FAQs about the Echocardiography Training Programme

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about the Echocardiography Training Programme.



I would like to apply for the Echocardiography Training Programme, but I already have an MSc in Echocardiography. Is the programme suitable for me?

The ETP is not intended for people who already have an MSc. It is also not suitable if you have already completed the Cardiac Science route through the STP, as you will have already covered the academic content. We would advise that you obtain a substantial post within a Cardiac department to provide the experience needed to undertake BSE Accreditation.



Do I need to advertise an ETP in-service post on NHS jobs?

The employer will need to follow the Trust recruitment and selection policies.

Once my trainee is selected, how and when do I let the School know?

Please email the School at nshcs.mscrecruitment@hee.nhs.uk as soon as possible with the ETP scoresheet and applicants qualification certificates.

I would like to attend a Train the Trainer event but there are no available dates on the website. Will you be providing more?

We are currently organising further ETP Train the Trainer sessions. Information will be published on the School website shortly, together with details on how you can register to attend an event. Visit the Train the Trainer section for further details.

I have a candidate with a 2:2 Honours degree in a suitable scientific discipline who has worked in my Cardiac department for 5 years – can they apply to the programme?

Acceptance on to the programme with a 2:2 honours degree may be possible with adequate experience . You will need to fill in a template included in the recruitment pack with information about this for consideration by the School and University.



I have tried to register for the BSE practical assessment just prior to the end of the programme but I have been placed on a waiting list. If I am unable to get a place, can I request an extension?

Trainees need to plan and register for their practical assessment well ahead of time. The BSE will endeavour to offer places for people on the ETP at the appropriate practical assessment. Please ensure they are aware you are on the programme if you are unable to gain a place immediately. In the unlikely event that a place does not become available, or if there are unexpected/exceptional challenges during training, there is an Exceptional Extenuating Circumstances Policy.

What is meant when trainees are referred to as 'Supernumary'?

Health Education England funds all trainees on the programme (both direct entry and in service) to allow them to be ‘supernumary’. This means that they will be released from other duties for the entire time on the programme. Trainees should be under supervision at all times. This can be indirect or distance supervision as they become more experienced. They should not be pulled out of their training to provide routine services or to do on-call sessions.

Trainees should attend other services/diagnostics/clinics where it forms part of their training on the programme. In-service candidates can take part in sessions in related areas (eg Catheter Laboratory sessions) to maintain competencies and to provide a broader training remit and understanding of context, but trainees should not be expected to provide service provision where it detracts from their training.  The 18 month timeline to successful BSE Accreditation is ambitious but achievable, provided trainees have sufficient practical experience, work place training and support.

Which universities offer the ETP?

There are 3 universities who supply the academic portion of the Echocardiography Training Programme (ETP) and trainees are allocated a place based on the region in which they are employed. Click this link to find out which university covers your region.

How much study leave will I receive? Is this allowance valid just until the academic component is complete or until the end of the programme?

For study leave, we recommend that trainees are allocated 1 day per week throughout the programme to concentrate on their academic work. This can be flexible, so that when there are deadlines for academic work such as examinations or assignments, trainees and training officers might want to allocate extra days, with less need for these at other times so that trainees can concentrate on their work-based learning. It is likely that trainees will concentrate on their academic learning in the first year, the last 6 months is likely to be focussed on finishing their OneFile competencies, and collecting logbook and digital cases for the BSE Practical exam. Click this link for further guidance on study time.

When I have completed the programme can I apply for statutory registration?

Whilst completion of the ETP does not confer eligibility to register as a Clinical Scientist with the HCPC (Healthcare Professions Council) and more experience will be required, it can be used as valuable evidence as part of a portfolio of evidence towards STP equivalence via the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) equivalence process. Many completing trainees will have already joined or be eligible for the AHCS voluntary register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. Click this link for further information and support towards registration, from the AHCS. If you have any queries email registration@ahcs.ac.uk.

Can I apply for an extension if I have extenuating circumstances?

Yes, there is a policy for ‘Exceptional Extenuating Circumstances’ which you can use to apply for more time. Click this link for further information about the policy.

Last updated on 29th August 2023