Hello CARDUP Registrants from the CARDUP Chairperson,
2012 will most likely prove to be yet another exciting year at CARDUP. We will be seeing the completion of some projects such as the echocardiography exam, the French translation of the Core and Generalist exam and training for clinical skills preceptors. This year is also the beginning of some others projects all geared to create a better registry organization for Canadian sonographers. New projects this year include:
1) Implementing an web-based CME entry system that was overwhelmingly requested by our registrants in the 2011 survey
2) Hiring an Examination Co-coordinator to increase efficiencies and help facilitate a better examination process
3) Creating a new educator category of CARDUP sonographer, the Clinical Skills Assessor.
4) Re-surveying employers as per our mandate to re-validate (determine any change required in) competencies required of the entry level sonographers in all disciplines
5) Doing a survey based needs-assessment of employers, sonographers and other health care professionals for CARDUP certifications in areas such as Breast, MSK and Point of Care sonography.
In the next few issues of e-interface, I would like to take any 'mystery' out of CARDUP by featuring articles that cover all of the many facets of your organization. If you have suggestions for future issues, or have questions you want answered by myself or the Board, please contact me at Chairperson.CARDUP@gmail.com
Clinical Skills Assessment:
Creating an Examination
National Competency Profiles
Volunteerism and giving back to your profession.
In this issue I would to give you some information on how the CARDUP examination process works. Many of our registrants have completed a CMA accredited program and have challenged the CARDUP knowledge based and clinical exams and are therefore familiar with the examination process. The rest of us, like myself, were grand-fathered in or became registrants during a brief window opening and do not know what is entailed in becoming a CARDUP registered sonographer.
To be CARDUP credentialed, the applicant must pass a knowledge based exam AND a clinical skills assessment. The content of the exams are based upon the National Competency profiles (NCP) for Sonographers.
Currently we offer two credentials:
1) Generalist - CRGS and
2) Cardiac - CRCS.
The knowledge based examinations are occur three times per year at various locations across Canada. They are in a computerized, multiple choice format. CARDUP emphasizes that the exams require working fluency in English or French, and that candidates who do not possess English fluency should possess an appropriate TOEFL score.
The Generalist and Cardiac applicant must challenge the same Core Exam as well as an exam in their specialty. The Core Exam is based on competencies needed by all sonographers regardless of specialty such as patient care, ultrasound physics and instrumentation.
The Generalist Sonographer (CRGS) Examination has three components:
The Cardiac sonographer (CRCS) examination is comprised of 180 multiple choice questions answered in 180 minutes.
Questions for a particular exam are sent from the secure item bank to a company that puts the questions into the computer program for testing. Proctors are in the room to prevent cheating and help with any issues the applicant might have. Sites provide on-site IT support to help with any computer/ technical issues.
Once the exam times-out the results are locked into a data base and sent to our psychometric consulting company for computation and analysis. With the utmost confidentiality, the exam committee has a conference call with the psychometrician and the Executive Director within 14 days after the exam to discuss the results. It is important to state that neither the individual applicant's names nor the program that they attended are known to the committee. Once the final scores are verified the registrants are notified of their results. The exam committee also discusses the feedback from applicants in the Post Exam Survey. This is taken very seriously and all comments are given the utmost time and consideration.
Performance information is provided to programs on an annual basis. Schools are given the success rate for their own graduates and the national success rate only if their total number of candidates for the year is 5 or more.
I hope this helps explain the examination process. For complete details, copies of the exam outlines and other information please go to our website at www.cardup.org.
I am proud to serve as the CARDUP chair as I know that Canadian sonographers are among the best if not the best in the world. We at CARDUP continue to work hard to keep those high standards for the good of, not only our profession but our patients. I hope everyone who is a CARDUP credentialed sonographer remembers to put your well-earned 'letters' behind your name!
Janice Hickey Scharf CRGS