Clinical performance assessment and training across radiology, pathology and surgery.

The first national self-assessment scheme in radiology in the world.

The PERFORMS scheme draws on the scientific expertise of academic researchers in medical imaging and the radiological expertise of numerous breast screening radiologists within the National Screening Programme in the UK.


PERFORMS is the first radiological self-assessment scheme in the world which has been implemented nationally. It has won various awards and accolades:

  • The Cum Laude Prize for best research (SPIE Medical Imaging International Conference 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2012).
  • The Lord Stafford award for ‘Innovation Achieved’ finalist (2010).
  • The President’s Medal, Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors (2010).
  • Awarded Loughborough University’s Enterprise Awards for Consultancy Enterprise (2009), Knowledge Transfer (2013) and the Highly Commended Award for Social and Cultural Impact (2015).

Who We Are

The iPERFORMS team comprises leading international experts in medical imaging cognitive and perceptual performance assessment and training. For over 30 years we have worked to improve the diagnostic skills of health professionals to the benefit of patients.

We are a new rapidly expanding medical imaging research group within the Division of Cancer and Stem Cells at the University of Nottingham. The team, consisting of several Researchers, Project Managers and Coordinators, provides high quality assessment and training that enhances health professionals’ interpretation and imaging diagnostic skills.

We also specialise in developing software and Artificial Intelligence systems that contribute to the quality assurance, control and continuous quality improvements in medical imaging.

Dr Yan Chen

Dr Yan Chen is Associate Professor of Cancer Screening at Nottingham University and an honorary member of the Royal College of Radiologists.

She holds a BEng in Computer Science from Central South University, China and an MSc in Information Science at Sheffield University UK. She completed a PhD at Loughborough University examining Intelligent Computing Applications in Mammographic Interpretation Training in the UK, USA and China.

Her expertise focuses on how to improve the radiological identification of early breast cancer using digital mammography. It concentrates upon the potential use of eye movement information for future training in interpreting mammograms and the use of computer-based interpretation training using low-cost and hand-held devices.

Yan's research interests chiefly concern human performance evaluations in medical imaging applications in their widest sense using visual search and computer science approaches. This currently encompasses the radiological areas of: breast screening (mammography, tomography, MRI, CESM); prostate cancer imaging (mpMRI); lung cancer imaging, and chest CT as well as digital pathology and surgical areas of orthopaedic and laparoscopic surgery.   Also she is active in Artificial Intelligence testing and validation in radiology and pathology.

Professor Alastair Gale

Emeritus Professor Alastair G. Gale invented the Personal Performance in Mammographic Screening (PERFORMS) scheme, the first radiological self-assessment scheme, used nationally in breast cancer screening, and developed computer aided diagnostic aids for breast cancer based on mammographic feature identification. All his research is concerned with human performance, performance errors -particularly in medical imaging interpretation and how to minimise these as well as with eye movement recording technology.

Alastair is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society; a Chartered Psychologist; a Chartered Health Psychologist; a Fellow of the Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors; and an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Radiology.

He is also a former Chartered Ergonomist and Human Factors Specialist, and a registered Health Professions Council Practitioner Psychologist.

He is the editor of 14 books concerning vision in applied situations, author of over 210 articles in edited books and international scientific journals while he has presented over 350 presentations at international scientific conferences.

Panel of Experts

The iPERFORMS advisory group, composed of world leading senior consultant radiologists, pathologists, surgeons and other clinicians, review challenging cases judging their difficulty and suitability for the assessment and training schemes to provide participants with high quality test sets. Experts give their detailed opinions about radiological findings, difficult signs of abnormalities and pathology results in order to improve participants’ image interpretation performance.

Professionals involved in the NHS Breast Screening Programme are required to keep up-to-date with nationally approved training programmes and CPD/CME and to participate in educational schemes such as PERFORMS and histopathology EQA as appropriate.