Change is afoot in EMS. With the new National Education Standards, the scope of practice has changed for Paramedics and EMTs. The NREMT is piloting a new initial certification model with the Paramedic Psychomotor Competency Package (Check out this blog post for more information on the PPCP pilot). Meanwhile, the current recertification model has remained unchanged and every two years, like clockwork, Paramedics need 72 CE hours to recertify.
Like with the initial certification model, the NREMT has realized “clockwork” isn’t cutting it anymore. They are now introducing a competency-based recertification model in place of the longstanding hours-based model. It’s called the National Continued Competency Project (NCCP), and some significant changes are in store.
Throw out the old recert pamphlet: the total number of hours required for Paramedics has gone down from 72 to 60. A higher percentage of those hours can come from distributed (online) education. CPR and ACLS cards no longer need to be submitted, although the hours can still be used as CE. And the one-size-fits-all mandatory and flexible core content areas are now able to be specifically tailored thanks to the new three-tiered model the NREMT has created.
National Requirements (NCCR)
These requirements apply to every nationally registered provider. The NREMT’s Board of Directors will choose topic areas every 4 years and provide educational materials to cover them. 30 of the 60 hours required for recertification must come from this category. 10 of these hours can be completed online.
Local Requirements (LCCR)
Local requirements will vary for each provider. These requirements are determined by local authorities like State EMS offices or the EMS systems themselves. 15 of 60 hours must be LCCR, and 10 of those 15 can be done online.</p>
Individual Requirements (ICCR)
Determined by the provider themselves, individual requirements cover areas where the provider feels they have weakness. The final 15 hours required for recertification must be ICCR hours, and all 15 can be done online.
The NREMT hopes this new model will prove to be more adaptable than the old model. For example, if Colorado passes a new state that law affects scope of practice in some way, the LCCR requirements can easily be updated. And if the newest research suggests chest compressions should match the rhythm of “Shake It Off” instead of “Stayin’ Alive”, it can be communicated and taught via NCCR content.
States across the nation are currently transitioning to the new recertification model. Be sure to check with your state EMS office for your transition date. For more information, visit NREMT.org or Recert.com.