The future for the professional body

This issue of the Journal of Paramedic Practice features the College of Paramedics’ Strategic Plan. Developed by the College of Paramedics’ Governing Council and Executive team following consultation with the College’s membership, it serves as the key reference point for the direction of the College over the next two to five years.

As outlined in the document, there are currently more than 19500 paramedics registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Members of the College represent 19% of the present UK paramedic registrants with the HCPC. This marks a substantial growth of membership since the formation of the College of Paramedics (then the British Paramedic Association) in 2003.

This is an important time for the paramedic profession, which has had to evolve and develop to cater for the needs of the acutely ill and injured patients it attends. As the demand for ambulance services has risen, the need for a pre-hospital healthcare professional with enhanced clinical capabilities and clinical decision-making skills has become increasingly evident (Allied Health Solutions, 2013).

The College serves as the voice of the paramedic profession, with representation at higher education institutions, the HCPC, Government agencies and with employers. Its Strategic Plan outlines the strategic activity necessary to meet the intent of its mission, and is separated into three strands: membership and members’ benefits; professional standards; and corporate status and operation.

The first section relates to the College’s engagement with its workforce. As a representative organisation it is there to listen to the needs and aspirations of the paramedic profession. In return for annual subscription to the College, members receive benefits, which include promotion of the paramedic profession and its value to the community, relevant communication to all stakeholders, professional support, and professional indemnity insurance. The Strategic Plan outlines the College’s intention to further develop the benefits for its membership as appropriate for an advancing profession.

The second section concerns the College’s ability to exert influence and apply governance over the content and processes related to the training of future members of the profession through university-based pre-registration programmes. The publication of its Curriculum Guidance and Career and Competency Framework will help ensure best practice for both paramedic education providers and employers.

The final section pays attention to the processes that need to be in place to ensure the College of Paramedics positions itself to effectively function as an organisation with the key challenges of ensuring growth for sustainability.

As a relatively young and growing body, the College of Paramedics is there to support the development of the profession. It relies on engagement with the workforce so that it can recognise what you as paramedics value as important. I urge you to read the document, and if you have not already done so, become a member.

Taken from Journal of Paramedic Practice, published 4 July 2014.

References:

Allied Health Solutions (2013) Paramedics Evidence Based Education Project (PEEP). End of Study Report. Buckinghamshire New University, High Wycombe

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