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Delivery of ultrasound training: information for trainers

This page provides information to trainers about how ultrasound training in O&G should be delivered, supervised and assessed. Information for trainees is available in the ultrasound curriculum area of the site.

Structure of delivery of ultrasound training

Delivery of ultrasound training is coordinated at deanery level by the Specialty Training Committee/School of O&G, who appoint a Deanery Ultrasound Coordinator. For full details of this position, including roles, responsibilities and person specification, please read the Deanery Ultrasound Coordinator job description.

Within trusts, training is coordinated by a nominated local Ultrasound Educational Supervisor in discussion with the College Tutor. For full details of this position, including roles, responsibilities and person specification, please read the Ultrasound Educational Supervisor job description.

The Ultrasound Educational Supervisor approves a number of unit-based Ultrasound Trainers. Trainees should have access to good, quality ultrasound equipment and machines.

No central RCOG registration is required and there are no additional costs to the trainee.

Training the US Trainer eLearning package

The eLearning package is aimed at local educational ultrasound supervisors (LUESs), including non-O&G trainers. The package should help LUESs to understand the purpose of the RCOG Ultrasound Curriculum and help to use WBAs effectively.

Access the eLearning module

Basic ultrasound modules

Supervision of basic ultrasound training

The local Ultrasound Educational Supervisor coordinates the appropriate in-house training programme for the two basic modules and confirms satisfactory completion of the basic ultrasound module by signing the basic ultrasound module completion form (PDF, 20 kb).

Delivery of basic ultrasound training

Progress through the basic ultrasound modules is competency based and must be assessed using the appropriate tool (OSATS, CbD, etc.). The relevent assessment forms are available from each ultrasound module page:

The modules are designed to allow a pragmatic and opportunistic approach for the majority of the ultrasound training. Examples include teaching dating assessment within standard antenatal clinics, and assessment of presentation, liquor volume, placental site etc. on the delivery suite or in the day unit. Other aspects will need more formal sessional commitment.

For the basic ultrasound modules, training is continuous – i.e. it can cross specialty training years and be continued from unit to unit as trainees rotate.

On completion of the basic early pregnancy ultrasound module, trainees will have developed the basic skills needed to confirm viability and assess gestation in early pregnancy using transabdominal ultrasound. They will be aware of when formal confirmatory ultrasound assessment is required. The module isn’t designed to confer the skills needed to run an early pregnancy unit independently.

On completion of the basic ultrasound assessment of fetal size, liquor and the placenta module, trainees will be able to assess presentation, placental site, liquor volume, basic growth parameters etc. in ‘out of hours’ situations or when immediate sonographer support isn't available.

Trainers must ensure that trainees remain vigilant and are aware of the limits of their own competence.

Asessment of basic ultrasound training

Assessment of a trainee’s independent ultrasound competence should involve at least two assessors, one of whom should be the local Ultrasound Educational Supervisor and the other ideally an independent assessor who hasn’t been directly involved in the individual’s training. In the event of dual supervision, both local Ultrasound Educational Supervisors can be responsible for confirming the trainee’s competency. The basic ultrasound module completion form must be filled out and signed by the assessors.

Intermediate ultrasound modules

Supervision of intermediate ultrasound training

Intermediate ultrasound training must be undertaken under the supervision of an identified local Ultrasound Educational Supervisor, with prior approval from the Deanery Ultrasound Coordinator. The local Ultrasound Educational Supervisor should undertake at least one dedicated imaging session per week and directly supervise the trainee for the majority of the intermediate module(s).

Units may need to appoint one local Ultrasound Educational Supervisor for obstetrics and another for gynaecology, depending on the skills of the individual trainers.

Trainees may undertake sessions under the supervision of professionals other than the local Ultrasound Educational Supervisor (i.e. other trainers). The local Ultrasound Educational Supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the professional to whom the training duty is delegated is sufficiently competent, willing and able to teach the trainee. More than one local training provider per trainee is acceptable and encouraged. In these circumstances, at least one of the providers should hold MRCOG/FRCOG or FRCR.

Delivery of intermediate ultrasound training

Progress through the intermediate ultrasound modules is competency based and must be assessed using the appropriate tool (OSATS, CbD, etc.). The relevant assessment forms are available from each ultrasound module page:

Intermediate ultrasound training will require a combination of formal ultrasound sessions and opportunistic training, such as supervised scanning in outpatient and antenatal clinic situations.

Assessment of intermediate ultrasound training

Assessment of trainees should involve at least two assessors, one of whom should be the local Ultrasound Educational Supervisor and the other, ideally, an independent assessor who hasn’t been directly involved in the individual’s training. In the event of dual supervision, both Ultrasound Educational Supervisors can be responsible for this. The Deanery Ultrasound Coordinator must authorise completion of intermediate training for each trainee, by signing the intermediate ultrasound module completion form.

Find out more

For more information, please read the ultrasound implementation strategy (PDF, 182 kb).

If you have any questions, please email the Trainees' Coordinator or call +44 20 7772 6348.

Elsewhere on the site

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Overview of the specialty training programme in O&G, including assessment and certification of training
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