College of Paramedics

Last updated

College of Paramedics
Founded2001 (2001)
Headquarters Bridgwater
12,700 (2017)
Key people
  • Chair: John Martin
  • Chief Executive: Tracy Nicholls
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The College of Paramedics is the recognised professional body for paramedics in the United Kingdom. The role of the College is to promote and develop the paramedic profession across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


The college represents the paramedic profession across key organisations such as the UK regulator – Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), [1] the Department of Health and the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (JRCALC). [2]


Paramedicine in the UK began with regional schemes in the 1970s, the AEMT oversaw examinations and registration.[ citation needed ] A pass rate of 5% due to the wide syllabus and negatively marked high standards prevented the NHS from adopting the scheme, it would have cost too much and taken too long.[ citation needed ] Individuals had been self funding up to then and using days off as well as leave to undertake hospital training.[ citation needed ] The NHS introduced a national course in 1986 for 'extended care ambulance staff.[ citation needed ]' Existing Paramedics sat a conversion examination in November 1986 with the first certificates being awarded alphabetically[ citation needed ]. Courses began in the following year. The introduction of professional national registration of paramedics in 2000 led to a demand for the formation of a new professional body. [3]

Paramedics were the only professional group in the initial registration to not have clear representation by a central professional body. Two members of staff from the then Essex Ambulance Service, Stephen Dolphin and Richard Lane,[ citation needed ] established a professional association to represent the paramedic profession and undertake the self-regulation of paramedic standards and education required by the HPC.[ citation needed ] The name of British Paramedic Association (BPA) was agreed at an inaugural meeting held at AMBEX in 2001. [4] In 2009 the organisation's name was changed to the College of Paramedics. This reflected the association's ambitions to be the professional voice of pre-hospital ambulance clinicians, and also to act as the driving authority for increasing the quality of prehospital clinical care education, training, proficiency and continuous professional development.[ citation needed ]

In November 2015, the college was awarded registered charity status. [5] As of June 2017, the college had a total membership of 12,700 – around 35% of registered UK Paramedics. [6]


College governance

The board of trustees is appointed to ensure the college serves the interests of its members and the paramedic profession. It is responsible for the governance, oversight of business and the setting of the strategic direction for the profession.[ citation needed ]

The board is supported by an executive team and staff.


There are three levels of membership available within the colleg:[ citation needed ]

Post-nominals and fellowships

The college authorises the use of the following post-nominals by members:[ citation needed ]


The college has published policy, including;

The college are active participants of a range of groups, including the Joint Royal College Ambulance Liaison Committee and the AACE Clinical Practice Guidelines. [10] The college is also a member of the Royal College of Physicians hosted Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party and Guidelines Development Group, leading the pre-hospital guidelines development sub-group. The college has been the key partner in the development of the Professional Guidance on the Content of Ambulance Clinical Records. [11]


The college represents the views and interests of the paramedic profession on various groups: [12]

See also

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  1. "About Registration - Professions - Paramedic". Health Professions Council.
  2. "Main Committee Members". Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee.
  3. Whitmore, David; Furber, Roland (2006). "The Need for a Professional Body for UK Paramedics". Journal of Emergency Primary Health Care. 4 (1).
  4. "About us". British Paramedic Association. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011.
  5. "The College has been awarded Registered Charity Status" (Press release). College of Paramedics. 23 November 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  6. "Strategic Plan 2014: a five-year strategy for the College of Paramedics". Journal of Paramedic Practice. 6 (7): 376–378. 2 July 2014. doi:10.12968/jpar.2014.6.7.376.
  7. "A Curriculum Framework for Ambulance Education" (PDF). British Paramedic Association. February 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  8. "College of Paramedics (British Paramedic Association) updated position paper following JRCALC recommendations on paramedic intubation" (PDF). College of Paramedics (British Paramedic Association). 22 September 2008. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  9. "Administration of drugs by Paramedics and Student Paramedics" (PDF). College of Paramedics. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  11. "NHS England » Professional Guidance on the Structure and Content of Ambulance Records".
  12. "Representation". College of Paramedics. Retrieved 25 July 2016.