Toll Free: 1-877-625-5297 (within Canada and USA only)

Frequently Asked Questions
Most of the information you need can be found below

General Questions

Will I be a "qualified" diagnostic medical sonographer if I take these correspondence courses?

At the present time, there is no broad legal or professional definition for a qualified diagnostic medical sonographer although this domain is gradually changing. Unlike medicine, nursing, or radiation technology, which are well established and regulated by the medical community and governments, the standards for training and practice in diagnostic ultrasound have not yet been regulated or legislated in most jurisdictions. Although there are no legal regulations regarding who can and cannot work in ultrasound, the "established norm" for the majority of employers (in Canada and the USA) is to hire or seek sonographers that are registered or registry‐eligible. Currently, both sonographers graduating from accredited and unaccredited formal training programs, and sonographers with informal training are eligible to take registry or certification examinations and receive credentials providing they meet specific defined minimum educational and clinical prerequisites. Eligibility prerequisites change periodically therefore it is incumbent on the individual seeking certification status to be properly informed and keep abreast of registry examination regulations.</p> Informally trained sonographers may take Burwin courses to meet registry ultrasound education credit hour requirements however the individual must be eligible to take the registry examinations under one of the application prerequisites. In addition, sonographers with informal training must also meet minimum clinical experience requirements as defined by the registry. The required minimum clinical experience varies from 12 months to 24 months full time equivalent depending on a candidate’s educational background.

Who is eligible to take ultrasound registry examinations?

Go to the ARDMS website and choose Applicants and Exam Prerequisites. Contact the ARDMS if you have any questions about your eligibility.

May I enroll in more than one correspondence course at a time?

Yes. There is no official limitation set for the number of courses you can take at a time. Of course, a practical limitation is the time you have available to take the courses. On average, there are four assignments to complete per course (approximately one assignment every three weeks) and a final examination to take at the end of the course. The course generally extends over a three and one half month period from the time course materials are received.

May I take these courses if I am not presently working in ultrasound?

Yes. Although these courses were initially developed for experienced sonographers to prepare for the board certification examinations, they are also appropriate for other health care providers (e.g. radiographer, nuclear medicine technologist, respiratory therapist, registered nurse, laboratory technologist) who would like to learn the theory and applications of diagnostic ultrasound. The learning objectives and curricula of these courses are similar to courses taken by students in formal training programs. To become clinically skilled and competent at performing ultrasound studies, a sonographer must acquire practical experience under the guidance and supervision of a registered sonographer or qualified sonologist (physician with ultrasound experience and skills).

Some courses are organized into Part 1 and Part 2. Can I take Part 1 and Part 2 at the same time?

You may enrol and start Part 1 and Part 2 of a two‐part course at the same time however you may not enrol in Part 2 of a course without also enrolling in Part 1 unless the instructor or the school authorizes you to do so.

Course Purchase and Delivery

How can I purchase a course?

You can purchase online on our website or over the phone. Method 1 – Online: Go to Courses and select your course options. Method 2 ‐ Phone: This method requires that you phone our order desk. Business hours are Monday to Friday: 8:30AM - to 4:30PM (Central Time Zone) Toll free: 1‐877‐625‐5297 (Canada and USA only) Other countries: 1‐204‐254‐1439

How long does it take for course materials to be delivered?

Course materials are processed within 24 hours of receipt of your order. Depending on where you live, you can expect delivery in 3 to 4 weeks. For faster delivery, you may request FedEx at your cost. Typically, the cost of FedEx delivery is between $75.00 and $250.00 depending on your location (and sometimes even higher).

Cancellations, Withdrawals, and Returns

What happens if I decide to cancel a course? And how much will it cost?

Enrollment in a course begins when an application is received by Burwin with full tuition payment. A full refund will be made to a student who cancels a course PRIOR to course materials being mailed out. The tuition fee (plus applicable taxes), less a $50.00 handling charge PER COURSE, will be refunded if cancellation is made after course materials are mailed to a student. The cancellation policy applies only to students who wish to cancel their course within 10 days of having sent the registration. A cancellation refund will be generated when UNOPENED course materials are received by Burwin

If I start a course, and decide not to continue, will I be refunded?

A student may withdraw from a course within 30 days of the course materials being mailed by Burwin. This policy applies to both regular and Package Deal registrations. The course materials must be UNUSED and UNMARKED. The tuition fee (plus applicable taxes), less a $75.00 PER COURSE handling charge, will be refunded. The refund will be generated as soon as the course materials are received by Burwin.

How do I return my course materials?

In order to guarantee delivery of the course materials to Burwin, they must be returned by registered mail or some form of guaranteed delivery service. When filling out the customs form please write, “Printed material originating in Canada, no commercial resale value.” No refund will be issued after 30 days of having received the course materials.

Assignments, Examinations, and Results

What is the consequence of being late or falling behind with assignments?

The assignment schedule is provided as a guideline and is flexible. We expect students to honor the due dates however, there is no penalty for being late. You should try to complete your final assignment by the due date, as all assignments have to be returned before the final examination is taken. Plan to work through the course on a regular basis. Sporadic study habits are not good for effective learning. The final examination is sent to your invigilator as soon as we receive your final assignment. The examination is not sent to your invigilator if you have not returned all assignments even though you may have provided us with invigilator details.

Do I have to take the final course examination?

No. If you are taking the course for continuing education credits, you do not have to take the final examination. To qualify for continuing education credits you must complete the course assignments. To receive a course certificate from The Burwin Institute, you must complete all assignments, take the final examination, and obtain a minimum passing grade of 70%. For two‐ part courses (Abdomen, Neurosonology), you must get a passing grade in both parts. To receive a Burwin course certificate for Obstetrics & Gynecology, you must get a passing grade in both courses.

If I enrol in more than one course, do I take the final course examinations on the same day?

Usually not. A student must make arrangements with an invigilator as to the time and place to write the exams on the scheduled day. Procedures and details for the invigilator are outlined in the course registration package.

What is an invigilator?

An invigilator is a person who accepts the responsibility of supervising the final examination in a course. The examination may be taken online or on paper. An internet ready computer in a quiet room is required for the online examination. The invigilator for an online examination is given a password for the examination site and administers the examination on the prearranged day, time, and location.  The invigilator for the paper version of the examination receives the examination paper by mail and administers the examination on the prearranged day, time, and location.

Who may serve as my invigilator?

This person may be a supervisor, department head, physician, hospital or public librarian, instructor etc. An invigilator may not be a peer, e.g. nurse, x‐ray tech, or sonographer in an non‐authoritative position over you; a close relative, e.g. spouse, uncle; or a non professional, e.g. secretary.

What are my invigilator's responsibilities?

For administration of an online examination, your invigilator is responsible for securing a quiet room with a reliable internet ready computer that is JavaScript enabled.  Burwin provides your invigilator with a password that opens the examination in your course record via the Burwin Student Login portal.  The final examination is closed book and no study aids are allowed.  For administration of a printed examination, your invigilator is responsible for receiving the examination, securing a quiet room to take the examination on the prearranged day, time and location, ensuring the security of the examination before and while it is being taken and returning your completed answer sheet. The final examination is closed book and no study aids are allowed. The examination answer sheet should be faxed, emailed or returned by regular mail. The student is responsible for the cost of returning the examination answer sheet. 

When must I find an invigilator if I decide to take the final examination?

You should complete and send your invigilator information with submission of your first assignment.  The invigilator information may be completed and submitted online, fax, or mail.

What happens if I chose to do the printed examination, change my mind, and my invigilator has already received the examination?

You must instruct your invigilator to return the examination unopened to The Burwin Institute. The student is responsible for the cost of returning the examination.

Do I complete a separate invigilator form for each course if I'm enrolled in more than one course?

Yes. An invigilator form is included in each course and must be completed for each course even if the same person is the invigilator for all the courses you are enrolled in.

May I take the final examination on a date other than the date indicated on the Assignment Schedule?

Yes. You may take the final examination on an alternate date only if personal illness or unavoidable circumstances prevent you from taking the examination on the scheduled date or if the invigilator of choice is unavailable on the scheduled examination date. If necessary, the alternate examination date should be within five calendar days of the scheduled examination date (before or after). For example, if the scheduled examination date is December 7th, an alternate examination date between December 2 and December 12 is acceptable. Please notify us by email, phone or fax if circumstances require you to take the examination on an alternate date. We ask that all students make a sincere effort to take the final examination on the scheduled date.

When can I expect to receive my course results?

For an online examination you will see your examination result immediately when the examination is completed and submitted. For a printed examination,  your mark will be posted and you can expect to receive your course results by mail approximately two weeks after we receive your final examination answer sheet.

What happens to the final examination?

If you take the online examination it can be viewed in your Burwin online course record (BOSS) for one year from your course registration date. You keep the examination paper if you take the paper version of the examination. The completed answer sheet is returned to Burwin by the invigilator immediately after it is taken. You are able to determine from the returned examination answer sheet which questions you answered incorrectly. Direct your attention to question topics which you answered incorrectly. However, for effective registry preparation, all topics should be studied as broadly as possible. Many different questions can be asked about any topic. If you understand a topic well, you should be able to answer any question on the topic. You should not study a topic by memorizing test or examination questions. Some individuals are so dependent on studying this way, they end up with tunnel vision and cannot answer a question correctly about the topic unless the question is identical to the question they memorized. The chance that a registry question be identical is, of course, very remote. If you get a question wrong on the examination, review the topic related to that question, and test yourself with the assignment questions relating to the topic.