As I look through my previous messages, it dawned on me that it has been a while since we have had something that resembled an inspirational message. We often focus our topics on regulatory requirements, such as CC or liability insurance, so I thought it might be time to put together something a little more visionary.
If you have been a steady reader of the Pulse, you will recall that we made announcements this past year related to two very important projects.
The Canadian Organization of Paramedic Regulators (COPR) launched the Pan-Canadian Essential Regulatory Requirements (PERRs) project in August. (Some might remember this announcement as they were looking for regulated members to join the three committees associated with the project.) The PERRs project is working to align the practices of different designations at a national level and reducing the gaps in practice between jurisdictions. This project will also serve as an important tool to regulators who are required to both adhere to provincial regulations as well as comply with federal labour mobility legislation when assessing applicants from other jurisdictions.
The Paramedic Association of Canada’s (PAC) 2011 National Occupational Competency Profile (NOCP) has provided an adequate basis for curriculum development; however, it has become dated and there are elements within Section 16 of the PPR that the NOCP does not fully address. The College has had to create its own standards to address these areas as paramedicine in Alberta has exceeded the 2011 NOCP. PAC is currently updating the NOCP to better align with the advances in the profession since its inception.
Unity among designation practices is an important advancement in the profession at a national level. This will make education and labour mobility applicants moving across jurisdictions a smoother transition and ensure there are no gaps in practice between jurisdictions. Until these new competencies and regulatory requirements are complete and adopted, for patient safety, the College must apply restrictive conditions to labour mobility applicants who do not meet the educational requirements set out in Alberta.
These projects may also be able to bring some form of consensus on what competencies constitute the designation of Critical Care Paramedic, a title that is used in four jurisdictions in Canada but is not completely aligned with the 2011 NOCP. I know that this designation has been something that many members have wanted to see put into practice for a long time now, myself included. Having clearly defined national regulatory requirements for the education and scope of practice for this designation would certainly assist our efforts in pursuing the necessary changes to our regulations to make this designation possible in Alberta.
With both projects shooting for a completion date of the middle of 2023, I know there will be many opportunities available to provide input. I encourage you all to keep informed on both of these important initiatives.
For more information on PAC’s NOCP profile, you can stay up to date on the website.
The College will continue to provide updates on the work of these organization as they are available. For more information, contact the College at communications@ABparamedics.com.
Thank you all for the crazy hours that you have been putting in, navigating the abnormal working conditions, and managing the ongoing stress from this pandemic. I am hopeful that there will be a return to some state of normalcy in the near future, and until then, stay safe and take care of each other.
Tim A. Ford