Diagnostic Medical Sonographer – Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the purpose of regulating
- Regulating diagnostic medical sonographers (DMS) with the Saskatchewan
Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (SAMRT) would bring all
medical radiation and imaging specialties under one regulatory framework to
enhance patient protection by establishing entry to practice requirements
and continuing oversight of practice.
2. What will be the protected
title of regulated sonographers and which categories of sonographers are included
under the protected title?
- The protected title for sonographers will be ‘Diagnostic
Medical Sonographer’ or ‘DMS.’ The practice
of DMS is divided into three main sub-specialties; all of which are
included in this application under the protected title of DMS:
- Generalist sonographers, who image a variety of examinations,
including abdominal, pelvic, obstetrical, breast and other soft tissues;
- Vascular sonographers, who image arteries and veins throughout
the body; and
- Cardiac sonographers or echocardiographers, who image cardiac
- A consistent approach to
the protected title ensures a smooth labour mobility approach to DMS
transferring across Canada. In Canada, DMS are regulated as an additional discipline
with the Nova Scotia College of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy
Professionals (NSCMIRTP), the College of Medical Radiation and Imaging
Technologist of Ontario (CMRITO), the Order of Technologists in Medical
Imaging, Radiation Oncology and Medical Electrophysiology of Quebec
(OTIMROEPMQ) and upon proclamation with the Alberta College of Medical
Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists (ACDMTT). Across Canada, the discipline
is recognized as Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (DMS).
- Only members of SAMRT
registered in a particular discipline are legally authorized to use that
protected title. However, although these titles are protected, members are
also encouraged to use their credentialed title in addition to the
protected title. For example: DMS,
CRGS or, DMS, CRCS or, DMS, CRVS.
The same holds true for the specialty certifications MRTs have
earned, for example RTMN, CTIC, PET/CT or, RTR, CIR.
3. What benefits can regulated
- The benefits of self-regulation include recognition of the
education and training sonographers have undergone to practice as
professionals, authorized use of a title (DMS), and assurance that the
profession’s standards are enforced and the public protected.
- By being self-regulated under the College of Medical Radiation
and Imaging Professionals of Saskatchewan (CMRIPS), sonographers will
join not only their medical radiation technologist colleagues, but also
other healthcare professions registered in the province’s 27 regulated
colleges, including medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and physiotherapy.
4. Why not regulate
sonographers as an independent stand-alone profession?
- Regulating a profession takes a significant amount of
regulatory experience and financial resources which can mean that smaller
health professions find it difficult to be regulated on a stand-alone
basis. Across Canada, the trend for
sonographers is to be regulated with MRTs as in Quebec and Ontario, Alberta
and Nova Scotia. Joining SAMRT will
put Saskatchewan DMS on equal footing with other regulated provinces.
5. How is public protection enhanced
- The mandate of the SAMRT is to serve and protect the public by
making sure that its members are qualified to practice and are practising
professionally. Our goal is to strengthen the safety, quality, oversight
and transparency of medical radiation and imaging services by:
- setting and enforcing standards of practice, ethics,
guidelines and policies for the practice and conduct of members;
- registering only those individuals who have met the
educational and examination requirements for competent practice before
they can practice or use the professional title;
- requiring members to maintain continuous education (CE) credits
(credits already required by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical
Sonography (ARDMS) or Sonography Canada are eligible for SAMRT CE);
- addressing complaints and concerns from the public, patients
and employers regarding professional conduct issues through its
complaints and discipline process; and
- providing current information about each member’s registration
status, and past conduct to the public on its website.
6. Current DMS will be grandfathered
into the College of
Medical Radiation and Imaging Professionals of Saskatchewan (CMRIPS). How will this work?
- It is anticipated that there will be a defined period of time
that all sonographers can apply to be grandparented into the College.
- The grandparenting period will permit individuals who have been
working under credentialing with ARDMS or Sonography Canada in diagnostic
medical sonography currently to apply for registration as a DMS. This
ensures competent DMS practitioners are given an opportunity to register
without fear of losing their job as a result of new registration
- Anyone applying to register after the
grandparenting period must meet all the new registration requirements which
will be defined in the bylaws. These requirements may include
demonstrating having successfully completed an approved program in
diagnostic medical sonography and examinations approved by SAMRT’s Council
and providing evidence of having engaged in clinical practice within the
previous five years.
- If an applicant has not successfully completed an approved
program or equivalent (for example, an internationally educated
applicant), the applicant must satisfy the College that their educational
program is substantially similar to an approved program and that the applicant
is competent to practice diagnostic medical sonography.
7. Why did the Saskatchewan
Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (SAMRT) change the name of the regulatory
- In considering options for
a name, we sought to represent all five disciplines, and to clearly
indicate to the public, our regulated members, and other key stakeholders
what the role of the organization is.
8. How can sonographers be
informed of the work being done to regulate their profession?
- The SAMRT will be answering questions and communicating to
stakeholders as important milestones occur.
- There are many areas yet to be developed and more details will
come to light as we progress through the process. Some of those activities and milestones
- Preparing proposed amendments to the regulatory and
- Consulting with DMS and MRTs on proposed amendments to the
existing Code of Ethics and Standards and Scope of Practice.
- Engagement with sonographers to be represented on Council and
- Updating the complaints process to ensure that representations
of sonographers are added to both government legislated committees:
Professional Practice Committee and Discipline Committee.
- Other work to be defined to extend the public protection
framework and improve transparency for medical radiation and imaging
- The main forms of communication will be e-blasts, newsletters and
information posted to the SAMRT website.
9. What is the timeline to complete the onboarding process to regulate diagnostic
- There is extensive work required to prepare for the diagnostic medical
sonographers to become a regulated profession under the College of Medical
Radiation and Imaging Professionals of Saskatchewan (CMRIPS) and this work
will take some time to complete. No
definitive date can be provided at this time, but CMRIPS anticipates the onboarding
process to be completed in the 2024 licensing year.
10. What can the diagnostic medical sonographers expect to pay for licensing
fees? Is PLI covered under the licensing
- The current rate for a full-practice MRT is $425.00 annually. This rate can be reviewed at any time and
an increase applied if appropriate. Therefore, the licensing fee cannot be definitively
stated at this time. PLI is not included
in the registration fee but can be purchased from Sonography Canada.
Questions about regulation can be directed to
SAMRT by email at: email@example.com
or by fax at 306-543-6161.