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NAEMT to Launch Initiative to Globally Improve the Practice of EMS

Apr 27, 2017

For many years, NAEMT has been asked to help countries with less developed EMS systems to raise the standards of prehospital practice and training by providing a method to validate EMT and paramedic competencies.

In 2013, NAEMT hosted an EMS in Latin America forum to hear first-hand the challenges faced by Latin American EMS leaders. The 45 participants at that forum confirmed the need in their countries for a framework to validate prehospital provider competency. In response, NAEMT began to explore ways to address this great need, in partnership with Ascend Learning (the parent company of Jones & Bartlett Learning).

In 2015, Ascend Learning partnered with Fisdap, a robust platform to help with recordkeeping and certification testing. In 2016, this testing system was used during pilot projects in Colombia, Mexico, and Panama to validate certification assessment items. These pilots are being conducted in partnership with EMS stakeholders in each country—the ministries of health, universities, emergency medicine societies, the military, Red Cross, and NAEMT training centers. 

Ascend Learning has recently formalized this initiative with the establishment of the International Paramedic Registry (IPR) to:

  • Develop a standardized process and tools to accurately evaluate knowledge and skills required for credentialing that will allow for learning to be measured, compared, and analyzed.
  • Offer recognized credentials that will enhance public understanding and trust, and elevate the status of prehospital care.

NAEMT’s role in this initiative is to establish a new non-profit organization, the International College of Paramedicine (ICP), to help countries in need to develop EMS standards of practice and training, and support the work of IPR.

The ICP will:

  • Utilize EMS education standards from countries that possess a robust EMS system as a foundation for establishing a common scope of practice model with standards of care and core competencies needed to provide care.
  • Identify a maintenance standard and, in collaboration with IPR, the requirements for continuing education to ensure knowledge and skills are maintained.
  • Recruit subject matter experts from around the world to assist countries in need in developing their prehospital standards and identifying core competencies.
  • Provide advice and guidance to country-specific IPR initiatives.

We will keep all NAEMT members updated on this initiative as it progresses.