
  • the provision of medical images of high quality to ensure the detection of small cancers.

The detection of such cancers will demonstrate the benefits of screening mammography for women.


All MRTs performing screening mammography within BSA must be trained and qualified as MRTs. They must be registered with the Medical Radiation Technologist Board and hold a current annual practising certificate.

All MRTs must also have completed a postgraduate certificate or a Clinical Competence in Mammography certificate from the New Zealand Institute of Medical Radiation Technology, or a recognised equivalent within two years of commencing employment with the programme.

Any overseas mammography qualifications must be endorsed by the lead MRT, the Radiologist Unidisciplinary Group and BSA clinical leader.

Professional requirements

A full description of the professional requirements for medical radiation technologists working in the BSA programme is in criterion 8.16 of the National Policy & Quality Standards (NPQS).


Page last updated: 01 December 2014