Training Services

We believe the biggest single factor in increasing detection rates is sonographer training. So the point of our training services is simple – to give health professionals the confidence, knowledge and skills to better spot heart defects during pregnancy screening.

We know it works – after we trained throughout Wales, detection rates climbed above 50%, the highest in the UK. So our mission is to train as many sonographers as possible, as regularly as possible.

We’re delighted to be launching a new National Training Fund for our sonographer training. The first phase will see us providing around 60 free days of training initially. If you think your hospital would benefit, then your trust can apply to be considered. Please find more information below or on our FAQ page.

“Thank you for the three training days you have given us and to all your trainers. The training has helped to consolidate our knowledge and skill and has been a great confidence booster for all our staff when examining the fetal heart.”

Jane Pennington, Princess Royal Telford Hospital

“Just did my first anomaly scan since you were here and everything you said came flooding back. It’s made a real difference. Was like scanning with new eyes. Or at least refreshed ones. Feel like I understand it so much better. So grateful – thank you.”

Daniel, Sonographer, Healthcare Group Guernsey

Apply to our National Training Fund

What we do

Our training services have four main strands:

        1. Practical training – We train up to 10 sonographers on a training day, usually five in the morning session and five in the afternoon session. We combine a theory presentation and practical hands-on training. We focus on normality but also cover the most common major cardiac abnormalities and how to recognise them. All of our trainers specialise in fetal echo and have many years of experience.
        2. Theory conferences – delivered jointly with leading fetal cardiology experts, our conferences cover the scanning planes of the fetal heart and cardiac abnormalities, as well as sessions hearing from patients and other relevant organisations.
        3. Online resource centre – this area is constantly growing to include training materials and videos, details of theory and practical training opportunities, research articles, statistics and links.
        4. Live webinars – Condition specific webinars for health professionals.

Sonographer Training

Our training aims to improve the prenatal detection of congenital heart defects using obstetric ultrasound at the routine 20-week fetal anomaly scan. We’ve trained sonographers to use the five views of the fetal heart for many years, and have lobbied for the three vessel and trachea (3VT) to be adopted into FASP’s fetal cardiac protocol, which we are delighted has now occurred. So, our training covers all five views:

        1. Abdominal situs
        2. Four chambers
        3. Aorta / left outflow tract
        4. Pulmonary / right outflow tract
        5. Three vessel and trachea

Because our training is hands-on, using the machines sonographers work on daily, as well as teaching how to achieve each view, we are able to help delegates with their hand-eye co-ordination, pattern recognition and 3D visualisation. We also take the opportunity to refresh our delegates on the embryological development and anatomy of the fetal heart. We also cover topics such as:

        • The importance of early antenatal diagnosis and referral
        • Scanning plans of the fetal heart
        • Structural abnormalities
        • Rhythm abnormalities
        • The parent perspective
        • Delivering difficult news during an ultrasound scan (in conjunction with ARC, the Antenatal Results and Choices charity)

Our practical training is aimed at departments, not individuals. We recommend training a small group of 10 delegates per day (five in the morning, and five in the afternoon), so for larger departments the training can occur over consecutive days.

Training is one of our main charitable activities, and thanks to the past support of funders such as the Royal London Foundation, Warburtons, Children’s Heart Surgery Fund and Sovereign Healthcare Charitable Trust, we have been able to make this service as accessible as possible.


Apply to our National Training Fund