Accreditation and certification
To practise as a sonographer in Australia or New Zealand, you must complete an accredited course of study which includes a comprehensive clinical training program of around 2200 hours, equivalent to three days per week over two years.
Courses can be undertaken to become a general sonographer or a discipline-specific sonographer, e.g. cardiac, vascular.
Most accredited courses are only offered at a postgraduate level and require another health of science undergraduate qualification. There is currently one undergraduate entry course of study to become a sonographer available in Australia.
To practice in Australia, sonographers need to maintain annual accreditation with the Australian Sonographer Accreditation Registry (ASAR) and be listed on the ASAR register of Accredited Medical Sonographers (AMS). This is required for sonographers to deliver medical ultrasound services under Medicare and is often a requirement of employment.
Graduation from an ASAR Accredited Course is required to become an AMS. While completing an accredited course of study, students should apply for registration as an ASAR Accredited Student Sonographer.
Once a sonographer is ASAR accredited, to maintain on the register, they must pay their annual fee and complete at least 60 hours of Continuing Professional Development every three years.
To work in New Zealand, sonographers must hold a current annual practising certificate (APC).
The Medical Radiation Technologists Board (MRTB) set the conditions that sonographers must meet for when applying for an APC. Issued for up to 12-months, sonographers must renew their APC with the MRTB annually in February and March, for the following year period.
When renewing their APC, sonographers must also have completed at least 60 hours of Continuing Professional Development every three years, with a minimum of 10 hours in any one year.