In keeping with our mission to promote safe, efficient and quality healthcare for Canadians, the Canadian Association of Radiologists works closely with recognized experts and other professional bodies to develop national standards and guidelines. Our goal is to ensure the optimal procedure is done in the optimal way so that Canadians can benefit fully from diagnostic imaging and from the skills and expertise of radiologists.

National Practice Guidelines (formerly referred to as Standards)

The CAR’s evidence‐based practice guidelines define the principles of practice that will obtain the best radiological result. Serving as guidelines for healthcare professionals and industry, CAR practice guidelines promote high quality care for diagnosis and treatment.

Download a National Practice Guideline


Referral Guidelines

The CAR has developed Diagnostic Imaging Referral Guidelines to help physicians order the most appropriate and effective diagnostic imaging procedure for specific clinical circumstances.

Download a Referral Guideline



Lifecycle Guidance for Medical Imaging Equipment in Canada
(A summary of the report is also available)
This comprehensive document provides guidance on the replacement, upgrading and introduction of new and emerging technologies in medical imaging devices, including digital radiography, ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance, etc. The recommendations are easily applied yet robust, and meant to be used in a variety of settings.

Maximum Wait Time Access Targets for Medical Imaging (MRI and CT)
CAR released its report on National Maximum Wait Time Access Targets for Medical Imaging related to MRI and CT. The CAR report highlights 13 recommendations to promote consistent and equitable access to medical imaging care.

Peer Review Guide
The CAR has prepared a document outlining the requirements for peer review processes and suggests how such processes can be integrated into practice, ideally adopted and standardized nationally and provincially.

Maximizing the Effectiveness of Clinical Audits: A Step-by-Step Guide
An audit is a clinical quality improvement process that seeks to improve patient care and outcomes through a systematic review of care against explicit criteria and the review of change. Aspects of the structure, process, and outcome of care are selected and systematically evaluated against explicit criteria. Where indicated, changes are implemented at an individual, team, or service level and further monitoring is used to confirm improvement in healthcare delivery. (Definition from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence UK, 2002)
To view examples of clinical audits and templates, click here.

Medical Imaging Primer with a Focus on X-Ray Usage and Safety
The aim of this primer is to provide a concentrated and focused information package as a quick reference guide for students, pertaining to diagnostic radiation usage and safety, with a focus on modalities that involve the use of x-rays.


Important Notice, September 2012: Renaming CAR Practice Standards

The CAR has made a change to its nomenclature for practice standards.

The medical community generally uses the term clinical practice guideline to describe what the CAR has, up to now, referred to as a practice standard. These are principles of practice that serve as guidelines for healthcare professionals and industry and help to obtain the best radiological result. In order to align itself with the more commonly utilized terminology, the CAR Board of Directors has approved a change in nomenclature for its practice standards – these will now be referred to as practice guidelines.

Practice guidelines established prior to September 2012 will continue to reflect the former term, while those adopted as of September 2012 will reflect the new term.

Guidelines related to appropriateness in imaging will continue to be referred to as referral guidelines.