Paramedics Australasia is the peak professional body representing paramedics in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region. The organisation has an important role in setting standards of practice for the profession, and this role includes the development of paramedic competencies that inform the design of paramedic education programs. These competency standards represent the first consensus document that describes essential paramedic attributes, and were developed to support course accreditation and regulatory frameworks to enable paramedics to provide safe and effective health care for the communities they serve.
These standards were the result of a comprehensive review of contemporary standards adopted by international paramedic professional associations as well as those developed by medical, nursing and allied health disciplines and in countries with similar practice settings to those found in Australia and New Zealand. The review included an assessment of competency standards developed by paramedics in jurisdictions with similar practice and operational systems, including the National Occupational Competency Profile (NOCP) developed by the Paramedic Association of Canada and the Benchmark statement: Health care programme (Paramedic) for paramedics in the United Kingdom.
The review of extant standards and the development of this first version of paramedic competency standards for paramedics in Australia and New Zealand was undertaken by an expert panel of educators and clinicians from the Network of Australasia Paramedic Academics (NAPA). Support for the production of these competency standards has been provided by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching through the grant ID11-2069, Standards and quality indicators for best practice in paramedic and inter-professional experiential practice.