Certification Program Process, Time Frame, and Cost

Application​ ​process:
     The certification program is currently only available for veterinarians, and you must be a current member of IVUSS to apply.  To access the application, click Certification Program on the Main Menu, Information, then “Candidate Application”.  The application fee is $50.  
The Certification Committee will review the applicant’s coursework and equipment set-up. You will be notified if additional coursework is necessary, and a new application fee will be required when you apply again.
     Once accepted as a Candidate, you will be granted access to special Main Menu items under “Certification Program” that will allow you to pay for the program online as well as upload your case reports.  The next steps are to: 
  1. Pay for your Normal Cases using the Case Report Payment Portal under Certification Program.  
  2. Upload your Normal Cases—These cases will be a complete abdominal ultrasound and a complete echocardiogram, both done on normal patients.  These are to be submitted in Word or PDF format, and each must be less than 15MB in size (download your images from your ultrasound machine in jpg or jpeg format to most easily accomplish this).  Please see Case Report Guidelines for the Standard IVUSS imaging protocols as well as examples of Normal Case submissions.
     These Normal Cases will be reviewed, and if accepted, the candidate may continue with the program.  The next steps are:
  1. To pay for cases 3-5.  Once the payment is made, your IVUSS mentors are assigned.  
  2. Upload the first case report (case 3) for review.  See Case Report Guidelines for the proper case report submission requirements and format.  It is strongly suggested that the first case report be completed before writing up and submitting any further cases so that the candidate better understands what the reviewers are looking for.  
All​ ​cases​ ​must​ ​be​ ​the​ ​work​ ​of​ ​the​ ​applicant!​​ ​ 


Final Exam Process:
     Once final approval of all fifteen submitted case reports has been received, the candidates will then be invited to take the final written exam, and once that is passed, the practical exam.
     The written test is online and is comprised of 100 questions with a three-hour time limit. The test consists of two primary sections – short essays and anatomy/images.  Within these sections, the candidate will be evaluated on ultrasound equipment and physics, echocardiography, basic abdomen, advanced abdomen, and musculoskeletal/small parts. This will be closed book and will be remotely proctored by an IVUSS certified member. The candidate must achieve a minimum score of 70% to pass. The examination may be taken up to three times, each no sooner than 30 days after the last attempt. After three unsuccessful efforts, the candidate is no longer qualified for the program; there will be no financial reimbursement.
     Upon successful completion of the written exam, the candidate will be eligible to take the practical exam. This may be performed either online/remotely or at the annual meeting if a wet lab is available.
     The practical exam involves the candidate performing both a complete abdominal ultrasound study as well as a complete echocardiogram. Each study type is time-limited to 15 minutes, during which the candidate will be expected to describe the views and structures that are imaged. Every effort will be made to provide normal patients. Any pathology encountered may be briefly mentioned but finding and detailing these is not the intent of the test. The candidate may take the practical exam up to two additional times, no sooner than 3 months apart, if necessary. Failure to pass the practical portion of the exam three times will result in the candidate being dropped from the program with no financial reimbursement.


Time Frame:
     The Candidate is allowed up to 3 years from the time of enrollment to successful completion of the online final exam (average time to completion is 2 years). If the time frame is exceeded, a 1-year extension must be applied for, and if approved, an additional fee will be required. During the 3-year time frame, the candidate must:
    • Complete the Casebook of 15 cases.
    • Pass a written exam.
    • Pass the practical exam online or at the next annual meeting, which may extend past the 3-year time frame.


     The cost of the program is split into 5 parts. Payment for the case series must be made prior to uploading the first case in that series. It is the responsibility of the candidate to keep track of when payments are due.
  1. Initial application -- $50
  2. Two Normal Cases (cases 1 and 2) -- $275  
  3. Cases 3-5 -- $375
  4. Cases 6-10 -- $625
  5. Cases 11-15, final written exam, practical exam -- $625.
Please note:
  • If a case is rejected, there will be an additional charge of $100 for the replacement case.
  • Certification Program enrollees are required to maintain membership in IVUSS during the process.  After successful completion of the program, continuous membership is required to maintain certification.

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