News & Events

Update on the DMS Standards Revision

MARCH 2019 | In December 2017, JRC-DMS submitted a formal request to the CAAHEP Standards Committee to review the proposed revision of the Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. The proposed Standards document has been thoroughly reviewed and with further recommendations incorporated by the CAAHEP Standards Subcommittee. On February 25, 2019 the CAAHEP Standards Subcommittee approved the draft of the proposed Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

Next Steps

As per the CAAHEP Policies & Procedures the next steps in the process are as follows:

  • The JRC-DMS will seek endorsements from its sponsoring organizations on the proposed revised Standards.
  • Upon receiving all sponsoring organization endorsements, the JRC-DMS will submit a request to CAAHEP for an open hearing on the proposed Standards and Guidelines.
  • CAAHEP will then schedule a public open hearing. CAAHEP will determine the time and place of the public open hearing with at least 30 days’ notice to the appropriate communities of interest.
  • The JRC-DMS will notify all DMS Programs on the time and date of the CAAHEP Opening Hearing. Notification will also be posted on the JRC-DMS website once the opening hearing has been scheduled.

Key Changes in the Proposed Standard

  • Elimination of the General Learning Concentration and the creation of separate Abdominal and Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) Learning Concentrations. DMS programs accredited in the General Concentration will be accredited in 2 concentrations, Abdominal and OB/GYN.
  • Addition of 2 new learning concentrations: Breast Sonography and Musculoskeletal Sonography.
  • All DMS Programs must appoint an appropriately credentialed and qualified Clinical Coordinator to aid in facilitating clinical education.
  • Curricula for all Learning Concentrations will be located in Appendix B.
  • The required clinical competencies for all learning concentrations will be located at the end of their respective section in Appendix B.
  • Exceptions to clinical competencies have been eliminated.

The JRC-DMS anticipates that the proposed Standards will be implemented by the end of 2019. There will be a transitional phase which would allow all accredited DMS programs to become fully compliant with the proposed Standards. To assist in the understanding of the proposed Standards, a Standards Interpretive Guide (SIG) is being developed.

New JRC-DMS Fee Structure Effective January 1, 2020

MARCH 2019 | With the anticipated implementation of the proposed Standards, the JRC-DMS Board announces a new JRC-DMS fee structure effective January 1, 2020. This is the first major change to the fee structure in more than 10 years.The fee changes are as follows:

Annual Fee:

  • $1,500 for 1 or 2 concentrations
  • $2,000 for 3 or more concentrations
  • $500 for each satellite/multi-campus location reviewed, if applicable
  • The fees for addition of clinical sites for recognition will be eliminated.

Self-Study Fee:

  • $1,400 (initial or continuing and regardless of the number of concentrations)
  • $500 for recognition of each satellite/multi-campus location (if applicable)

Administrative Fee:

  • $50 for late material submission
  • $500 for failure to report substantive changes

Revised Annual Report Template

FEBRUARY 2019 | The JRC-DMS Annual Report Template has been revised and will be required beginning with the March 2019 due dates. Among the key features of the revised annual report template include the following:

Clinical Affiliates

  • Listing of clinical affiliates where accredited specialties are performed. Examples: Programs accredited in the general concentration only list abdominal and OB/GYN clinical sites. Programs accredited in the adult cardiac list their affiliates for adult cardiac student placement.
  • A column to indicate whether a current contract/agreement is on file.

Information Tab

  • Required signatures of the Program Director and Dean upon completion of the annual report.

Outcomes Tab

  • Reporting of student retention with revised threshold (see new policy below) and with codes to report reason(s).
  • Up to three years of reporting of action plans.

Supplemental Sites

  • Listing of supplemental clinical affiliates (i.e., inactive sites or sites used for student observation).
  • Examples: Programs accredited only in the general concentration may list vascular clinical sites that are used for student observation. Programs accredited in adult cardiac may list pediatric cardiac or vascular clinical sites used for student observation.

A copy of the revised JRC-DMS Annual Report Template as well as instructions on how to complete the annual report are available on the JRC-DMS website at www.jrcdms.org/maintain.htm. Accredited DMS Programs will receive the revised annual report template via e-mail at least one month prior to when their completed annual report and fees are due.

New Policy Announcement Effective Immediately

Policy of Reporting Student Retention in Annual Reports in Lieu of Attrition and Revised Threshold with Sliding Scale

The JRC-DMS Board of Directors announce a new policy related to the reporting of student attrition on the JRC-DMS Annual Report. Student retention (the inverse of attrition) will now be reported on all annual reports with a revised threshold of 70% (30% attrition). For programs with low student enrollment per year (< 9) the sliding scale below can be used to adjust the number of students required to meet the criteria resulting in an adjusted retention rate:

Comment Period for Proposed Changes to the CAAHEP Standards & Guidelines for DMS Now Open - COMMENT PERIOD NOW CLOSED

JUNE 19, 2017 | The formal 30-day period to submit comments to the proposed revisions of the CAAHEP Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in Diagnostic Medical Sonography is now open.

The comment period may be accessed on the JRC-DMS website at jrcdms.org/comment_period.htm.

The JRC-DMS is seeking feedback from the communities of interest prior to the submission to the CAAHEP Standards Committee. All comments must be submitted using the comment period platform. The JRC-DMS will not accept comments that are e-mailed. The official comment period will end on July 19, 2017.

Gerry Magat, JRC-DMS Executive Director, is available to provide assistance via email at magat@jrcdms.org or by calling the JRC-DMS office at 443-973-3251.

Updated JRC-DMS Clinical Affiliate Spreadsheet

FEBRUARY 21, 2017 | The Clinical Affiliate section of the JRC-DMS Annual Report has been revised to include the listing of credentialing registry numbers from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT) for all clinical instructors. This revision will help programs improve their record-keeping of their clinical instructors at their respective clinical sites and provide the JRC-DMS with information to quickly verify all clinical instructors and their credentials. The revised annual report and instructions for how to complete it can be found on the JRC-DMS website at www.jrcdms.org/maintain.htm.

In order to provide ample time to gather credentialing registry numbers, all accredited DMS Programs will be emailed a template of the revised annual report with their previous year’s information 60 days prior to when the annual report is due. Please ensure the accuracy of the clinical instructors’ names and their respective registry numbers on the annual report.

Gerry Magat, JRC-DMS Executive Director, is available to provide assistance via e-mail at magat@jrcdms.org or by calling the JRC-DMS office at 443-973-3251.

New Policy Announcement, Effective Immediately

Policy of Notifying the JRC-DMS on Key Personnel Vacancies

OCTOBER 2016 | The JRC-DMS Board of Directors announces a new policy related to required notification on key personnel vacancies. This policy outlines the process when there is a change in the Program’s administration and key personnel.

For Administration, the program is to notify the JRC-DMS in writing within 90 days of the change.

For Key Personnel: Program Director, Concentration Coordinator, Clinical Coordinator and/or Medical Advisor, the program must notify the JRC-DMS office and adhere to the following timelines:

  • Within 30 days of the vacancy of key personnel, notify the JRC-DMS of the vacancy and provide the name, completed summary Curriculum Vitae and Curriculum Development and Education Experience Worksheet of the interim personnel who will be responsible for the functions performed by the individual who vacated from the program.
  • Within 90 days from the date of the vacancy of key personnel, the program must provide a progress report to the JRC-DMS on the status of the personnel change and fulfilling the position.
  • Within 180 days after the vacancy occurred, official notification of the appointment of key personnel must be provided to the JRC-DMS. Notification includes a letter of appointment on official program letterhead, a completed summary curriculum vitae form, and a completed curriculum development and education experience worksheet.

Any program not adhering to the policy in a timely manner would be subjected to a $500 administrative fee for failing to report a substantive change.

Gerry Magat, JRC-DMS Interim Executive Director, is available to provide assistance via e-mail at magat@jrcdms.org or by calling the JRC-DMS office at 443-973-3251.

Publication of the Updated Edition of the National Education Curriculum (NEC)

SEPTEMBER 1, 2016 | The updated edition of the National Education Curriculum (NEC) is now available on the JRC-DMS website at jrcdms.org/nec.htm. The NEC was written with the intent of being used as a guide for curriculum development by Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) education programs and as a resource for students or sonographers. The information in the document is not intended as a requirement for accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and does not supersede the CAAHEP Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs. The updated NEC reflects updated content, current technology, and knowledge required of an entry-level sonographer. Read more»

Change to CAAHEP Standard V.A.4. Fair Practices, Publications and Disclosures

MARCH 4, 2015 | The JRC-DMS sent a memo via email to all CAAHEP accredited programs announcing a change to the CAAHEP Standards. The memo included the standard language change and the requirements for the program to assure compliance by January 1, 2016. Read to the memo»

JRC-DMS Launches New Website

JANUARY 20, 2015 | The JRC-DMS is pleased to announce the launch of its new website, jrcdms.org.

The redesigned site  embodies the JRC-DMS’s commitment to the growing needs of programs looking to achieve CAAHEP accreditation. The site's homepage welcomes visitors with a clean, uncluttered design, and features content centered on the JRC-DMS's mission to establish, maintain and promote quality education standards in diagnostic medical sonography.

Program Goals and Expectations (Compliance to Standard II.C Minimum Expectations)

JANUARY 2015 | The 2011 CAAHEP Standards for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in Diagnostic Medical Sonography require that program goals are documented. Standard II.C Minimum Expectations states the following, The program must have the following goal(s) defining minimum expectations: "To prepare competent entry-level XXXX sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains."

The program must include the above parenthetical statement verbatim within the program goals in order to be compliant with the standard. Variations of the statement of verbiage intending to convey these goals will result in a citation and require the program to provide evidence that the statement has been included in its documentation.

Request for Exception to Clinical Competency Policy Now Available

JANUARY 2015 | It has been noted in review of clinical competencies that on occasion programs have difficulty obtaining clinical sites that perform certain examinations, therefore utilizing alternative methods to assess competency in performance of these tests.

Though the JRC-DMS Board of Directors feels strongly that all competencies should be completed in the clinical setting, due to the challenges documented by programs for a few select procedures the Board developed a policy allowing programs to apply for an exception to competencies. The policy and required forms are located on the JRC-DMS website. To review the policy, please visit jrcdms.org/getstarted.htm.

Curriculum Development Form Now Available

JANUARY 2015 | When there is a change to a program’s Program Director, Concentration Coordinator or Clinical Coordinator the JRC-DMS must be notified and include a completed Summary Curriculum Vitae Form. This form requires a description of how proficiency in curriculum development (Program Director/Concentration Coordinator) and proficiency in teaching methodologies (Clinical Coordinator) is obtained.

Because these proficiencies can be acquired in a variety of ways, the JRC-DMS has developed a form to assist in defining how these standards are met. This new form should be completed and included with the Summary Curriculum Vitae Form when submitting to the JRC-DMS for approval. To download the forms, please visit jrcdms.org/getstarted.htm.

Calculating Attrition

JANUARY 2015 | When calculating attrition, the total number of students for each cohort is defined as - the total number of students who are enrolled at the time of the first sonography core class plus any student(s) who have reentered into the program and is part of that cohort of students progressing to the same graduation date.