About iRefer

To facilitate appropriate referrals to radiology departments, The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) has published RCR iRefer Guidelines: Making the best use of clinical radiology (iRefer) since 1989. iRefer is now widely accepted as a major tool to promote evidence-based imaging. The eighth edition of the guidelines was published in May 2017.

The guidelines are aimed at clinicians, radiologists, radiographers and other healthcare professionals to determine the most appropriate imaging procedures for a wide range of clinical problems and to help clinicians to meet their obligations under the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations (IRMER). The guidelines methodology has been accredited by NICE Evidence, managed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

This essential reference tool provides you with up-to-date guidance on selecting the most appropriate imaging investigation for a range of clinical problems.

iRefer evaluates clinical evidence from diverse sources and uses a network of clinical experts to validate information. It reflects current best practice.

iRefer is published by The Royal College of Radiologists.

How iRefer will help you

  • Helps you quickly select safe and effective investigations for your individual patients
  • Points you to the choice of investigations for a given condition
  • Ensures that the most appropriate imaging test is conducted at the right time which can have a major impact on healthcare provision more widely
  • Promotes uniform and best care for patients
  • Reduces the number of unhelpful or repeat investigations
  • Supports rapid diagnosis, which can shorten patient management pathways
  • Protects the patient by avoiding unnecessary ionising radiation
  • Ensures that resources are used efficiently and effectively to avoid waste and promote a sustainable service.

Who should use this resource?

  • GPs
  • Emergency care physicians
  • Doctors and other referrers
  • Radiographers
  • Physiotherapists
  • Other healthcare professionals
  • Dentists
  • Medical students
Radiologist carrying out an interventional procedure