What to do before your Echocardiography trainee arrives

Check that you and your department are aware of the commitments required when hosting a trainee in your department.


Before commissioning a post for a trainee on the Echocardiography Training Programme (ETP), you should ensure you know the extent of the training required and can deliver it in full. If in doubt, contact the School or your local Health Education England office. You should also contact your human resources department as soon as you have confirmation of a trainee and ensure you are aware of any processes you need to follow.

These may include:

  • vacancy approval processes
  • organisation-wide induction procedures e.g. mandatory training sessions which will need to be booked in good time
  • disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and reference approvals
  • preparation of any honorary contracts that may be necessary

Even for an in-service trainee (i.e. an existing staff member who has achieved an ETP place) there will be human resource implications such as backfill to recruit, clinical work to rearrange or honorary contracts for rotations outside the employing organisation. If you have not already obtained Accreditation from the School as a training centre for the STP, please contact our Accreditation department for further information on the specific requirements needed to host an ETP trainee. You can email them at nshcs.accreditation@nhs.net


Familiarise training staff with the Echocardiography curriculum

The Echocardiography Training Programme curriculum modules are essential reading for staff involved in training. There are two modules:

SPS121 – Ultrasound Imaging in Cardiac Disease

This is an existing module from the Scientific Training Programme and can be found in the STP section of the Curriculum Library.

A-CS-S1 Introduction to Clinical Echocardiography

This is a new module and is available here.

The BSE Adult Transthoracic Accreditation pack can be found on the BSE website.

These are the blueprints for the training period, setting out all the learning outcomes and competencies to be achieved and the assessments to be performed. They include generic professional competencies and Echocardiography-specific scientific competencies. Trainers will need to know these well and should be able to brief other colleagues. They should be the basis of the trainee’s training plan. All training staff should also be familiar with the assessments the trainee will complete.

Analyse the curriculum for training you cannot provide

Even in the specialist learning outcomes there may be some that you cannot provide in your department because you do not handle that particular type of work/equipment/process. Consider well in advance how any such gaps can be filled by, for example, periods spent in other departments. If this highlights something your department particularly specialises in, or does differently from others, you might also think of offering an opportunity to other ETP trainees from elsewhere in the country to benefit from brief visits, workshops or demonstrations.