Fact sheet: Using the title 'paramedic' after 1 December 2018

Download a PDF copy of the Fact sheet: Using the title paramedic after 1 December 2018 (116 KB,PDF)

What happened on 1 December 2018?

From 1 December 2018 paramedicine became a nationally regulated profession under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act (National Law)1 and the titles ‘paramedic’ and ‘paramedicine’ became protected by law. This means that as of 1 December 2018, only people who are registered with the Paramedicine Board of Australia (the Board), or who applied for registration before 1 December 2018 and their application is yet to be finalised, are able to lawfully call themselves a paramedic.

Why is it important that the title 'paramedic' becomes protected by law?

Title protection is an important way that the National Law protects the public. When a person calls themselves a paramedic, the public can be assured that the person is suitably trained and qualified and is registered with the Board.

A person must be registered with the National Board if they:

  • Take or use the title ‘paramedic’ in a way that could be reasonably expected to induce a belief that the person is registered under the National Law, (s 113(1)(a)) and/or
  • take or use a title, name, initial, symbol, word or description that, having regard to the circumstances in which it is taken or used, indicates or could be reasonably understood to indicate, that the person is a paramedic or is authorised or qualified to practise in the paramedicine profession, (s 116(1)(b)) and/or
  • claim to be registered under the National Law or hold themselves out registered under the National Law, (s 116(1)(c)) and/or
  • claim to be qualified to practise as a paramedic (s 116(1)(d)).

If I submitted my application before 1 December 2018 can I continue to call myself a paramedic?

Yes, if you submitted your application for registration as a paramedic before 1 December 2018 you can continue to use the title ‘paramedic’ or otherwise hold yourself out to be a paramedic until your application is decided. If you are granted registration as a paramedic and maintain your registration you can continue to use the title lawfully. If your application is refused you must cease using the title paramedic or otherwise ‘hold yourself out’ as a paramedic or as a person qualified to practice paramedicine.

If I submitted my application after 1 December 2018 can I continue to call myself a paramedic?

No, if you did not apply for registration before 1 December 2018 you are unable to use the title paramedic or otherwise hold yourself out as a paramedic until you have been granted registration by the National Board.

Retired paramedics

Many senior paramedics have worked long and hard to achieve the benefits of registration and now that has been achieved, we are receiving enquiries about using the term ‘retired paramedic’ as they move into retirement.

While the title ‘paramedic’ is a protected title, when used with the word ‘retired’ it is unlikely to amount to an offence under the National Law if it is used in such a way that it does not induce a belief that the person is still a registered paramedic.


1Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law).

 
 
Page reviewed 10/04/2019