The first meeting of the Paramedic Registration Reference Group (PRRG) was held on Monday, 4th April 2016 with PA strongly represented around the table: President Dr Peter Hartley and Executive Officer Robyn Smith representing the broader PA membership, Mat Carter representing our student cohort Special Interest Group, the Student Paramedics Australasia (SPA), and Brian Maguire representing the academic Special Interest Group of Paramedics Australasia through the Network of Australasian Paramedic Academics (NAPA).

Chaired by Anne-Louise Carlton, Manager, Workforce Regulation Health & Human Services Workforce Branch, Department of Health & Human Services (VIC) (DHHS), other stakeholders in the PRRG include: Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), Australia and New Zealand College of Paramedics (ANZCP), Council of Ambulance Authorities (CAA), Council of Ambulance Authorities (CAA) National Ambulance Education Committee, Joint Health Command Department of Defence, National Council Ambulance Unions (NCAU), Private Paramedicine Australasia (PPA).

Four Phases of Paramedics Registration Project

It is proposed that the Paramedics Registration Project be managed in four phases:

  • Phase 1 – Project Scoping (Dec 2015 – March/April 2016)
  • Phase 2 – Settlement of policy parameters (Dec 2015 – July 2016)
  • Phase 3 – Settlement of drafting instructions, draft bill and enact legislation (Feb 2017 – May 2017)
  • Phase 4 – Establish administrative arrangements and implement regulation (Mar 2017 – Sept 2018)

The first three phases will primarily be managed by the lead team- Victoria’s DHHS and with support from QLD Health Department, and the fourth phase will involve greater consultation with AHPRA.

Expected outcomes and anticipated benefits of the Paramedics Registration Project

The expected outcomes from the project are:

  • Adoption/application of legislative changes in states and territories to bring paramedics into the National Scheme.
  • Establishment of necessary administrative arrangements to provide a smooth transition to registration under the National Scheme for the paramedic profession.
  • Provision of a single trusted source of information for health service providers and the public on the qualifications and professional standing of paramedics.
  • Provision of a swift and cost effective regulatory mechanism for dealing with unethical, incompetent or unlawful conduct by paramedics, including immediate action to protect the public.
  • Reduced costs to the health system through better identification and management of impaired, unethical or poorly performing paramedics.
  • Provision of a quality assurance platform for the paramedic profession that should enable more flexible and innovative models of health care and reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments.
  • Provision of comprehensive data for use in quality improvement of health services and the paramedic workforce.