COVID-19 impact on accreditation and reaccreditation
The COVID-19 pandemic is already putting unprecedented strain on echo services and the British Society of Echocardiography understands the effect this will have on logbook collection. We also recognise that some members due to re-accredit in June have missed the opportunity to collect their final points due to the cancellation of key educational events.
To help support candidates and members at this stressful time, the Society has established the following policies to cover logbook submissions and re-accreditation.
- All log-books and re-accreditations will be given 12 months automatic extension and up to 10 points reduction in their reaccreditation BSE points requirements for the five year cycle. If you require an automatic extension, please contact us.
- We also recognise that this is a difficult time for departments to change their normal reference values: we will therefore extend the point of changeover by six months from October 2020 to March 2021.
- If anyone requires an extension beyond the above please apply through the normal extension process- see Extension requests.
- For the avoidance of doubt, candidates who were to sit the practical assessment on Sunday 22 March 2020 will not be given an automatic extension.
COVID-19 impact on written and practical examinations
Written exam: we have published the normal references poster for LV dimension, volumes and mass, Aortic root size, RV, RA and LA dimensions- see Protocol & guidelines. Therefore, the upcoming written exam in October 2020 will refer to these references ranges where that information is required.
Diastolic function and valve assessment should be described and assessed according to existing published references ranges until the anticipated publication of a new diastolic function assessment protocol and valve reference ranges in the latter part of 2020 or the early part of 2021.
The written examinations from Spring 2021 onward will be based on and require knowledge of all new guidelines: please check this location of our website for full updated information before commencing your revision. We will update this area of the website as things change.
Log-books and viva case reports: As departments transition to the new normal ranges, we would hope to see this reflected in log-books. However, to accommodate the effect of COVID-19 on departmental workflows we will not mandate the use of any of these new normal ranges in log-books or for viva cases until 1 March 2021.
Cases included in log-books and viva cases examined prior to the March 2021 sitting of the practical exam may use the parameters current within their department. We encourage candidates to use the new normal ranges wherever possible: during the examination process examiners may bring the new ranges to the attention of the candidate but there will be no expectation of knowledge of the new ranges until after 1 March 2021.
Cases included within log-books after 1 March 2021 and viva cases examined at the March 2021 practical and thereafter, must be reported using the published new normal ranges for all parameters.
Log-book content for transthoracic Level II and ACCE exams: to recognise the need to reduce patient contact during the COVID-19 pandemic we will allow the following changes to log-books submitted from now until June 2021.
- Up to 20 Level 1 studies can be included in the 'other section'
- Up to 15 valve studies can be focussed studies if the purpose of the study is follow up of a valve lesion and a full study has previously been undertaken. The previous report must be attached: this does not need to have been performed by the candidate and will not be assessed. The valve in question must be fully assessed in the normal way.
- Up to 5 LV function studies can be focussed studies if the if the purpose of the study is follow up of LV function and a full study has previously been undertaken. The previous report must be attached: this does not need to have been performed by the candidate and will not be assessed. The valve in question must be fully assessed in the normal way.
- Stress, TOE and Level I log-book content remain unchanged.
- All automatic 12 month log-book extensions remain in place for all subspecialty exams. If you require a further extension please let us know through the normal channels- see Extension requests.
Practical exam: our next practical examination will be held in Coventry on Saturday 1 August 2020. This examination will be for those candidates registered for the March and June practical exams which have been delayed by COVID-19. We will release further details of the precise content of this examination closer to the time when more information is available on government recommendations for group gatherings. Please keep a look out for updates here.
Changes over time: COVID-19 will continue to effect working practices for the foreseeable future. Please keep checking this location on the website for updates as things change: we will be making changes as time goes on to try our best to support candidates to get their accreditation completed in these unprecedented times. If you need any further clarification please contact us.