The Need for a Professional Body for UK Paramedics

David Whitmore, Roland Furber


The standards to which UK Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians work have historically been driven by the employer rather than a professional body. This in effect has meant that the National Health Service (NHS) Ambulance Services decided how educational programmes were structured and delivered. The private sector in the UK has also tended to look towards the NHS standards as the yardstick for their staff, although there has been significant difficulty in gaining the NHS award by the private sector. The advent of professional registration in 2000, and crucially the enactment of The Health Professions Order 2001 that resulted in the setting up of the Health Professions Council (HPC), prompted a real drive to develop a true professional body for UK ambulance staff. That professional body is the British Paramedic Association – College of Paramedics (BPA). The BPA has, since those early days, pursued true professional self-regulation of education and practice standards. The BPA acknowledges the immense task it has set itself, but believes that it can and must be achieved in order that education and practice standards continue to develop and deliver what is felt to be in the best interests of patients. By engaging with the HPC, the unions, employers and, very importantly, higher education institutions, the BPA will truly fulfill the requirements of a professional body for UK ambulance staff.

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Australasian College of Paramedicine © 2020                           ISSN: 2202-7270


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