FAQs about the Echocardiography Training Programme

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

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What universities offer the Echocardiography Training Programme?

There are 3 universities who supply the academic portion of the Echocardiography Training Programme (ETP).

Trainees will be allocated a place at University based on the region in which they are employed. Click this link for details of the Universities which deliver the ETP.

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

The ETP is not intended for people who already have an MSc or who have already completed the Scientist Training Programme.

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

NHS England funds all trainees on the programme (both direct entry and in-service) to allow them to be supernumary, meaning 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 taken 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 trainees 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.

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 focused on finishing their competencies and collecting logbook and digital cases for the BSE Practical exam. Click this link for further guidance about 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 Healthcare Professions Council (HCPC), 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’s (AHCS) equivalence process.

Many completing trainees will have already joined or be eligible for the AHCS voluntary register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. Please visit the AHCS website to for further information and support towards registration. If you have any queries, please contact registration@ahcs.ac.uk.

Can you apply this year, but defer starting to next year?

No. Deferrals can only be considered for statutory reasons such as maternity.

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

The in-service route is only open to existing NHS staff working in a cardiac department, who meet the qualification requirements and have been nominated by their employer. 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?

Once the applicant is confirmed, please email the School at england.hcsrecruitment@nhs.net as soon as possible, or by 28 June 2024 at the latest, with the confirmed applicants details.

As a minimum we would need the ETP Scoresheet fully completed and qualifications (please include copies of degree certificates and UK ENIC Statement if applicable).

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 contact the HEI to confirm entry requirements.

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 ETP Train the Trainer section for further details.

Last updated on 14th February 2024