Careers & Training
Working in medical ultrasound in the U.K.
If you wish to work in the UK as a doctor and specialise in ultrasound then you will need to register with the GMC and apply for employment through the medical route. If you wish to work as a non-medical sonographer then you will not need to register with the GMC as you will be seeking employment as a sonographer.
The majority of sonographers working in the UK have UK ultrasound qualifications (Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or the older DMU). If you wish to apply for employment in the UK you will need to ensure that you can satisfy your potential employers that your ultrasound qualifications and experience are equivalent and appropriate for the UK.
There is no legal requirement to hold a recognised ultrasound qualification in order to practice as a sonographer in the UK. Most hospital departments, however, would not consider offering employment as a sonographer to an individual who does not hold a Postgraduate Certificate or a Postgraduate Diploma in Medical or Clinical Ultrasound. These qualifications have been available from selected Universities in the UK since the early 1990s and superseded the Diploma of Medical Ultrasound (DMU), awarded by the College of Radiographers.
As sonography is not recognised as a profession by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC),there is no possibility of individuals practicing as sonographers to be statutorily registered. Individuals who hold a radiography qualification recognised by the HPC are legally required to register with the HCPC if they wish to practice as a radiographer (but not a sonographer) in the UK. There is no legal requirement to be 'statutorily registered' if seeking employment as a sonographer, as this is currently an impossibility. However, it is recommended that you ensure that you have appropriate professional indemnity insurance arranged, either through your employer or via an appropriate regulatory body.
The College of Radiographers administers a Voluntary Register of Sonographers.
The RDMS qualification should enable you to apply for sonography positions in the UK, providing the department concerned accepts the comparability of the RDMS and PG Cert/Dip awards. This would be a matter for an individual employer to decide.
Alternately, you might want to consider applying to a CASE approved course and, through the APL (accreditation for prior learning) route. This might require you to take some more exams but it would ensure you had a standard, UK qualification. It is recommended, however that you try the former route first.
The British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS)
BMUS do not have any information regarding the job market or salary. BMUS do carry job advertisements on their vacancies page but most ultrasound jobs are advertised either in RAD magazine or in Synergy, which is published by the College of Radiographers.
BMUS is not a professional body but is a scientific society so will offer a different range of benefits to you. Whether or not you wish to join the society has no impact on your ability to work as a sonographer in the UK, although from a CPD point of view it can be beneficial.
If you require further information, please contact the BMUS Office.
College of Radiographers (SCoR)
Additional advice on employment and training can be found on the SOR Website click here
The College of Radiographers (incorporating UKAS) is currently working with the HPC to have sonography recognised as a separate profession in the UK. It is also working for the protection of the job title 'sonographer'. You can submit an email query via the society's website.
Details are: -
Tel: 020 7740 7200
To go to our Vacancies Pages click here