This page aims to provide a summary of possible training options for healtcare scientists and SpR's.  The information is correct at the time of collection, but may be amended by the relevant organisations at any time.

Please scroll down for Spr training options.

Healthcare Scientist Training

Modernising Scientific Careers (MSC)

Modernising Scientific Careers, led by the Chief Scientific Officer, is a key work programme within the Department of Health designed to ensure flexibility, sustainability and modern career pathways for healthcare scientists, fit to address the needs of future NHS. It provides career frameworks for education and training of healthcare scientists. The BSE has been involved in the development of curricula for both Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) and Scientist Training Programme (STP).The MSC programme's stated aim was to "avoid the risk of career dead ends" and "provide a set of education and training standards for the whole of healthcare science that can be owned by the professionals who developed them." An overview of MSC can be found on this website.

MSC accredited degree programmes for STP

In 2011-2012 there was 1 accredited programme at Newcastle University but there a plans to have a 2nd in 2012-2013.

MSC accredited degree programmes for PTP

A list of accredited BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science Programmes for the Practitioner Training Programme may be found at the nhsnetworks website.

Details of the STP and PTP training schemes can be found on the following sites:

Practitioner training Scheme

Scientist Training Programme

Learning Guide for STP Cardiac, Vascular, Respiratory and Sleep Science (CVRS)

This draft Learning Guide document provides initial information relating to trainees recruited onto the CVRS theme. It provides information for providers and trainees for the first phase of work based training. Section 4 contains detailed information on content of rotation modules, experiential learning and competences to be completed in the rotational phase of the programme (Year 1). Sections 1-3 contain general information about the programme structure and delivery and also an outline of specialist modules for years 2 and 3.

Strategic Health Authority (SHA) Involvement

All of the SHA's have MSC leads and have websites which anybody can log on to and receive up to date information. Here is the website for Yorkshire and Humber.

To find other SHA's and networks go here.

Academy for Healthcare Science

The Academy for Healthcare Science was established in shadow form at the beginning of 2011, and an Interim Chief Executive was appointed soon after this. The high-level ambitions for the Academy were set out as follows:

  • Define high quality education and training standards across the UK HCS workforce and improve patient outcomes by ensuring that the standards are promulgated and met.
  • Enable effective professional engagement in the ongoing development, and review of national curricula for the UK HCS workforce, across the career framework.

Kerry Tinkler has been appointed as non-executive Director of the Academy for Healthcare Science in Physiological Measurement. Kerry is the lead Healthcare Scientist and Clinical Lead for Physiological Measurements at the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust and has acted as Chair of the Institute for Physiological Sciences.

Helen Rimington has recently been appointed as the Chair of the Physiology Professional Group and takes up this position in September 2012.

National School of Healthcare Science

The National School of Healthcare Science provides coordination for the delivery of healthcare science education and training programmes. There are currently professional leads in place for each of the three healthcare science divisions with plans to appoint a professional lead to liaise with higher education institutions about the practitioner programmes.

Post Graduate Medical Ultrasound

There are a number of Postgraduate Medical Ultrasound programmes delivered by Higher Education Institutions (HEI's) in the UK. The BSE is a member of the Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education (CASE) which accredits Medical Ultrasound programmes. Their website contains a directory of CASE accredited courses.

Derby, Teesside and Pontypridd run medical ultrasound programmes with Cardiac Modules accredited by CASE. Details can be found via the CASE website.


As many of you are aware the Registration Council for Clinical Physiologists (RCCP) has compiled a voluntary register of individuals practising in the disciplines of Clinical Physiology for some time now.

The Academy for Healthcare Science will draw together the entire healthcare science workforce across the UK. It will play a role across all levels of the career framework, and will ensure national consistency in attainment of quality standards for education, training and professional practice across both regulated and unregulated groups.

The Academy is at present collecting registers from all of the healthcare science groups. It is therefore important that all Healthcare Scientists are on a register.

The BSE established a voluntary register 6 years ago which is open to all BSE members. If you are not currently on a voluntary register and would like to add your name to the BSE register please send the following information to

  • RCCP registration number (if applicable)
  • Do you have a BSc, MSc or equivalent?
  • Other qualifications
  • Are you accredited (BSE accreditation is not compulsory)
  • Number of studies performed each year

Additional links you may find helpful


Medical Trainees


The JRCPTB website for Speciality Training contains details of the 2010 Curriculum in Cardiology to define the necessary training and competencies needed for the award of a certificate of completion of training (CCT) in Cardiology. This defines two levels, core skills/competencies and advanced/subspecialty skills/competencies. The training is designed to develop both the generic and specialty-specific attributes necessary to practice independently as a consultant cardiologist. The aim is to train individuals to provide the highest standard of service to patients with cardiovascular disorders.

1. Curriculum on Training in Echocardiography

(i) Core (generic) skills necessary for all trainees: For all trainees in Cardiology the core skills include transthoracic echocardiography to BSE accreditation standards. These are expected to be obtained in the first three years of training. Trainees are expected to obtain full TTE accreditation or its equivalent (DOPS Assessments, see page 111 JRCPTB curriculum and BSE Curriculum Tool). Trainees should maintain a logbook of experience. Where appropriate the curriculum indicates the likely minimum number of procedures required to encompass a sufficiently broad spectrum of clinical experience to define performance. (250 cases for transthoracic  BSE accreditation)

NOTE: JRCPTB curriculum states "The trainee must ensure that they are competent in performing and in the interpretation, measurement and analysis of a transthoracic echocardiogram in adults, in the emergency, in-patient and out-patient settings; and can produce a comprehensive echocardiogram report. For training in echocardiography at each hospital, you (the trainee) must have a supervisor who should be a senior and experienced echocardiographer. In order to acquire basic training you will need focused bleep free training sessions."

Practical advice on how to obtain BSE TTE accreditation can be found in the Toolkit for New Cardiology Trainees from the British Junior Cardiologists Association (BJCA).

(ii) Sub-specialty skills in echocardiography: Sub-specialisation within Cardiology has become commonplace with individuals focusing the development of their expertise in areas such as cardiac imaging, coronary intervention, heart rhythm disorders, adult congenital heart disease or heart failure. Sub-specialty training occurs in the final 2 years of training. Cardiovascular imaging, with particular reference to echocardiography, plays a pivotal role in effective preventive, diagnostic, interventional and post-interventional/surgical therapies.

These skills in advanced echocardiography are defined by the curriculum by two modules;  Advanced echocardiography - 1 (2 points) and Advanced echocardiography - 2 (4 points), see page 152-60 JRCPTB curriculum. The areas covered include (a) Complex transthoracic echocardiography 2D and 3D (e.g valvular heart lesions, cardiomyopathies and LV dyssynchrony; (b) Transoesophageal echocardiography 2D and 3D (includes elective, emergency and theatre based settings); (c) Stress echocardiography (pharmacological & physiological; latter includes treadmill/bicycle exercise.


2. Training Issues

At the 2013 BCS Conference, the annual surveys for the BJCA and GMC were presented. Both surveys highlight significant issues trainees are facing in acquiring training in TTE. In response to this, the BSE are working closing with the trainees through the BJCA to address various aspects of cardiac imaging training. A joint BSE/BJCA/RSM Trainees' day is planned on 3 December 2013 at the Royal Society of Medicine in London.  The aim of this day is to cover clinically relevant topics in echocardiography with a section on emergency echocardiography. The afternoon will focus on the issues faced by trainees in obtaining adequate core echo skills presented through a debate and panel discussion.  It is hoped that as many as possible cardiology trainees attend this day and contribute to the discussion on how we progress improvements in training.

A joint BSE/BJCA/RSM Trainees' day was held on the 4 December 2013 at the Royal Society of Medicine in London.  The aim of this day was to cover clinically relevant topics in echocardiography with a section on emergency echocardiography. The afternoon focused on the issues faced by trainees in obtaining adequate core echo skills presented through a debate and panel discussion. About 100 trainees attended the day, which has received very positive feedback. Many issues were raised and the needs of the trainees identified. The BSE are in discussions with the SAC as to the next steps. Trainees will shortly receive an update as to the proposed plan going forwards. PLEASE NOTE  LOGBOOK CASE COLLECTION NOW HAS BEEN FORMALLY EXTENDED TO 24 MONTHS for BSE TTE accreditation. We hope with will help trainees to complete their logbooks successfully.


3. Training Opportunities

Specialist Training centres in UK/Fellowships


If you would like to advertise research or training posts, please contact BSE administrative office.


4. BSE Accreditation

There are a number of accreditations available to trainees. The transthoracic accreditation is suitable for trainees in Cardiology. The links to each accreditation are given below

Transthoracic Echocardiography

Transoesophageal Echocardiography

Focused Emergency Echocardiography in Life Support

Focused Intensive Care Echocardiography


5. Courses on TTE/TOE/stress echo

See relevant section on BSE website


6. Useful Links to Educational Sites and Useful articles


BSE Education section: includes Protocols & Guidelines, Minimum Datasets and other additional datasets, position statements, Distance Learning Modules, webcast presentations, echo library (these area's are only available to members of the Society) (potential reforms to structure of postgraduate medical training) (Toronto online TOE cases and resource) (Canadian Society of Echocardiography list of fellowships) (ASE training programmes ) (British Society of Cardiac Imaging) (European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging homepage)

Copyright © 2011 British Society of Echocardiography