Message from the Registrar & CEO regarding the regulation of diagnostic medical sonographers

Linda Gough, the CMRTO registrar & CEO has shared the following message regarding the regulation of diagnostic medical sonographers:

Dear members, sonographers and stakeholders:

CMRTO Registrar & CEO message re: regulation of diagnostic medical sonographers

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has requested the College of Medical Radiation Technologists of Ontario (CMRTO) to regulate diagnostic medical sonographers with the CMRTO. The necessary regulations made under the Medical Radiation Technology Act come into force on January 1, 2018. Effective January 1, 2019, it will be mandatory for diagnostic medical sonographers to be registered with the CMRTO in order to be legally authorized to practice diagnostic medical sonography in Ontario and to apply soundwaves for diagnostic ultrasound. Individuals currently working in diagnostic medical sonography will have one transitional year to become registered with CMRTO. We welcome sonographers to the CMRTO!

We are delighted the government is extending the public protection framework by regulating diagnostic medical sonographers under the Regulated Health Professions Act and by making the regulatory framework consistent for all medical radiation and imaging technology by bringing diagnostic medical sonographers into the CMRTO as a fifth specialty. By being self-regulated under the CMRTO, sonographers will join not only their medical radiation technologist colleagues, but also other healthcare professionals registered in Ontario’s 26 regulatory colleges, including medicine, nursing, medical laboratory technology and physiotherapy. The benefits of self-regulation include recognition of the education and training sonographers have undergone to practice as professionals, and assurance that the profession’s standards are enforced and the public is protected.

CMRTO has been regulating medical radiation technologists in the specialties of radiography, radiation therapy and nuclear medicine for almost 25 years. Magnetic resonance imaging was added as a fourth specialty in 2003. Our goal at the CMRTO is to work with sonographers and MRTs to ensure a smooth and seamless implementation of diagnostic medical sonography into the CMRTO. We expect over 3,000 new members will be joining our 7,000 current members by the end of 2018.

The regulation of sonographers with CMRTO required amendments to three Ontario regulations and one Act. Schedule 6 of Bill 160, the Strengthening Quality and Accountability for Patients Act, 2017, which has received Royal Assent and is now awaiting the date of proclamation, will change the name of the CMRTO to the College of Medical Radiation and Imaging Technologists of Ontario (CMRITO).

We expect that the Medical Radiation and Imaging Technology Act (MRIT Act) will come into force on January 1, 2019. This exciting change will require the CMRTO to change all its regulatory and governance tools in 2018.

CMRTO Council, committees and staff will be very busy over the next year reviewing applications for registration from sonographers, and preparing for the name change. We will communicate with current members and applicants through email, the CMRTO website, and social media. We encourage sonographers to create an online profile in the CMRTO application portal as soon as possible after January 1, 2018 so we can send you important information by email before you are registered.

CMRTO recently consulted with MRTs and sonographers regarding changes to the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics to include the specialty of diagnostic medical sonography. We asked respondents to indicate whether they would prefer a print copy or electronic version of the Standards of Practice. An overwhelming majority - 80% - said they would prefer to receive the Standards of Practice by electronic methods. Given this positive response and the significant changes required to all CMRTO’s publications over the next year, we are ending all print publications and communications with members, effective January 1, 2018. As you know, CMRTO by-laws require members to have an email address that they personally check on a regular basis. This will now be our only method of communicating with members. As always, all our publications are available on the CMRTO website for viewing at any time.

We look forward to the exciting year ahead – regulating sonographers to ensure the protection of the public and preparing for the implementation of the MRIT Act that will regulate all medical radiation and imaging technologists under the College of Medical Radiation and Imaging Technologists of Ontario!

Please let your sonography colleagues and friends know about these important changes. We want to make sure that no-one misses the transitional year to become registered with CMRTO so sonographers are compliant with the legislation on January 1, 2019!


Linda Gough, MRT(R), MPA Registrar & CEO


Below is a timetable of the important milestones that are happening over 2018.


Activity / Status

January 1, 2018: Registration regulation and form of energy regulation come into force

  • CMRTO has legal authority to start to regulate sonographers
  • scope of practice expands to include the application of soundwaves for diagnostic ultrasound procedures
  • one-year grandparenting period for sonographers commences
  • sonography online application process available on CMRTO website
  • revised CMRTO Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics come into effect
  • new condition of registration is added to all CMRTO members’ certificates of registration (the member may practice only in the areas in which the member is educated and has experience)
  • revised CMRTO Quality Assurance Program comes into effect
  • revised Jurisprudence course (Legislation Learning Package) comes into effect
  • CMRTO ends print publications and communicates with members and applicants by email only (CMRTO members are required to have an email address that is distinct from any other member’s email address that they check personally and on a regular basis)

January 1 – December 31, 2018

  • sonographers are able to register with CMRTO, but it’s not yet mandatory
  • sonographers are able to apply for registration with CMRTO in one of two ways:
  • sonographers who become registered during 2018 are able to use the protected title, diagnostic medical sonographer (DMS), and are required to comply with all the requirements under the MRT Act, including adherence to the standards of practice, professional misconduct regulations, QA program, and others
  • sonographers are added to the online Public Register of Members as they become registered
  • CMRTO prepares for repeal of the MRT Act and replacement with the MRIT Act (updating by-laws, policies, publications, website)
  1. having practised the profession on Dec 31, 2017 (or 400 hours in the prior year, or 1200 hours in the prior 3 years); or
  2. having completed an approved educational program and an approved examination

July 1, 2018

  • administrative target for sonographers to submit applications for registration
  • CMRTO recommends sonographers submit their application no later than this date in order to have sufficient time to meet the December 31, 2018 registration deadline

December 31, 2018

  • grandparenting period for sonographers closes
  • all sonographers must be registered by this date in order to be legally authorized to practise diagnostic medical sonography on January 1, 2019

January 1, 2019 Controlled Acts regulation comes into force. Expected that MRIT Act will be proclaimed in force

  • sonographers must be registered with CMRITO in order to apply soundwaves for diagnostic ultrasound procedures
  • CMRTO name changes to College of Medical Radiation and Imaging Technologists of Ontario (CMRITO)
  • CMRITO by-laws, standards, guidelines and policies come into effect
  • updated website and publications are released
  • only one method to apply for registration: having completed an approved program and an approved examination (no grandparenting)

January – June, 2019

  • DMSs become completely integrated into CMRITO
  • first election for DMS Council members held