Diagnostic Medical Sonographer – Frequently Asked Questions

1.      What is the purpose of regulating sonographers?

  • Regulating diagnostic medical sonographers (DMS) with the Saskatchewan Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (SAMRT) would bring all medical radiation and imaging specialties under one regulatory framework to enhance patient protection by establishing entry to practice requirements and continuing oversight of practice. 


2.      What will be the protected title of regulated sonographers and which categories of              sonographers are included under the protected title?

  • The protected title for sonographers will be ‘Diagnostic Medical Sonographer’ or ‘DMS.’ The practice of DMS is divided into three main sub-specialties; all of which are included in this application under the protected title of DMS:
    • Generalist sonographers, who image a variety of examinations, including abdominal, pelvic, obstetrical, breast and other soft tissues;
    • Vascular sonographers, who image arteries and veins throughout the body; and
    • Cardiac sonographers or echocardiographers, who image cardiac structures.
  • A consistent approach to the protected title ensures a smooth labour mobility approach to DMS transferring across Canada. In Canada, DMS are regulated as an additional discipline with the Nova Scotia College of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Professionals (NSCMIRTP), the College of Medical Radiation and Imaging Technologist of Ontario (CMRITO), the Order of Technologists in Medical Imaging, Radiation Oncology and Medical Electrophysiology of Quebec (OTIMROEPMQ) and upon proclamation with the Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists (ACDMTT). Across Canada, the discipline is recognized as Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (DMS).
  • Only members of SAMRT registered in a particular discipline are legally authorized to use that protected title. However, although these titles are protected, members are also encouraged to use their credentialed title in addition to the protected title.  For example: DMS, CRGS or, DMS, CRCS or, DMS, CRVS.  The same holds true for the specialty certifications MRTs have earned, for example RTMN, CTIC, PET/CT or, RTR, CIR.


 3.      What benefits can regulated sonographers expect?

  • The benefits of self-regulation include recognition of the education and training sonographers have undergone to practice as professionals, authorized use of a title (DMS), and assurance that the profession’s standards are enforced and the public protected.
  • By being self-regulated under the College of Medical Radiation and Imaging Professionals of Saskatchewan (CMRIPS), sonographers will join not only their medical radiation technologist colleagues, but also other healthcare professions registered in the province’s 27 regulated colleges, including medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and physiotherapy.


4.      Why not regulate sonographers as an independent stand-alone profession? 

  • Regulating a profession takes a significant amount of regulatory experience and financial resources which can mean that smaller health professions find it difficult to be regulated on a stand-alone basis.  Across Canada, the trend for sonographers is to be regulated with MRTs as in Quebec and Ontario, Alberta and Nova Scotia.  Joining SAMRT will put Saskatchewan DMS on equal footing with other regulated provinces. 


5.      How is public protection enhanced by regulation?

  • The mandate of the SAMRT is to serve and protect the public by making sure that its members are qualified to practice and are practising professionally. Our goal is to strengthen the safety, quality, oversight and transparency of medical radiation and imaging services by:
    • setting and enforcing standards of practice, ethics, guidelines and policies for the practice and conduct of members;
    • registering only those individuals who have met the educational and examination requirements for competent practice before they can practice or use the professional title;
    • requiring members to maintain continuous education (CE) credits (credits already required by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) or Sonography Canada are eligible for SAMRT CE);
    • addressing complaints and concerns from the public, patients and employers regarding professional conduct issues through its complaints and discipline process; and
    • providing current information about each member’s registration status, and past conduct to the public on its website.


6.      Current DMS will be grandfathered into the College of Medical Radiation and Imaging Professionals of Saskatchewan (CMRIPS).  How will this work?

  • It is anticipated that there will be a defined period of time that all sonographers can apply to be grandparented into the College.
  • The grandparenting period will permit individuals who have been working under credentialing with ARDMS or Sonography Canada in diagnostic medical sonography currently to apply for registration as a DMS. This ensures competent DMS practitioners are given an opportunity to register without fear of losing their job as a result of new registration requirements.
  • Anyone applying to register after the grandparenting period must meet all the new registration requirements which will be defined in the bylaws. These requirements may include demonstrating having successfully completed an approved program in diagnostic medical sonography and examinations approved by SAMRT’s Council and providing evidence of having engaged in clinical practice within the previous five years.
  • If an applicant has not successfully completed an approved program or equivalent (for example, an internationally educated applicant), the applicant must satisfy the College that their educational program is substantially similar to an approved program and that the applicant is competent to practice diagnostic medical sonography.


7.      Why did the Saskatchewan Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (SAMRT) change the name of the regulatory body?

  • In considering options for a name, we sought to represent all five disciplines, and to clearly indicate to the public, our regulated members, and other key stakeholders what the role of the organization is.


8.      How can sonographers be informed of the work being done to regulate their profession?

  • The SAMRT will be answering questions and communicating to stakeholders as important milestones occur.  
  • There are many areas yet to be developed and more details will come to light as we progress through the process.  Some of those activities and milestones will include:
    • Preparing proposed amendments to the regulatory and administrative bylaws.
    • Consulting with DMS and MRTs on proposed amendments to the existing Code of Ethics and Standards and Scope of Practice.
    • Engagement with sonographers to be represented on Council and Committees.
    • Updating the complaints process to ensure that representations of sonographers are added to both government legislated committees: Professional Practice Committee and Discipline Committee.
    • Other work to be defined to extend the public protection framework and improve transparency for medical radiation and imaging technology.
  • The main forms of communication will be e-blasts, newsletters and information posted to the SAMRT website.

9.      What is the timeline to complete the onboarding process to regulate diagnostic medical sonographers?

  • There is extensive work required to prepare for the diagnostic medical sonographers to become a regulated profession under the College of Medical Radiation and Imaging Professionals of Saskatchewan (CMRIPS) and this work will take some time to complete.  No definitive date can be provided at this time, but CMRIPS anticipates the onboarding process to be completed in the 2024 licensing year.


10.  What can the diagnostic medical sonographers expect to pay for licensing fees?  Is PLI covered under the licensing fee?

  • The current rate for a full-practice MRT is $425.00 annually.  This rate can be reviewed at any time and an increase applied if appropriate.  Therefore, the licensing fee cannot be definitively stated at this time.  PLI is not included in the registration fee but can be purchased from Sonography Canada.


Questions about regulation can be directed to SAMRT by email at: debbieschatz@samrt.org or by fax at 306-543-6161.