Credentialing Exams

Who is eligible?

EMSSA's recommendations for entering a credentialing exam are:

  • Attended an appropriate training course.
  • Performed at a minimum the recommended number and type of scans for each application.
  • Made use of PoCUS in the clinical setting, under appropriate supervision.

Any independent practitioner may attempt the credentialing examination.
There are no specific training or experiential requirements and experience through self-directed learning is appropriate.

However, given the nature of the examination, we would recommend that candidates have:

  • Attended an appropriate training course.
  • Performed at a minimum the recommended number and type of scans for each module:
    • eFAST (minimum of 25 accurate, clinically indicated eFAST exams)
    • Lung (minimum of 25 accurate, clinically indicated Lung Ultrasound exams)
    • AAA (minimum of 25 accurate, focused abdominal aorta scans)
    • Cardiac (25 accurate and clinically indicated basic cardiac ultrasound exams)
    • Vascular access (10 successful and clinically indicated ultrasound-guided central venous catheter insertions AND 10 peripheral catheter insertions)
    • DVT (minimum of 20 correctly performed, clinically indicated DVT ultrasound exams)
  • Made use of PoCUS in the clinical setting, under appropriate supervision.

We only recommend a certain number of scans be completed for each application but will not enforce it, nor require a formal logbook submission prior to attempting the credentialing examination.

Purpose of the credentialing exam

The primary objective of the credentialing examination is to ensure that you have all the skills required to use emergency PoCUS safely and effectively.

This would include:

  • The necessary knowledge.
  • Competent psychomotor skills (image generation and hand-probe-eye coordination for procedural guidance).
  • The ability to interpret images appropriately.
  • The ability to incorporate the PoCUS findings correctly into the clinical decision-making matrix.

Exam Format

There will be two components to the credentialing exam:

  • an MCQ/VAQ examination and
  • an examination with simulated patients.

Component 1: Theory based MCQ / VAQ exam

Component of examination

Computer-based MCQ/VAQ with multimedia:

60 questions

3 hours

Skills assessed

Theoretical knowledge
Image interpretation
Identification of normal and abnormal findings
Incorporation of ultrasound into the clinical decision matrix

Component 2: Practical exam - simulated patients exam

Component of examination

Cases with simulated patients:

3 simulation stations

20 minutes per station

Skills assessed

Theoretical knowledge
Image generation and optimisation
Image interpretation
Identification of normal and abnormal findings
Incorporation of ultrasound into the clinical scenario and the clinical decision matrix
Procedural skills

Simulated patients may or may not have actual pathology.

Assessment of the outcome of the examination

The following criteria will be used to assess the outcome of the written and practical examinations:

  • The pass mark for the MCQ/VAQ examination will be 80%.
  • The pass mark for each simulation examination will be 60%.
  • The candidate will need to pass both the MCQ/VAQ examination and each simulation examination to be successful at the credentialing.
  • If the candidate passes one component but not the other, the outcome will be regarded as an “INCOMPLETE – repeat component” and they may return at a subsequent credentialing examination to repeat that component.
  • If a candidate is unsuccessful in a single simulation station, but achieved a mark of more than 50%, they may be invited to attempt a supplementary simulation station at the same credentialing session.
  • If a candidate failed the MCQ/VAQ examination and one or more of the simulation stations, the outcome shall be regarded as “INCOMPLETE – repeat credentialing examination” and the candidate will need to reattempt the entire examination.
  • In addition, certain additional subminimum rules apply:

A candidate receiving a mark of less than 60% in the MCQ/VAQ examination will need to return to repeat the entire examination.

A candidate receiving a mark of less than 40% in any one of the simulation cases will need to return to repeat the entire examination.