Consultation on proposed regulation to regulate diagnostic medical sonographers with CMRTO
CMRTO’s President, Wendy Rabbie, received a letter from Denise Cole, Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Workforce Planning and Regulatory Affairs Division, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, dated August 1, 2017 directing the CMRTO to regulate diagnostic medical sonographers under the CMRTO. CMRTO also received direction to begin the registration of diagnostic medical sonographers by January 2018. (Click here to view the letter.)
We are delighted the government has decided to regulate diagnostic medical sonographers under the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) and within the CMRTO. The CMRTO has been working for many years to assist the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in completing the public protection framework for medical radiation technology by regulating diagnostic medical sonographers (DMSs) with MRTs.
The CMRTO Council has approved, for circulation and comment, a regulation to amend the registration regulation made under the Medical Radiation Technology Act, 1991 (MRT Act). The amending regulation will enable the CMRTO to regulate diagnostic medical sonographers as a fifth specialty. It also sets out the registration requirements for an applicant to be issued a certificate of registration in the new specialty. If the regulation is enacted, it will come into effect at the beginning of 2018. By the end of the one-year grandparenting period at the end of 2018, all individuals practising as a DMS will be required to be registered as a member of the CMRTO in order to be authorized to practise diagnostic medical sonography in Ontario.
In accordance with the RHPA, the proposed changes are being circulated for 60 days to members and stakeholders for comment. Prior to finalizing the proposed changes, Council will consider all comments, keeping in mind the CMRTO's mandate to protect the public interest.
You are welcome to review these proposed changes and provide comment on the consultation section of the CMRTO website at www.cmrto.org. Please let your sonography colleagues and other interested individuals know about the consultation.
The deadline for receipt of comments on the proposed changes is October 17, 2017.
Summary of the Proposed Regulation amending the Registration Regulation made under the Medical Radiation Technology Act, 1991
Following is a summary of the proposed changes to the CMRTO registration regulation in order to regulate diagnostic medical sonographers with CMRTO as a fifth specialty. Click here to see the proposed regulation and here to see the consolidation of the registration regulation made under the MRT Act as if the proposed amendments have been made.
1. Registration requirements during grandparenting period
Initially, there will be a one-year grandparenting period starting in January 2018. The purpose of this provision is to permit those individuals working competently in diagnostic medical sonography currently or within the last three years to apply for registration as a DMS. These individuals may not have completed an approved educational program or an approved examination. Under the grandparenting provision an applicant must be, or must have been, engaged in practice in Canada within the scope of practice:
- on the day the regulation comes into force, or
- for at least 400 hours in the prior year, or
- for at least 1200 hours in the prior three years.
The applicant must also provide satisfactory evidence of their competence to practise in diagnostic medical sonography. All applicants must pay the application fee and the fee for registration required by the CMRTO by-law.
The scope of practice is the use of soundwaves for diagnostic ultrasound for the purpose of diagnostic procedures, the evaluation of images and data relating to the procedures and the assessment of an individual before, during and after the procedures.
2. Ongoing registration requirements
After the grandparenting period, the following registration requirements will apply to all individuals wishing to practise diagnostic medical sonography in Ontario:
- An applicant must have successfully completed an approved program in the specialty of diagnostic medical sonography or a program considered by the Council to be equivalent. The approved programs are set out in Schedule 1.3 of the proposed regulation and consist of the programs currently accredited by the Canadian Medical Association Conjoint Accreditation Services Committee.
- An applicant must have successfully completed one or more of the examinations approved by the Council.
- An applicant must have engaged in clinical practice, or completed the approved program, within the last five years.
- An applicant must meet all of the above requirements in the same area of practice within the specialty (ie. general sonography, cardiac sonography or vascular sonography).
If an applicant has not successfully completed an approved program or equivalent (for example, an internationally educated applicant), the applicant must satisfy the CMRTO Registration Committee that their educational program is substantially similar to an approved program and that the applicant is competent to practise diagnostic medical sonography. The requirements in the above paragraphs b, c and d also apply.
All applicants must pay the application fee and the fee for registration required by the CMRTO by-law.
3. Specialty Certificate
The proposed regulation provides that there will be one specialty certificate for diagnostic medical sonography. Applicants must meet all of the requirements for registration in the same area of practice within diagnostic medical sonography (general sonography, cardiac sonography or vascular sonography each being considered an area of practice) in order to be registered in the specialty of diagnostic medical sonography.
The title assures the public that the regulated professional is legally authorized to practise the profession in Ontario.
The proposed regulation provides that a member who is registered in the specialty of diagnostic medical sonography may use the title “medical radiation technologist – diagnostic medical sonographer” or “diagnostic medical sonographer” and the associated abbreviations, MRT(DMS) or DMS.
There is one title for all the areas of practice of diagnostic medical sonography, whether the individual has met the registration requirements in general, cardiac, and/or vascular sonography.
5. Conditions of registration
The current registration regulation requires all MRTs to engage in competent practice within every five year period in at least one of the specialties in which the member holds a certificate of registration. This provision will also apply to DMSs.
A new condition is proposed which would apply to all CMRTO members: the member shall practise only in the areas in which the member is educated and experienced.
Consultation and next steps
We wish to hear your comments on the proposed changes. Please add your comments and thoughts by using the form below, or by email here. The CMRTO Council will carefully review all comments before making any decisions regarding the proposed amendments. If the proposed amendments are approved by Council, notification and the finalized by-law will be posted to the CMRTO website.
The CMRTO will keep all MRTs informed of the proposed changes to the public register through its website, social media and Insights.
View the comments made to date below: