FAMUS - frequently asked questions (FAQs)

This page aims to answer any queries you may about Focused Acute Medicine Ultrasound, the training or administration process. If you don’t find the answer here, please e-mail famus@acutemedicine.org.uk and we will endeavour to get back to you ASAP.



Can I accredit in just one module?

Yes. Since February 2023 the accreditation process has been split into individual modules, to allow more flexibility for clinicians to learn the areas that will be most beneficial to them. This also allows us to add more modules in due course.

I already have thoracic ultrasound level 1, is that the same as the thoracic module?

Unfortunately not. There are significant differences between the RCR focused / BTS accreditation processes and FAMUS thoracic, so they are not inter-changeable. However, anyone who has achieved level 1 thoracic ultrasound or BTS thoracic ultrasound competencies will already have a good understanding of the basics of chest ultrasound, and so they may well complete the thoracic module more quickly than the indicative time suggested.

I’ve done a lot of ultrasound before, do I have to complete the minimum number of scans?

Not necessarily. Those with significant ultrasound experience may be able to reduce the time and/or number of mentored scans required to achieve accreditation. This will be decided locally between candidate and Supervisor, and depends entirely on the candidate’s previous level of experience and current competence. Regardless of amount of previous experience, the candidate must complete the minimum number of Supervised scans in order to demonstrate their competence with their Mentor/Supervisor

I’ve already done ICE-BLU…do I have to do the FAMUS e-learning as well?

Yes. The FAMUS e-LFH module is a mandatory part of any of the FAMUS modules as part of the theory component - though you only have to complete it once regardless of how many FAMUS modules you undertake.

ICE-BLU was the previous e-learning module created to support some of the intensive care society POCUS competencies, but has now been 'retired' from use.

I’m not a doctor, can I undertake FAMUS accreditation?

Absolutely! We welcome all allied health professionals to accredit, as we acknowledge that the AMU team is made up of a varied number of professionals all of whom are involved in frontline care. In fact, it's clear that FAMUS is also relevant to those outside AMU who look after unwell patients. The only caveat is that you are registered with your professional body (or on the voluntary register for PAs). Healthcare students may also undertake the training, although they may only become accredited once completing their professional training and becoming registered (or provisional registration in the case of F1 doctors).



I don’t understand the difference between a mentor and a Supervisor?

To complete FAMUS accreditation, you must have a Supervisor who oversees your training and ultimately signs you off (much like an Educational Supervisor in medical training). They must be registered on the database and therefore have shown that they are competent to teach across the module(s) for which they are registered. Only a registered Supervisor can sign off the Assessment of Completion of Training which ultimately grants you accreditation.

A mentor is someone who is competent to teach an individual component of the curriculum (like a vascular technician for the DVT module), but may not be competent across the whole module. They do not have to be registered on the database, but instead just need to be agreed as suitable to train you by your Supervisor.

Therefore, much of your hands-on training may be delivered by mentors, while your Supervisor can oversee your training and sign you off as competent at the end.

I’ve got some experience at ultrasound but I’m not sure if it’s enough to become a Supervisor?

There are many people out there who have a lot of experience in ultrasound, but perhaps not formalised through accreditation or qualification. We want to hear from you! If you feel competent across an individual module and have previous teaching or mentoring experience, please submit a Supervisor application form (details available here), and the committee will get back to you regarding your suitability. We will often invite prospective supervisors to attend an upcoming course as faculty / observer if extra information is needed, and may hold train the trainers courses if there is suitable demand.

What if there isn’t a Supervisor at my hospital?

This is a common issue, and we recognise this is the biggest barrier to achieving FAMUS accreditation. The most practical solution is to approach your local Radiology Department to see if there are any willing staff members who can oversee your accreditation, and would be happy to therefore register as a Supervisor. It is important to remind them that they don’t have to physically supervise you doing all the scans – that can be left to mentors  – but they will have to approve the people who do train you (i.e. your mentors).

In our experience, enthusiasm and persistence with Radiology departments does seem to bear fruit, especially if you emphasise that once trained you will be likely to reduce the burden on Radiology services in the future!

Another option is to approach a Supervisor who is physically close to your hospital, who may be willing to oversee your training if you can find local mentors who will deliver much of the practical aspect of it. It is always worth asking.

Finally, we are working on a remote/web-based Supervision tool to reduce the impact of not being physically close to your Supervisor (scans and reports are reviewed online), which will help. You will however still have to have an approved Supervisor who agrees to help you remotely. More details about this will be released once confirmed.

Can I use remote/online supervision?

See above! The answer is yes, if you find a Supervisor who is happy to supervise you remotely (remember, they will still need to approve your mentors delivering the training). We also ask that the Supervised scans are undertaken face to face, to provide an opportunity to iron out any early issues and guage your future training requirements.

Remote supervision tools currently in use include hocuspocus and sonoclipshare. We are working on a bespoke alternative tailored tot he FAMUS accreditation process and will release details of this in due course.

The exact details of our approved remote supervision tool will be released as soon as they are confirmed, but there are a number out there already.

My potential Supervisor isn’t registered on your database, can I still register for accreditation?

If you have a Supervisor in mind who is experienced in ultrasound but not yet registered, we would encourage them to fill in an application form as soon as possible so we can consider their suitability to be a Supervisor.

You may still register for accreditation without a registered Supervisor, but we don’t recommend it.

I don’t have a Supervisor, can I still register?

You can, although we would recommend you only pay to register once you have a Supervisor confirmed.



I’m interested in running a FAMUS course, how do I organise one?

If your proposed course covers all of the four FAMUS components (theory, thoracic, abdominal/renal and DVT/peripheral vascular access) then it is likely we will be able to approve new Course sites. Please see the minimum standards document here to ensure your course covers all the FAMUS components. We would ask that you e-mail the course details to the administrator (famus@acutemedicine.org.uk), with proposed dates and confirmation you meet the minimum standards and we will endeavour to get back to you ASAP.

For new course sites, we ask that the first course be delivered with a FAMUS committee member as part of the faculty to quality assure the program and delivery, but subsequent courses at that site can be delivered according to the same programme with whatever faculty are chosen locally.

We also ask for a course fee to be paid to SAM, which allows the course to be advertised on the SAM website, and the course organisers access to the FAMUS lectures and course handbook for attendees. This fee is currently £200 (as of October 2019) – more details are available from the FAMUS administrator.


If your query is not answered above, then please contact the administrator (famus@acutemedicine.org.uk) who will aim to respond to you as soon as possible.