The long and winding road to achieving professional registration for sonographers

Authors: Vivien Gibbs

The rapid growth in the use of ultrasound as a diagnostic imaging technology over the past forty years, has led to a demand for a workforce with the appropriate skills to perform and interpret the scans. In the UK, ultrasound investigations now comprise the largest group of all diagnostic imaging examinations.1 However, there remains no statutory regulation of the practice of sonography in the UK, and little recognition of the considerable training that many practitioners have undertaken to obtain the skills to become safe and competent sonographers. Many in the field consider that this should change, and are working to obtain professional status for the practice of sonography. Although the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) has recommended regulation of sonography practice, this is unlikely to happen in the near future. This paper discusses the evolution of sonography practice and explores some of the complex issues associated with the professionalisation of sonography.