Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography


 What is Certification?

The terms "certification" and "credential" (and certified and credentialed) are often used interchangeably. And while there are similarities, they are often not the same thing. The difference may be based in the context that the term is used and the organization that uses it. To further confuse things, there are other related terms such as accreditation, accredited, registration, ​registered, and registry.

In sonography, an individual takes one or more certification examinations and, if successful, becomes certified in a specialty area (​e.g., abdomen, vascular, etc.). The certification organization (i.​e., "registry") awards a credential to recognize the individual who has met all of the certification organization's qualifications/requirements.

Employers, insurers, accreditation organizations, and professional organizations in the sonography community are increasingly seeking demonstration of competence through sonographer certification/credential in each of specialty areas in which the sonographer practices.

For more information on how the various terms are commonly used, refer to the glossary below.

Sonography Certification/Credentialing Organizations

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  • Accreditation

  • Certificate

  • Certificate of Completion

  • Certification

  • Continuing Medical Education (CME)

  • Credentialing

  • Credentialing Terminology: Summary Tables

  • Licensure

  • Registered