In common with other health professionals, paramedics and associated occupations (EMTs and EMRs) need to undertake continuing professional development (CPD) activities to maintain and update their knowledge, skills and attitudes if they are to provide the best possible care to their patients and contribute to healthy communities. This aspiration can be hampered when they are unaware of how to address this need through their own independent learning activities or through structured learning opportunities that are offered through a wide range of organizations and agencies.
This policy describes the CPD endorsement policies of the GPHEC and outlines the rationale for CPD standards and benchmarks for paramedics who are practicing in speciality areas, with an initial emphasis on community paramedicine and critical care transport. The aims of these standards and the associated guidelines is to ensure that paramedics provide competent and up-to-date services, help paramedics to maintain their competence and to provide safe and effective health services.
The GPHEC is well positioned to help paramedics make well informed CPD choices based on clear criteria, including consideration of: the qualifications, credentials and experience of the provider; the range of topics and activities; and the balance between practice-based reflective activities, professional education and training activities and professional experience and development activities.
Learning can take place through a wide variety of CPD activities, including, but are not limited to:
- higher education/accredited courses
- conferences, forums and seminars
- undertaking research and presentation of work
- online learning and internet research
- written reflections on experience in day-to-day clinical practice
- reading books and journals relevant to practice
- quality assurance activities, such as accreditation, clinical audit or review of records
- participation in committees relevant to practice
- work-based learning contracts and employment related professional development
- participating in peer and performance review activities
- interactive professional or inter-professional interactions
- activities that address current or emerging health priority areas