Guidance for ETP recruitment 2022

Guidance for employers recruiting to the Echocardiographer Training Programme (ETP) in 2022.



The Echocardiographer Training Programme (ETP) is an eighteen-month integrated full-time post-graduate programme including a commissioned Post-graduate Certificate in Clinical Echocardiography, completion of a work-based training portfolio, and completion of the British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) level 2 Transthoracic Accreditation process.

Upon successful completion trainees will be issued with a Certificate of Completion for the Echocardiography Training Programme (CCETP) which confirms that all the relevant mandatory completion criteria for the programme have been met.


Entry to the programme

Admission to the ETP is administered by the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS), with delegated responsibility for recruitment to local employers.

To be eligible for the ETP, all applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • A 1st or 2:1 in Cardiac Physiology (PTP) or a relevant scientific subject (examples include Physiology, Pure or Applied Physics, Biology or Human Biology, or Sports Science (if significant scientific content) or equivalent experience and appropriate underpinning knowledge and skills in cardiology  as evidenced for instance by relevant voluntary registration (AHCS/RCCP).

Employers will be asked to complete the ETP scoresheet to ensure all entry requirements have been met and submit copies of the applicants qualifications / certificates. Where relevant, confirmation of voluntary registration number will also be required.

To help employers the following guidance is available:

  • Appendix A – sample job advertisement
  • Appendix B – job description
  • Appendix C – person specification for the role

Applicants relying on non-UK qualifications will need to provide UK ENIC equivalence. Visit the UK ENIC website for further information on gaining a Statement of Comparability.

It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the admissions requirements are met. Any queries should be directed to the NSHCS.

All panel members will be required to be up to date with mandatory training on equality, diversity and inclusion. We also recommend panel members complete the NSHCS Conscious Inclusion Training.

Trainees on the ETP will complete the full-time 18-month programme and be employed by an NHS Trust. The fixed term training contract will be salaried at AfC Band 6 per annum and will include registration with a nominated University to complete a fully funded, part-time Post-graduate Certificate.

There are two entry routes, via direct or in-service:

  • The direct route – applicants can apply directly for posts advertised by any employer.
  • The in-service route – this 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 evidence the candidates’ suitability for the programme.

In-service trainees remain in full-time employment in their department for the duration of the training. Salary support is provided by Health Education England (HEE).

An in-service applicant:

  • must hold a current contract of employment in the NHS specialty for which they are applying
  • will be employed and salaried by their employer throughout the programme
  • will follow the whole programme and must be released from service duties, to undertake their education and training

Conditions for an in-service applicant

An in-service applicant must

  • be part of the planned workforce numbers required for training, and have occupied an existing NHS salaried post, within the same department as the training post, prior to training
  • have permission from their employer to undertake the required academic and work-based training requirements
  • have been selected by the employing department: the department must be satisfied that the applicant matches the person specification for the role and meets the entry requirements

It is expected that all trainees will be trained in a department endorsed by the NSHCS as an ETP training provider. See separate guidance for endorsement as an ETP provider or contact the Accreditation Team via


Selection process/interview

For recruitment 2022 local employers will be responsible for the advertising, recruitment and selection process against the person specification identified in Appendix C.

The employer will therefore need to confirm to the NSHCS that they have carried out appropriate local recruitment and selection against the person specification. Employers should confirm that they have conducted a local interview and that, in their professional view, the applicant meets the person specification and admissions requirements. Further information will be sought from employers throughout the recruiting year, prior to the commencement of the programme. The NSHCS recruitment team will provide a template that employers will need to complete and return.


Train the Trainer

The NSHCS will provide a train the trainer opportunity for all named Training Officers to attend. Details will follow upon confirmation of posts and contact information.


COVID vaccination requirements for NHS staff

The Health and Social Care Secretary for England has stated “All those working in the NHS and social care will have to be vaccinated” by 1st April 2022. You can view further information about HEE’s stance on Covid vaccination here.

Last updated on 30th March 2022