Paramedic Registration Hotline – Q&As

Home / Paramedic Registration Hotline – Q&As

It is envisaged that there will be strong presumption of reasonable equivalence based on the robust registration system that has been established in the UK for many years.

The newly formed Paramedicine Board of Australia will be responsible for setting national standards in a number of areas. Some will relate to the mandatory administrative requirements for registration and others will relate to minimum educational and recency of practice requirements. These educational standards will set national benchmarks for degree accredited courses, similar to the current CAA credentialing process.

In terms of clinical guidelines, each individual service (and private operator) will have their own clinical practice guidelines to align with the scopes of practice of their registered paramedics – in this sense, the current status will remain while we would envisage that the national registration of paramedics will potentially see the evolution, over a period of time, of national clinical guidelines.

In summary, your scope of practice will remain the domain of your employer.

While the Paramedicine Board of Australia, when formed, will make decisions on categories of registration, if experience in other jurisdictions and disciplines is any guide, there is likely to be pathways for registration which relate to each individual.

While the detail of which paramedic specific categories will be introduced is yet to be determined, more information on categories of registration can be found on the AHPRA website at http://www.ahpra.gov.au/Support/Glossary.aspx#R

PA will be providing members with all the relevant information on the types of registration categories as this information becomes available.

While the Paramedicine Board of Australia, when formed, will make decisions on categories of registration, if experience in other jurisdictions and disciplines is any guide, there is likely to be a non-clinical registration pathway for paramedics similar to yourself and others, such as university academics, who no longer actively practice on the road to become registered under the scheme.

More information on these categories of registration can be found on the AHPRA website at http://www.ahpra.gov.au/Support/Glossary.aspx#R

PA will be providing members with all the relevant information on the types of registration categories as this information becomes available.

It is recognised that people employed as medics and provide valuable services in this capacity – including in the armed forces. The title ‘medic’ is not a restricted title and medics will not be required to be registered. However, as some medics have paramedic qualifications and or experience, they may wish to apply for registration as a paramedic, especially while grandparenting arrangements are available.

In terms of your personal circumstances, if the Board finds you meet this criteria and you are able to meet any additional requirements set by the Board, it would appear as though your application for registration would most likely be accepted based on your training and experience – although it will be for the Board alone to assess whether your recent experience, and exposure to clinical cases, reaches the required level.

The Board will be asked to consider a position statement that clarifies the title protection that operates under the National Scheme, particularly having regard to ‘medics’.

The National Law sets out ‘grandparenting’ provisions, which are available for three years from the commencement of participation day. They enable a person who is working or has worked as a paramedic to apply for registration even if the person does not hold an ‘approved qualification’ for registration, but has other qualification/s, training and experience practicing the profession.

‘Approved’ qualifications for general registration for paramedics will be decided by the Paramedicine Board after it is established.

The grandparenting provisions in the Amendment Bill state that an individual is qualified for general registration in paramedicine if the individual:
a.       Holds a qualification or has completed training in paramedicine, whether in a participating jurisdiction or elsewhere, that the Board considers is adequate for the purposes of practising the profession; or
b.      Holds a qualification or has completed training in paramedicine, whether in a participating jurisdiction or elsewhere, and has completed any further study, training or supervised practice in the profession required by the Board for the purposes of this section; or
c.       Has practised paramedicine during the 10 years before the participation day for a consecutive period of five years or for any periods which together amount to five years and satisfied the Board that they are competent to practise paramedicine.

There are five mandated registration standards that all national boards are required to develop, publicly consult on, and submit for approval by the Ministerial Council:
1.       Professional indemnity insurance arrangements
2.       Criminal history if applicants
3.       Continuing professional development
4.       English language skills, and
5.       Recency of practice.

Importantly for your personal circumstances, if the Board finds you meet this criteria and you are able to meet any additional requirements set by the Board, it would appear as though your application for registration would most likely be accepted based on your training and experience – although it will be for the Board alone to assess whether your recent experience, and exposure to clinical cases, reaches the required level. If this is hopefully the case, you may be required to complete some make-up CPD throughout the grandparenting period, while it is less likely that you will be required to complete a degree qualification.

Under the new scheme for national registration, it is stated that an approved qualification will be required for a paramedic to be registered. An approved qualification is one obtained by completing an approved program of study for the profession. The soon to be appointed Paramedicine Board of Australia will have the responsibility for determining the approved qualification over the next 12 months.

There will be three main pathways to be ‘qualified’ for general registration as a paramedic.

1. Pathway 1 – will be for those paramedics that hold an approved qualification or otherwise qualify for registration, for example because they hold a qualification that is substantially equivalent to or based on similar competencies to an approved qualification. 2. Pathway 2 – grandparenting arrangements (which will be available for people to submit an application for general registration within three years from the commencement of paramedic registration (participation day). 3. Pathway 3 – a person holds a Diploma of Paramedical Science issued by the Ambulance Service of NSW.

On the above basis of Pathway 2, you will qualify for registration under the grandparenting provision. If it was determined that your qualifications required upgrading, you would be able to continue in your current work role for three years before needing to address this and apply for national registration. AHPRA would advise you on any further study or training you would be required to undertake.

Paramedics from all work-settings (private and ambulance services) will be required to register if they intend to work as a paramedic. Registered paramedics will have national mobility and can work in any state or territory in Australia provided they meet the five key requirements listed previously.

The key requirements to obtain and maintain registration are:

· Professional indemnity insurance arrangements (PA is providing an affordable product for members) · Criminal history of applicants · Continuing professional development (PA has developed a range of CPD activities and an eLearning platform, and individual CPD portfolio to enable members to achieve these requirements) · English language skills · Recency of practice. (primarily relates to paramedics who are not currently working)

Paramedics from all work-settings will be required to register if they intend to work as a paramedic. Under the new scheme for national registration, it is stated that an approved qualification will be required for a paramedic to be registered. An approved qualification is one obtained by completing an approved program of study for the profession. The soon-to-be appointed Paramedicine Board of Australia will have the responsibility for determining the approved qualification over the next 12 months.

There will be three main pathways to be ‘qualified’ for general registration as a paramedic.

1. Pathway 1 – will be for those paramedics that hold an approved qualification or otherwise qualify for registration, for example because they hold a qualification that is substantially equivalent to or based on similar competencies to an approved qualification. 2. Pathway 2 – grandparenting arrangements (which will be available for people to submit an application for general registration within three years from the commencement of paramedic registration (participation day). 3. Pathway 3 – a person holds a Diploma of Paramedical Science issued by the Ambulance Service of NSW.

Your recognised paramedic degree will more than likely avail you of the opportunity to register under the National Law, provided you meet all the other mandatory requirements. Your recognised paramedic degree will more than likely avail you of the opportunity to register under the National Law if you meet all the other mandatory requirements.

Paramedics will be required to pay a one-off application fee as a first-time registrant in addition to annual registration fees. These payments are made to AHPRA and the fee amounts will be determined by the Paramedicine Board of Australia and AHPRA and payments are made to AHPRA to contribute to the running of the national registration program. Although the fees have not been determined as yet, based on similar professions, it is envisaged that the fees would be equivalent to similarly sized and scoped professions noting that we envisage that the inaugural Paramedicine Board will prioritise this decision when it is formed later this year.

The key requirements to obtain and maintain registration are:

· Professional indemnity insurance arrangements (PA is providing an affordable product for members) · Criminal history of applicants · Continuing professional development (PA has developed a range of CPD activities and an eLearning platform, and individual CPD portfolio to enable members to achieve these requirements) · English language skills · Recency of practice (primarily relates to paramedics who are not currently working)

Paramedics will be required to pay a one-off application fee as a first-time registrant in addition to annual registration fees. These payments are made to AHPRA and the fee amounts will be determined by the Paramedicine Board of Australia and AHPRA. Payments are made to AHPRA to contribute to the running of the national registration program and we understand that these fees can be claimed as an employment expense for taxation purposes. Although the fees have not been determined as yet, based on similar professions, it is envisaged that the fees would be equivalent to similarly sized and scoped professions noting that we envisage that the inaugural Paramedicine Board will prioritise this decision when it is formed later this year.

In terms of professional indemnity insurance fees, PA will soon be launching a professional indemnity insurance program with extremely affordable fees for members and a range of benefits including legal support should the paramedic be subject to a ‘notification’ under the National Law, and where the employer does not fund the advocacy process.

It is our understanding that there will be a consistent rate for registered paramedics, with the title ‘paramedic’ protected under the national law. Solely depending on the determinations of the Paramedicine Board of Australia, ‘interns’ or ‘graduates’ may have access to provisional registration which could possibly vary in quantum cost. This means that once registration commences, a person can only call themselves a paramedic if they meet the national standards for registration.

Under the new scheme for national registration, it is stated that an approved qualification will be required for a paramedic to be registered. An approved qualification is one obtained by completing an approved program of study for the profession. The soon to be appointed Paramedicine Board of Australia will have the responsibility for determining the approved qualification over the next 12 months.

There will be three main pathways to be ‘qualified’ for general registration as a paramedic.

1. Pathway 1 – will be for those paramedics that hold an approved qualification or otherwise qualify for registration, for example because they hold a qualification that is substantially equivalent to or based on similar competencies to an approved qualification. 2. Pathway 2 – grandparenting arrangements (which will be available for people to submit an application for general registration within three years from the commencement of paramedic registration (participation day). 3. Pathway 3 – a person holds a Diploma of Paramedical Science issued by the Ambulance Service of NSW.

The key requirements to obtain and maintain registration are:

· Professional indemnity insurance arrangements (PA is providing an affordable product for members) · Criminal history of applicants · Continuing professional development (PA has developed a range of CPD activities and an eLearning platform, and individual CPD portfolio to enable members to achieve these requirements) · English language skills · Recency of practice. (primarily relates to paramedics who are not currently working)

While your primary premise is correct, experience in other registered health professions has been that ‘top up’ professional indemnity insurance is an additional safeguard where circumstances may arise when an employer denies liability and coverage. The additional insurance also provides individual legal advice and advocacy when dealing with a notification or communication from AHPRA under the National Law.

The AHPRA requirement for private professional indemnity insurance is consistent across the existing 14 national registered health professions.

The two primary activities AHPRA undertakes that are relevant to insurance for registered paramedics are to investigate paramedics in relation to complaints (notifications) made by third parties and to conduct random audits of proof of professional indemnity insurance.

Consumer complaints resulting in an investigation by AHPRA may result in:

• A requirement for a formal response from the Paramedic to AHPRA • An enforceable undertaking/registration restrictions • Suspension • Referrals for prosecution.

PA has developed a very affordable professional indemnity insurance product for members that meets the requirements stipulated by AHPRA and this will be launched in the next three months.