Guidelines - Ultrasound Training for Residents

These guidelines are for Family Medicine Residents

They help describe the POCUS training expectations
of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)

The CFPC Residency Training Profile for Family Medicine includes POCUS as a Core Professional Activity for the Family Medicine Certificates of Added Competence in Emergency Medicine, Palliative Care, and Obstetrical Surgical skills

Guidelines - New tracks

These CPoCUS guidelines are for creating new tracks

They help maintain consistent standards of training across diverse tracks

Member Benefit: Members can propose new tracks

Disinfection Protocols

Protocols for hand-held ultrasound devices

Protocols for cart-based ultrasound systems

Guidelines - Safe courses

These guidelines are for situations where ultrasound courses are not permitted by provincial healthcare recommendations.

If ultrasound courses are not permitted by provincial recommendations, members can complete the Written exam remotely without the presence of an examiner. Members can also complete the Visual exam remotely while video-conferencing with an examiner. The Practical exam can be completed in person if all participants are wearing personal protective equipment.

Member communications


Archive of newsletters

View previous newsletters emailed to members


Archive of surveys

#01 The use of POCUS in hospitals during COVID-19 pandemic (University of Saskatchewan)

#02 Guidelines for safe ultrasound courses

#03 Plans and policies

#04 Evaluation of MOC program

#05 Survey on using POCUS scans performed on an ultrasound simulator for IP certification training

Please log in to view Letters to Members and Letters to Course Directors

Frequently Asked Questions

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We greatly appreciate all donations. Please contact us here.  

If you are taking a CPoCUS approved course, you can earn:

a) Up to 60 certified Mainpro+ credits from CFPC

b) 3 credits per 8 hours of activity; max 24 hours or 72 credits per course from RCPSC

If you are teaching a CPoCUS approved course, you can earn:

a) 1 non-certified credit per hour of teaching and/or preparation time from CFPC

b) 2 credits per hour of teaching from RCPSC

If you are administering a CPoCUS certification exam, you can earn:

a) 1 non-certified credit per hour of teaching from CFPC

b) 2 credits per hour of teaching from RCPSC

If you are supervising determinate scans, you can earn:

a) 1 non-certified credit per hour of teaching and/or preparation time from CFPC

b) 2 credits per hour of teaching from RCPSC

Please see our CME Credits webpage for more details.

Membership is open to all persons interested in POCUS. Please see Question #11 if you are an experienced POCUS user.

A sample of published articles for family medicine residents using POCUS:

a.  Micks et al  (2018) Canadian national survey of point-of-care ultrasound training in family medicine residency programs. Can Fam Phys 64(10):e462-e467.

b. Peng et al  (2019) Canadian national survey of family medicine residents on point-of-care ultrasound training. Can Fam Phys 65(12):e523-e530.

c. Steinmetz, P., Oleskevich, S. (2016) Family medicine ultrasound (FAMUS): indications, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness. J Fam Pract 65(8):517-523.

d. Book:

e. Bornemann et al., Assessment of Primary Care Physicians’ Use of a Pocket Ultrasound Device to Measure Left Ventricular Mass in Patients with Hypertension, J Am Board Fam Med. 2015 Nov-Dec.

f. Bornemann et al., Point-of-care ultrasound: Coming soon to primary care? J Fam Pract. 2018.

g. Assessment of a Novel Point‐of‐Care Ultrasound Curriculum’s Effect on Competency Measures in Family Medicine Graduate Medical Education. Paul Bornemann MD 2017

h. Audio file:

i. American Academy of Family Physicians:

Please go to My Account and follow the instructions.

It is essential that you log in with the email account associated with your CPoCUS account. Contact us if you are unsure which email address is associated with your account. Please use Chrome, Firefox, or Safari on a desktop computer for best website function.

The CORE exams have been completely re-designed and improved! The Written and Visual exams are now conducted online. The Practical exams have been vastly improved. They are now an objective assessment of the image generation skills every IP should possess. To find out more, click here.

For members with no previous IP certificates:

The IP candidate joins CPoCUS if not already a member or renews their account as a Noncertified Member ($25) .
IP candidate passes the exams.

IP candidate upgrades their account to Certified Member to receive an IP number, an IP certificate, and Certified Membership for one year ($125).

For members with a previous IP certificates:

The IP candidate renews their account as a Certified Member if membership has lapsed ($125).
IP candidate passes the exams.

IP candidate receives IP certificate.

You must be logged in to pay your membership dues. For best results, we recommend using a desktop computer. Do not use an iPad or tablet. To renew your membership, go to My Account> My Memberships> Renew.

The Exception to Certification application form was created to recognize senior clinicians who have acquired significant POCUS experience outside of the CPoCUS IP certification program.

Members with the following criteria can request an Exception to Certification:

  1. Have significant experience in POCUS scanning (average 7 years)

  2. Have completed 80% of the required number of supervised scans in each track module

  3. Have completed a significant number of POCUS courses

  4. Have significant experience teaching POCUS at courses and/or to individuals

If granted an Exception to Certification, members do not need to complete an introductory course or acquire logged scans and can proceed directly to attempt the three certification examinations.

All members must complete the three certification examinations regardless of experience.

Access the Exception to Certification application form relevant to your track here.

Yes. Anyone can become IP certified if they fulfill the requirements of certification. 

You can download the CORE logbook cover and pages by logging in and navigating to the Members section>relevant track>Logbooks

A list of CPoCUS-approved courses can be found here.

If the course you took is not listed, please contact the Society. Such courses can be approved on a case-by-case basis. An appropriate introductory course must cover the CORE indications and have an adequate amount of bedside scanning time. 

A list of CPoCUS-approved certification scanning workshops can be found in the track webpages in the ‘Train’ section.

CPoCUS is creating a centralized database of IP certified instructors. Please contact the Society and we will do our best to assist you.

Log into your account. Click on My Account in top right corner. Go to Past Invoices.

EDTU scans do not count towards CPoCUS certification requirements because:

a) EDTU instructors are often not CPoCUS IP certified and thus cannot certify others

b) EDTU courses do not follow the CPoCUS curriculum; thus criteria for a determinate scan may be different than CPoCUS criteria.

For order of payments, see Question #9.

The IP certification process is dependent on the IP candidate using the same email address for paying membership dues, or attempting the Written Exam. The examiner must also use this same email address when submitting an IP Request. The use of multiple email addresses will disrupt the certification process.

Supervised scans that are required for certification are valid for 5 years prior to passing the certification examinations. The date of the supervised scans is indicated in the logbooks.

Results from the Written examination are valid for 5 years prior to completion of the remaining Visual and Practical examinations for Independent Practitioner (IP) certification.

The use of POCUS, like most other medical skills, is governed by the scope of practice defined by the appropriate college for a particular physician’s practice. In some provinces, billing for POCUS is also restricted based on specialty and practice setting. Most hospitals have privileging for POCUS that defines the minimum requirements for a physician to use the skill.

CPOCUS provides a national and high-level set of training standards that can be used by successful candidates in their application to use POCUS in whatever setting they work. Some provincial billing schedules refer to CPoCUS or an equivalent program as an example of the minimum required level of training. Some hospital privileging committees and department chiefs also refer to CPoCUS or formal residency training as the minimum requirements for using POCUS in their institution.

In the case of working independently in a clinic, it is recommended to check with your specialty’s provincial or national organization and affiliated college to see what their current recommended requirements may be for this environment.

The timeline for receiving your IP certificate depends on two factors:

1) The date your examiner submits a request for your IP certificate and

2) The CPoCUS timeline for issuing certificates which is on the 1st and 15th of each month.

You will receive an email from our admin office with instructions on how to access your IP certificate.

Please wait for this email prior to contacting our admin office.

POCUS terminology

More info

Need help? Contact us

We’re happy to help and answer all POCUS questions!