Ultrasound education is undergoing significant and innovative changes. There is a BSc (Hons) Medical Ultrasound programme running in its third year, with students due to quality in Summer 2019 and an apprenticeship standard has been developed for BSc (Hons) in Medical Ultrasound. These new courses are in addition to the many CASE accredited post graduate programmes and focussed courses currently available. To ensure the developments continue to provide high quality ultrasound services to the public there is a vast amount of strategic level work being undertaken by volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds. CASE member organisations are involved in the discussions and working groups, as any changes to education and practice will impact on the role of CASE in assuring the quality of new approaches. A summary of the work to date has been published by the Society and College of Radiographers1 and the British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS).2 This report provides a further update on the latest developments.
The ‘Integrated Imaging Workforce Group’, set up by Health Education England (HEE) are overseeing many projects linked to developing the imaging workforce. As part of the work there is a ‘Sonography Steering Group’ who are setting objectives for smaller ‘task and finish’ working groups. The three groups are responsible for pushing forward different aspects of sonographer education and a career framework:
Further dissemination and discussion will take place at the BMUS conference in December 2018 in Manchester, where there are professional issues streams on both Tuesday and Thursday, looking at education, training and professional developments.
CASE has published a new guidance document entitled ‘CASE Standards for Sonographic Education’. This document, commissioned by Health Education England as an important step towards meeting the needs of the changing ultrasound education landscape, clearly identifies the standards that need to be met within/through sonographic education and training for non-medical practitioners known as ‘Sonographers’.
It is acknowledged that it is no longer appropriate to restrict ultrasound education and training to current healthcare practitioners such as radiographers and midwives. A long-term, sustainable source of future sonographers is therefore required through a process of direct entry to programmes such as:
This document was created to provide guidance on educating the future ultrasound workforce, along with learning outcomes for academic levels 6, 7 and 8, as a result of the increasing diversity of ultrasound programmes and courses. It is intended to be used as a resource by ultrasound educators and CASE accreditors; however, we hope it will be of interest to all those involved in the training and education of student sonographers.
CASE is pleased to announce that the College of Podiatry has joined the Consortium with effect from 1st October 2017.
The College of Podiatry (COP) was formed in 2012 to be the charitable subsidiary of The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, the Professional Body and a trade union for registered chiropodists and podiatrists in the United Kingdom.
The Ultrasound in Podiatry Specialist Advisory Group, Chaired by Dr Heidi Siddle, with the support of the Committee of the Directorate of Podiatric Medicine first approached CASE last year about joining the Consortium.
The Quality Assurance Committee of the College of Podiatry operates a scheme of accrediting higher education programmes. There are currently 13 BSc (Hons) Podiatry programmes in the UK and a further programme offered at National University of Ireland, Galway which the College of Podiatry accredits jointly with the Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists of Ireland. The College of Podiatry also accredits MSc programmes in the Theory of Podiatric Surgery, Podiatry (Pre- and Post-registration) and Forensic Podiatry. Others programme are currently in the development stage.
Like the CASE member organisation IPEM, the College of Podiatry has been awarded Licensed Body Status by the Science Council allowing members of the College of Podiatry to apply to become a Chartered Scientist (CSci). Hence, the College of Podiatry are experienced in satisfying the CSci requirements to provide award status on behalf of the Science Council as well as ensuring all CSci members complete an annual CPD return.
The College of Podiatry has acknowledged the increase in prevalence of ultrasound imaging by their members and subsequently identified the need to support the education of podiatrists and ultimately provide assurance to patients. As a member organisation of CASE the College of Podiatry, through appropriately trained accreditors, will be able to support the accreditation of high quality training programmes and focused courses (including foot and ankle specific courses) that promote best ultrasound practice and ensure that ultrasound practitioners, including podiatrists are safe and competent to practise in order to maximize the benefits to patients.