Level 1 Ultrasound

The completion of level 1 Ultrasound is now a mandatory requirement for trainees prior to completing their training and becoming a consultant. The West Midlands have a growing faculty of ultrasound trainers, and the aim is for all trainees to have completed a course by the end of ST3, and be signed off by the end of ST4.

There are regular level 1 courses provided for both trainees and consultants. These are provided on a costs-only basis, and at present are only £50 per candidate. The dates of the next courses in 2014 are:

  • Mon 13th October - Level 1 Course
  • Mon 8th December – Level 1 Course

We’ve been working on getting an on-line booking system to help manage things.
It’s now up & running, so please find the details and application here:

Refresher sessions are open to anyone looking for some supervised practice on student and patient volunteers on these dates. They are suitable for anyone who has completed a level 1 course but needs to refresh their skills, would like support with equipment issues or who need triggered assessments. I anyone wishing to attend should email me in advance, to arrange ad-hoc.

The faculty are also happy to provide local training on-site for any department where there is demand.

Anyone wishing to be signed off as level 1 accredited must be aware of the requirements set by the College of Emergency Medicine. A high standard is maintained and all those completing a course are encouraged to do as much hands-on practice as possible. Where there are problems with local supervision (which is steadily becoming less of a problem, as more and more seniors are becoming USS-savvy), some local trainers are happy to provide supervised practice at their local sites - see contact details below.

The minimum requirements for level 1 sign-off are:

  • Completion of a certified level 1 course
  • Completion of the six E-learning modules provided by the College on EnLiightenme -
    (Indications, Physics, Image acquisition, FAST, Aortic assessment and Vascular access)
  • Evidence of scans carried out, including follow-up notes and reflective practice for 10 case studies.
    As a guide, around 20 AA studies, 20 FAST scans, and 10 vascular access studies would be the aim.
  • Completion of Triggered Assessments:
    • Focussed Assessment of the Aorta
    • FAST
    • Vascular Access
    • Echo in life support

The core ultrasound curriculum (with all the theory required) is available to download here.

A locally developed guideline to achieving gaining / delivering training and how to achieve accreditation has been developed, consistent with guidelines from CEM. This is a reference for both trainers and trainees - download here.

Trainees with logbooks that meet these standards who want to proceed to triggered assessments and / or sign off may contact Dan Strong via the link below.

More details are available on the college website.

Level 2 Ultrasound and beyond

The application of USS in the ED has now grown far beyond the core skills of level 1, and many of those who enjoy and appreciate the clinical value of more advanced ultrasound skills are using ultrasound in the assessment and management of the critically ill, in investigation of abdominal pain, the confirmation of DVT, and in diagnosis of musculo-skeletal injury.

A level 2 course on Cardiac USS for Emergency Physicians will be provided from 2014, in addition to courses in advanced abdominal, vascular and musculoskeletal applications. Details will be published and regularly updated as soon as dates are finalised.


For further information or to book on a course, contact Dr Dan Strong - Regional Lead for Ultrasound Training