CARDUP was created with the goals of being responsive to the needs of the Canadian medical community from coast to coast and to the establishment of bilingual written and practical exams that reflect Canadian standards.
The CARDUP Clinical Skills Assessment (CCSA) was established to ensure that Canadian Registered Diagnostic Sonographers have the knowledge and clinical skills necessary for entry level practice. This process which has been in use since 2006, provides an assurance to employers and the public that sonographers registered with CARDUP are competent entering into their profession.
CARDUP has introduced its own written examinations as a requirement for certification to supplement the Clinical Skills Assessment. CARDUP written examinations have a Canadian focus and are competency based which ensures that the credentialing exam is relevant to Canadian practice.
The CARDUP exams are based upon the content of the National Competency Profile for Sonography. Certain competencies from within the NCP have been identified as "examinable", as determined by their importance, their frequency-of-use, and the format of the exam. A bank of exam questions has been developed to assess the examinable competencies, using standardized test-development methods. Each time an exam takes place, different questions will be used, and psychometric analysis will be applied to ensure that the exam is valid, reliable and free from bias.
All exams are computer based and completed in secure, proctored facilities that are pre-arranged by CARDUP.
All exam questions are in multiple-choice format, and many will be based upon images. Candidates have the opportunity to move through the exam at their own pace (subject to the overall time limit), to answer questions, to skip questions, to flag questions for later review, and to change their responses until they exit the exam. The use of textbooks, notes, other resource materials or calculators will not be allowed. Candidates will not have access to the Internet while they are writing the exam.
The Core Sonographic and Generalist Sonographer exams are now available. The Cardiac Sonogarpher exam is expected to launch on February 12, 2012 and the Vascular Sonographer exam is expected to be available in 2013.
Arrangements are currently in the planning stage for the first offering of the Core and Generalist Sonographer exams in the French language with an expected launch date of February 11, 2012. When they commence, the French exams will also be offered 3 times each year, coincident with the English exams.
For candidates who wish to write the CARDUP Exams in English but are non-native English speakers, CARDUP recommends a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 80 within the last two years.