Echocardiography Training Programme – Trainee echocardiographer job description

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Echocardiography Training Programme
Publication type

Key details

Name of designated organisation (Employer to add details)
Location Based in host training department with regular travel to academic institution and rotation into hospitals usually local to host department for completion of curriculum and learning outcomes.
Job title Trainee Echocardiographer
Grade AfC Band 6
Responsible to Designated Training Coordinator/Officer
Accountable to Head of Department
Tenure 18 months fixed term (supernumerary)
Hours of work 37.5 hours per week
Liaises with Liaises with other technical and scientific staff of department /section, and other Trainee Healthcare Scientists across a wide range of departments.
Key working relationships The trainee will work closely with the training co-ordinator/officer and more senior members of staff to follow the curriculum for the Echocardiography Training Programme.

The trainee will work in specified areas of the department and be responsible to the Designated Training Coordinator/Officer for their own work and progression through the scheme.

All trainees will be expected to travel to national academic and other courses regularly throughout their training. In some cases this may involve overnight and/or residential stays. Trainees will undertake a Post Graduate Certificate in Clinical Echocardiography at a designated academic institution specific for the training pathway. Trainees will mainly be based in the host department, but may need to attend other local/regional/national scientific services, in order to complete the required pathway work based curricula, as deemed appropriate by the Designated Training Officer.

Trainees will be a part of a national training programme and will be registered with the National School of Healthcare Science based in the West Midlands Multi-professional Workforce Deanery.


Job purpose

The Trainee Echocardiographer will be employed for a fixed term of 18 months during which time they will work through a programme of learning.

In conjunction with and supported by the Designated Training Officer, the Trainee Echocardiographer will be responsible for their own progression through the training programme, completing a mixture of work-based competence and experience in NHS scientific departments, completing the learning outcomes as outlined in the Curriculum Library, undertaking the complementary academic Post Graduate Certificate in Clinical Echocardiography and preparing for and completing the BSE Transthoracic Accreditation process.

At all times the trainee Echocardiographer is expected to work within standard operating policies and procedures of the host department and NHS organisation and adhere to high standards of professionalism, health and safety, risk reduction, confidentiality, patient care and dignity, and respect for equality and diversity as set out in the NHS Constitution.

The trainee Echocardiographer will be employed by the host department for a fixed term of 18 months during which time they will work through a programme of learning. This will be combined with an academic programme at Post Graduate level over the first year of the programme.


Job statement

The trainee will undertake the full training programme in order to progress through the academic and practical elements of the training scheme.  In so doing they will learn how to perform and interpret clinical and specialist scientific processes underpinned by theoretical and applied knowledge and practical experience and will learn how to:

  • Perform and interpret routine cardiac investigations.
  • Perform specialised diagnostics investigations.
  • Carry out complex scientific and clinical roles, including those working directly with patients.
  • Analyse and interpret and data compare investigative and clinical options.
  • Make judgements, including clinical and differential judgements, involving complicated facts or situations that impact on patients.
  • Initiate and undertake innovation, improvement and R&D and be involved in the education of healthcare science trainees and other learners in the workplace.
  • Carry out audit to continuously improve patient care and service needs.
  • Participate in the training and development of both external university students and junior team members.
  • Communicate and interact effectively within a multidisciplinary team to ensure a positive patient experience.
  • Assist the Principal Cardiac Physiologist and other senior members of the team in the day to day organisation and delivery of the cardiothoracic diagnostic service.

They will be expected to complete all work-based training and assessment alongside the academic course to exit the programme with eligibility for Accreditation with the BSE and be working towards, or have achieved, registration with the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS).  Trainees must meet the AHCS Standards of proficiency for Healthcare Science Practitioners.

Post qualification and with appropriate additional experience and competencies, graduates from this scheme would be eligible to apply for Clinical Scientist equivalence and HCPC registration.

In addition, they will be expected to undertake work-based experience to enable them to communicate complex technical, scientific and sensitive information to colleagues within their department in both verbal and written forms.


Example principal duties

Scientific and clinical practice

  • Undertake a range of clinical and scientific investigations as appropriate to the role.
  • Acquire and maintain a high level of professional competence in the performance of all tests, investigations and measurements carried out.
  • Interpret and act upon results of tests, investigations and measurements in accordance with departmental policies, procedures and quality systems.
  • Comment and advise on new proposals and protocols, especially for service improvements.
  • Assist in the provision of advice to medical, nursing and other healthcare staff on the optimal and safe use of scientific procedures and highly complex equipment, including assisting in the design of new facilities.
  • Assist with the procurement, acceptance and use of medical devices and consumables.
  • Be responsible for the safe use of complex scientific and medical equipment, including recording all maintenance and calibration procedures performed and any corrective actions undertaken.
  • Use reagents, consumables, hazardous materials and equipment safely and in accordance with Health and Safety policies.
  • Participate in risk management procedures including risk assessment and the investigation and reporting of adverse incidents.
  • Participate in internal and external audit processes and quality systems
  • Undertake R&D within the department as an integral part of training and acquire relevant skills to undertake clinical audit.
  • Assist with supervision and training of support staff, students and new appointees, and participate in departmental seminars and scientific meetings to disseminate knowledge acquired through study or research.

Education and learning

  • Successfully complete the training and assessment programme in conjunction with the local Training Coordinator and designated Academic institution to achieve certified competence awarded by the BSE.
  • Undertake suitable training within the host department and other placements to successfully acquire core competencies and thereafter maintain the required standards of competence when undertaking duties.
  • Take responsibility for own learning and development by recognising and taking advantage of all opportunities to learn, including appraisal, supervision, academic course and problem based learning and maintaining a personal portfolio of learning.
  • Ensure that own learning needs, identified with the Training officer and reflecting the requirements of the curriculum, are met.
  • Retain sufficient flexibility and adaptability in learning in order to ensure full contribution to improving services in response to changing health care needs.
  • Maintain knowledge of recent scientific developments and undertake supplementary training to develop both knowledge and skills.
  • Attend mandatory training (both vocational and academic) as required.
  • Participate in internal and external assessment processes.

Patient management and clinical care

Delivery of patient care – experience and contribution in the following areas:

  • Provide support to specialist clinics and specialist treatment interventions.
  • Perform, report and interpret a range of investigations undertaken indirectly for or directly with patients within a range of care settings.
  • Specialist care and treatment interventions for patients across the range of clinical pathways and health care settings.
  • Appropriate clinical and scientific advice and interpretation of analytical results.
  • Participate in multidisciplinary meetings.
  • Apply and promote evidence based practice and use of relevant clinical protocols and procedures.
  • Ensuring that all equipment used on patients and the public is handled and applied in accordance with health and safety requirements and other national or international guidelines.


  • Communication and interpretation of complex clinical, scientific and technical information to a wide range of people including clinicians, managers, patients and the public.
  • Liaise with senior scientists and clinical users of the service on appropriateness of investigations, interventions and tests.

Quality audit

  • Contribute to audits to inform patient management and clinical care.
  • Contribute to quality audits relating to accreditation and regulation.
  • Perform quality assurance, process and outcomes audits relevant to the specialism.

Clinical governance

  • Maintain standards for health and safety procedures.
  • Comply with quality and governance procedures within the department including risk management and risk mitigation.
  • Maintain high standards of professional and personal conduct.
  • Ensure that patient safety and experience and effectiveness of service are maximised.

Occasional duties

  • To carry out any other reasonable duties to achieve learning and experience that may be required, which are commensurate with the grade and nature of the post.
  • This job description outlines the main current duties and responsibilities of the training post.  The job description will need to be reviewed and subsequently may be altered.  Any resulting changes will be subject to consultation.
  • In addition to regular assessment and planning meetings, the trainee will have a biannual meeting to discuss progress and to consider issues relevant to the wider training programme.

The post holder will undertake other duties as may be required to achieve the Trust’s objectives, commensurate with the grading of the post.

Terms and conditions of service – Agenda for Change

To be tailored to each employer.



Successful candidates will be employed on the designated organisation’s Terms and Conditions of Service. A full copy of all Terms and Conditions may be obtained from the Human Resources Department and will include a requirement to participate in an annual joint review and work towards the Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF) requirements of the post. This is a competency framework that describes the knowledge and skills necessary in order to deliver a quality service.

All employees are required to adhere to all relevant healthcare employer Policies and Procedures including Health and Safety, No Smoking and Alcohol and Equal Opportunities Policies.


Health, safety and risk

All designated organisation employees are required to comply with relevant Health and Safety legislation and the designated organisation Health and Safety Policies. In accordance with sections 7 and 8 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 employees must:

  • Take reasonable care of their own and others health and safety whilst at work.
  • Co-operate with their employer to enable the employer to comply with the Act.
  • Not to intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of health and safety.


Personal information relating to patients and staff is confidential and must be treated as such at all times. It is a condition of your employment that you will not use, misuse or disclose any confidential information obtained during the course of your employment (except where such disclosure and/or use is authorised by the designated organisation). Contravention of this condition will be regarded as a serious disciplinary matter. In the case of computerised information, contravention could result in a prosecution for an offence or action for civil damages under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Caldicott Guardianship of patient information and may also lead to disciplinary action.


Conflict of interest

The designated organisation is responsible for ensuring that the service provided for patients in its care meets the highest standard. Equally, it is responsible for ensuring that staff do not abuse their official position for personal gain or to benefit their family and friends. The designated organisation standing orders require any officer to declare any interest, direct or indirect with contracts involving the Trust. Staff are not allowed to further their private interests in the course of their NHS duties.


Equality and diversity

All staff have a personal responsibility to ensure they do not discriminate, harass, or bully or contribute to the discrimination, harassment or bullying of any colleague(s) or visitors or condone discrimination or bullying by others. As trainees you are responsible for promoting diversity and equity of opportunity across all areas of your work. This applies to service delivery as an employee and for anyone who you may be working with.

You will be made aware of your responsibilities for promoting equality of opportunity throughout your training and you will be expected to ensure the philosophy and best practice for ‘Improving Working Lives’ are adopted and openly discussed.


Working time directive

The Working Time Regulations 1998 require that you should not work more than an average of 48 hours each week, i.e. in a 17 week period no more than 816 hours or 1248 hours in a 26 week period. To work more you must have the authorisation of your manager and you must sign an opt-out agreement that you choose to work more.

Should you have more than one job with the designated organisation or have a job with another employer, then the total hours worked in all your jobs should not exceed the average of 48 hours as above. You are therefore required to inform your manager if you continue to work elsewhere and the number of hours you work, or if you take up work elsewhere during your employment with the designated organisation.


NHS pension scheme

Membership of the NHS Pension Scheme is voluntary and is open to any member of staff aged 16 years or over. This is a contributory scheme and both employee and employer pay contributions towards the benefits payable. On commencement of employment, employees are automatically made a member unless they decide not to join and make alternative arrangements. Pension contributions are deducted direct from pay unless the Payroll Department are notified of an individual’s intention not to join by the completion of form SD502.

Further information on the benefits of the NHS Pension Scheme will be given to new employees on commencement.


Staff benefits

A list of staff benefits is available from the Human Resources Department.

Last updated on 13th February 2024