As you may know, the Standards of Practice set out the minimum standards in paramedic services. Each regulated member is required to understand and comply with these Standards, but how does this translate in the day-to-day work of EMRs, PCPs, and ACPS?

In an effort to help regulated members understand and apply the Standards to real life situations, we will be sharing scenarios that give context to the Standards and ideas on how to implement this into practice.

The following scenario will attempt to address the Continuing Competence (CC) Standard 3.4.1 Document Retention, 3.4.2 CC Audit and 3.4.3 Non-Compliance. These SoP sections can be referenced here.

In the last Understanding the Standards article, the following scenario was discussed:

Cassandra and Wesley are partners on an ambulance in Vegreville. On one of their shifts, they were discussing the upcoming renewal. Wesley said in passing that he had not completed any CC training all year and didn’t think he would have time before completing renewal. He said to Cassandra that he thought he might enter training he hasn’t completed in order to finish renewal and do the training later. Cassandra knows that it is a professional responsibility to complete CC training every year and providing false information to the College is considered unprofessional conduct. She shows Wesley the Continuing Competence Standard of Practice and lets him know about the College audit process.

Continued Scenario:

After Cassandra’s encouraged Wesley not to falsify his CC training, he enrolled in courses to attempt to meet his CC requirements. Unfortunately, he was short on credits and the renewal period was almost over. Wesley decided to enter a course he was enrolled in, however, it didn’t start until after the end of renewal, so he changed the completion date to meet his renewal requirements. A few weeks later, the College told him he was randomly selected to participate in the Continuing Competence Record Audit. Now Wesley is unsure what to do as he does not have supporting documentation for one of his recorded activities.

The following are two examples of different extremes taken in response to the above-described scenario:

Decision A:

Wesley contacts the College and is honest and remorseful about his actions.

Self-reporting is an important aspect of co-regulation and providing false information to the College is considered non-compliance as outlined in section 3.4.3 of the Standards. The College and Competence Committee would review all the supporting documentation Wesley submits for his activities (the ones he has completed) and take into account his remorse and direct contact with the College when determining future actions in accordance with section 3.4.3 of the Standards.

Decision B:

Wesley avoids all contact with the College. He ignores all notification emails, phone calls and other forms of communication from the College. He does not submit any supporting documentation for any activities claimed in the CC cycle that is audited. When the College finally contacts Wesley, he refuses to cooperate with them.

The College and Competence Committee would be left to consider future actions based on Wesley’s lack of cooperation. This violates the Code of Ethics and his failure to participate in the audit violates section 3.4.2 of the Standards.

The Continuing Competence program is designed for members to maintain currency in practice and enhance their knowledge and skills. It is a professional regulatory requirement, and the audit is designed to ensure regulated members are meeting that requirement.

Although non-compliance with the CC audit may result in an unprofessional conduct review, the purpose of the audit is never to put members through a conduct review. Generally, if a member is found to have not met the requirements of the CC audit, the first step for that member would be additional requirements moving forward. However, all instances are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.