ACT Ambulance Service (ACTAS) Intensive Care Paramedics (ICP’s) have been recognised as Health Professionals by Fair Work Australia.
The decision, brought down by Commissioner Deegan on 29 March, follows a prolonged campaign by the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU). ACAP (ACT) contributed throughout the campaign by drafting of definitions and descriptors of ICP work, as well as tendering witness statements.
The decision means that ACTAS ICP’s will be reclassified from Technical Officers to Health Professionals. ICP’s are now recognised as belonging to a profession in the ACT, an important step on the road to professional regulation.
ACT Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Mr Simon Corbell said: “This is a very important milestone for the ACT Ambulance Service, and sees Intensive Care Paramedics (ICP) recognised for the professional job they perform in our community,”
In making the decision, Commissioner Deegan determined that ICP’s “… critically think, appraise, judge and act independently in novel and complex situations.” Also, crucial was “the fact that ICP’s have an increasing body of specialist knowledge, are working in a multi-disciplinary and integrated health care system, and are required to exercise clinical judgement.”
The strong membership of ACAP (ACT) was critical to the outcome. According to Commissioner Deegan, “…evidence also described the role of the Australian College of Ambulance Professionals. … This evidence was particularly relevant to the resolved issue relating to recognition as a profession.”
ACAP (ACT) Branch Chair, Toby Keene, congratulated the TWU on a well fought campaign and lauded the efforts of ACAP members, particularly Steve Mitchell and Therese Moore. Mr Keene said, “All ACAP members should be proud of the role they played in achieving this fantastic outcome.”