Paramedicine Board of Australia - Qualifications

Qualifications

The Paramedicine Board of Australia (the Board) is responsible for the regulation of paramedics. An important element of regulating the profession is to ensure that only paramedics who possess the knowledge, skills and professional attributes to safely practise the profession are qualified for registration as a paramedics in Australia.

An applicant can be qualified by having either:

  • an approved paramedicine qualification 
  • an accepted paramedicine qualification
  • a paramedicine qualification(s) that is substantially equivalent to an approved qualification or based on similar competencies 
  • a relevant paramedicine qualification(s) and have successfully completed the paramedicine competency assessment required by the Board, or
  • have been previously registered as a paramedic in Australia under the National Law.

Paramedics who have current registration to practice as a paramedic in New Zealand may apply for registration under the provisions of the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act.

Approved qualifications are current qualifications issued from an approved program of study. Education providers and their paramedicine programmes of study that are assessed monitored and accredited by the Paramedicine Accreditation Committee and approved by the Board are approved programs of study.  Approved programs of study in paramedicine can be found on the Ahpra website

Accepted qualifications are specific qualifications issued by the Ambulance Service of New South Wales and can be either:

  • a Diploma of Paramedical Science, or
  • a Diploma of Paramedical Science (Ambulance) or an Advanced Diploma of Paramedical Science (Ambulance), or
  • a Diploma in Paramedical Science (Pre-Hospital Care) or an Advanced Diploma Paramedical Sciences (Pre-Hospital care).

Applicants seeking to be qualified for registration by holding a qualification that is substantially equivalent or based on similar competencies will need to have their qualification assessed against the following criteria before making any application for registration.

The Paramedicine Board of Australia has approved the following threshold requirements that Ahpra will use to assess whether an individual holds a qualification (or qualifications, when considered together) that the Board considers substantially equivalent or based on similar competencies to an approved qualification: 

  • The qualification was recognised by a statutory registration/licensing body for registration as a paramedic in the country where the individual completed the program of study leading to the qualification and the individual has met any pre-registration examination requirements. If there is no registration/licensing for paramedics in that country, the qualification enabled the individual to practise paramedicine in the country where the applicant completed the program of study leading to the qualification, and
  • at the time the individual was awarded their qualification as a paramedic the qualification was subject to quality assurance and recognised or accredited by a body external to the education institution and the quality assurance was based on published accreditation standards for paramedic education. The accreditation standards for paramedic education must include all of the following
    • contemporary approaches to education
    • institutional resources (staffing and facilities)
    • evidenced based and contemporary practice
    • clinical placements including “on the job” paramedic experience under supervision across a range of healthcare and community settings, and
    • medication management that addresses safe and effective use of medicines.
  • The published processes for reviewing programs/providers against the accreditation standards must include the following:
    • an assessment conducted by an individual or team with appropriate expertise in education and in paramedic practice, and
    • regular review of the program of study such as annual reporting or cyclic re-accreditation, and
    • the academic level of the individual’s qualification is comparable to (at a minimum) an Australian Bachelor degree. (AQF L7)

Possible outcomes of qualifications assessment

If the outcome of Ahpra’s assessment is that an individual holds a qualification (or qualifications, when considered together) that the Board considers substantially equivalent or based on similar competencies to an approved paramedicine qualification, Ahpra will advise the individual to apply for registration. Subject to the individual’s application for registration meeting all other suitability and registration requirements, these individuals may be granted general registration.

If the outcome of Ahpra’s assessment is that an individual does not hold a qualification (or qualifications, when considered together) that the Board considers substantially equivalent or based on similar competencies to an approved paramedicine qualification, Ahpra will use the Board’s approved threshold requirements described in this policy to assess whether the individual holds a qualification (or qualifications, when considered together) that the Board considers relevant to the paramedicine profession in Australia.

Applicants seeking to be qualified for registration by holding a relevant qualification and successfully completing the competency assessment required by the Board will need to have their qualifications assessed against the following criteria before making any application for registration.

The Board has approved the following threshold requirements that Ahpra will use to assess whether an individual holds a qualification (or qualifications, when considered together) that the Board considers relevant to the paramedicine profession in Australia: 

  • the qualification was recognised by a statutory registration/licensing body for registration as a paramedic in the country where the individual completed the program of study leading to the qualification and the individual has met any pre-registration examination requirements. If there is no registration/licensing in that country the qualification enabled the individual to practise paramedicine in the country where the applicant completed the program of study leading to the qualification, and
  • the program of study leading to the individual’s qualification covered the following:
    • evidenced-based and contemporary paramedicine practice
    • clinical placements including ‘on the job’ paramedic experience under supervision across a range of healthcare and community settings, and
    • medication management that addresses safe and effective use of medicines.
  • the academic level of the individual’s qualification is comparable to (at a minimum) an Australian Advanced Diploma or Associate Degree (AQF L6)

Possible outcomes of qualifications assessment

If the outcome of Ahpra’s assessment is that an individual holds a qualification (or qualifications, when considered together) that the Board considers relevant to the paramedicine profession in Australia, the Board requires the individual to successfully complete the paramedicine competency assessment to qualify for registration through the section 53(c) pathway. The Board’s paramedicine competency assessment is conducted across Australia by a consortium of universities, under the terms of an agreement with Ahpra. More information on the required assessment can be found at www.paramedicassessments.com.

Successful completion of the competency assessment required by the board entails achieving a minimum score of 40 out of 60 in the Multiple Choice element, competence in 17 of the 20 criteria across the five OSCE tasks including competence in all of the safety criteria and demonstrated competence in 9 of the 12 criteria across the two Scenario assessments including competence in both of the safety criteria.

If the outcome of Ahpra’s assessment is that an individual does not hold a qualification (or qualifications, when considered together) that the Board considers substantially equivalent or based on similar competencies to an approved paramedicine qualification, or relevant to the paramedicine profession in Australia, Ahpra will recommend the individual’s pathway to qualify for general registration is completion of a paramedicine program in Australia that leads to an approved qualification.

 
 
 
Page reviewed 1/12/2021