SoR helps deliver new sonography career path

Preceptorship and capability development framework now available

Published: 26 July 2022 Ultrasound

As part of the sonography career development workstreams, Health Education England (HEE) commissioned the British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS) to lead on the development of a preceptorship and capability development framework.

The SoR were involved in the development of this framework as part of the sonographer implementation group.

This document has now been published and is available on the BMUS website

The framework should enable clinical staff, newly qualified sonographers and managers to plan appropriate support for preceptees entering the profession, changing roles or developing their competencies to progress along the career framework for sonographers. The career framework has been updated to reflect changes in the role titles used by HEE, hence the senior sonographer title has changed to enhanced practice sonographer. 

The document has two parts. Firstly, the preceptorship guidance to support staff starting out in their sonography career, regardless of the level of education they have undertaken. All newly-qualified sonographers should have a supportive preceptorship period to assist them transition within the department, develop confidence and feel valued as a member of the team.

Preceptorship can also be used for those new in post, despite their level of experience, to support their adaptation to the new working environment or those transitioning between roles for example someone starting a consultant sonographer post. The time needed for preceptorship will vary depending on the nature of the role, for example an experienced sonographer starting a role in a new department will likely need a shorter preceptorship period than a newly qualified sonographer. 

The second section is the capability development framework demonstrating how a sonographer can transition through the career framework from newly qualified sonographer to consultant sonographer. There are suggestions for clinical and educational developments covering all four pillars of advanced and consultant practice, activities to meet specific levels of practice e.g. advanced practice sonographers would have to meet the requirements of HEE’s Multi-professional framework for advanced clinical practice in England and ideas to help support staff and managers during appraisals to assist sonographer career development. 

It is anticipated that staff will be provided with support to progress through the career framework, helping to ensure that in addition to an on-going supply of sonographers being available from different entry route into ultrasound, existing sonographers are encouraged to develop into more advanced roles, should this wish to. It will also provide sonographers with opportunities and protected time to engage in supporting those starting out their careers or progressing to new roles.