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Provisional Certification Approved By National Registry Board

Mar 20, 2020

National Registry Board Approves Provisional Certification
Responding to the nationwide need for Emergency Medical Services personnel and the social-distancing public health guidance, the Executive Committee of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians gave emergency approval to add a Provisional Certification. The Provisional Certification will be automatically assigned to any candidate that (1) completes an educational program at the EMR, EMT, AEMT or Paramedic level and (2) successfully passes the National Registry’s cognitive examination. The requirement for completing the psychomotor examination is suspended for the duration of the national emergency or until psychomotor examinations can be safely reinstated in the United States.

“This is a vital step in ensuring that we are able to continue to get qualified and competent EMS personnel into our communities during this national emergency,” said Bill Seifarth, executive director of the National Registry. “This decision, along with this pandemic, is evolving and requires swift, bold measures to ensure the continued safety and health of the public.”

Transition from Provisional to Fully Registered
Once the national emergency is over, Provisionally Certified EMS providers will be given ample time (months) and specific instructions on the psychomotor examination requirements. Whenever a Provisionally Certified EMS provider’s record at the National Registry indicates the successful completion of valid cognitive and psychomotor examination requirements, the provider’s status will automatically transition from provisional to fully registered.

Access to Cognitive Examinations
The National Registry cognitive examinations are administered via the global Pearson VUE network of test centers. In addition to National Registry examinations, the Pearson VUE network is used to administer the certification/board examinations for many health professions, including nurses, pharmacists and physician assistants.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many (but not all) of the Pearson VUE testing centers across the globe are closed. The National Registry is aggressively working to restore the cognitive examination network and to implement an alternative cognitive testing option. Details on the status of the cognitive examination network will be updated on a regular basis.

Provisional Registry Status, the Workforce and State Licensing
Individual states will need to determine how to incorporate the Provisional Certification into their rules and regulations, and ultimately the local workforce. Provisional Certification is not a substitute for full National Registry certification, but it is a mechanism the National Registry is making available to states as they enact emergency rules and regulations to preserve the EMS workforce, with an assurance that the Provisionally Certified EMS providers completed the cognitive examination. States may implement a practice of requiring a Provisionally Certified EMS provider to only work with a nationally registered and state licensed EMS provider.

Implementation of the Provisional Registration Status
“Although the Provisional Certification status was approved, it will take some time for our technology systems to display the new certification. Our technology team is aggressively working to modify our systems,” according to Donnie Woodyard, the Chief Operating Officer.