Application process

Getting Started

You can check whether you are likely to be eligible for departmental accreditation in transthoracic echo by completing the checklist. This only covers a few of the many aspects of accreditation but it focuses on some of the most important standards and some of the ones that the inspectors have flagged up because they presented problems in the past for other departments seeking accreditation.

If you complete the checklist and get a 'green light' then you can proceed to register your interest and check your suitability in more detail. A 'red light' indicates that your department will not reach the required standards and you will need to make some changes. The checklist is optional; it's there to help you target your resources effectively and to instantly 'benchmark' your department. Very occasionally a department may choose to apply for accreditation despite not reaching all of the standards because they want an independent assessment by the inspection team.

Registering

Registering your department is only an expression of interest and there is no commitment to apply; you will not need to pay the fee at this stage. You must supply contact details for the medical and scientist leads, who will both receive email confirmation.  Your department will be given one login with one shared password to allow you to proceed with your application.
When logged in you will be able to access web pages designed to make the application process as straightforward as possible including easy-to-use application forms, downloads and uploads.

Which sort of accreditation

You will need to decide which types of accreditation you want to apply for. Transthoracic accreditation is mandatory so everyone must complete form 1. If your department performs any TOE (form 2) or stress echo (form 3) you will need to complete these forms. This ensures that a department is not awarded transthoracic accreditation whilst performing at a particularly low standard in another area of echo and  allows the accreditation team to help departments to work towards TOE and stress accreditations in the future. To apply for accreditation in training to adult BSE standard you will need to complete form 4. Transthoracic and training accreditation can be awarded at either advanced or standard level but the application process and the forms are the same. The differences between the two levels are shown in the  grading tables criteria. Data entered into the forms will be saved throughout the application process so you can complete them in installments whenever it suits you. We would strongly recommend that a department completes all relevant application forms before submitting a payment rather than submit form 1 and then submit other forms at a later stage.

How to make a payment

When the forms and uploads are finished they need to be submitted electronically with the fee of £500. If payment is by PayPal the accreditation process starts immediately. If payment is via BACS or cheque the process starts from receipt of payment.

What happens next

A member of the BSE accreditation team will email the applicant within a few days of payment to organise the site visit.  It usually takes place between six and twelve weeks after application. The BSE inspection team will include an echo-specialised cardiologist and a senior physiologist or echocardiographer. The visit usually takes 3 to 4 hours and the scientist and medical leads must be present. The inspection team will ask to see any documents that were not uploaded with the application forms and will verify all of the information captured in the application forms. They will informally interview the members of the echo team and review random echo studies. A full report will be emailed to the department for comment within one month of the visit. The final report will be issued following any feedback from the applicant department.

What are the possible outcomes

For each area of accreditation the possible outcomes are:

  1. Accreditation awarded (for transthoracic echo and training this may be at standard or advanced level)
  2. Accreditation not awarded
  3. Remedial measures suggested. This is for departments that almost reach the required standard and the deficit is in a discrete area and relatively quickly remedied.  The accreditation team will specify the measures and a time period to achieve them and will require evidence that the changes have been made. The remedial measures must be completed within one year of the start of the accreditation process.

You will be able to monitor your department's progress through the accreditation process on your department's home page and you can contact the BSE with any queries at any stage of the process at dept@bsecho.org.

All successful departments will be authorised to use the BSE departmental accreditation logo on their stationery.

BSE Accredited Department Logo

To find out about other departments' views about going through the departmental accreditation process visit our testimonials page.

For more details about the requirements for the different types of accreditation visit our eligibility page.