College of Paramedics sees 42% increase in membership

Membership of the College of Paramedics has increased by 42% from 2nd January 2015 to 1st January 2016, according to figures published in the Trustees’ Annual Report.

The College of Paramedics now has a total of 8,948 members, up from 6,296 announced last year, it has been revealed.

“The College of Paramedics has had a year of exceptional growth and success in 2015,” said Andy Newton, chair of the Trustee Board. “The College now has a membership of almost 9,000 and has grown both its staff and pool of expertise to enable it to continue forward.”

As of January 2016 there were 6,458 full members of the College of Paramedics. This represents 29.7% of all paramedic registrants of the Health and Care Professions Council, the regulatory body for the paramedic profession.

Additionally, student members saw a 42% increase from 1,274 in 2015 to 1,810 in 2016. Associate members saw a 25% increase from 545 in 2015 to 680 members in 2016.

It is believed the enhanced medical malpractice and public liability insurance cover offered as a benefit to full members attributed to the increase in full members over the course of the year.

Improvements in the communications to members, including the College newsletter, a revised website and the creation of a regular members’ news digest email, is also thought to have played a part.

The increase in members show the College is one step closer to its aim of becoming a Royal College, which requires that 50% of the profession are members of the professional body. This comes after the College achieved one of the other requirements by being awarded registered charity status in early 2016.

“With 30% of all registered paramedics now members of the College, we are rapidly approaching the position whereby such an application could become a reality within the next few years,” said Newton.

Report calls for national education and training framework for paramedics

A recent report issued by the Allied Health Professional Health Education Advisory Group (formally the Department of Health’s AHP Professional Advisory Body) has called for the introduction of a national education and training framework for paramedics.

The Paramedic Evidence Based Project (PEEP), which was funded by the College of Paramedics, emphasises the need for a more robust education and training system. As current education and training for paramedics in England is locally determined, very different levels of learning outcomes are being achieved at the point of registration. It has therefore been highlighted that education and training needs to be standardised, and a clear framework enabling this to happen be developed.

The report proposes a model that would lead to an all-graduate paramedic profession by 2019.

Some of the notable recommendations outlined in the report include: a standardised approach to education and training; the need for an agreement of a pre-registration education development model leading to an all-graduate profession; knowledge and skills enhancement; the development of a partnership model; the appointment of a national lead for education and training of paramedics in England; and a standardised approach to identification.

Professor Chris Welsh, Director for Education and Quality for Health Education England, said: ‘We note the recommendations in this report, however we also understand it is not a full account of issues paramedics are facing in relation to education and training. We’ll be working closely with the College of Paramedics and other stakeholders to look at these recommendations and implement those that have the greatest impact on patient care.’

Professor Andy Newton, Chair of the College of Paramedics, said: ‘As sponsors of the report we were delighted to receive this wide-ranging review highlighting many of the issues facing the profession. The College fully endorse the proposed move to graduate entry and believe that this should be achieved in a timely fashion. We believe that having a well-prepared paramedic at the heart of unscheduled urgent and emergency care will be of major benefit to the wider community. The College looks forward to working with Health Education England, educational leaders in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland and other stakeholders on the report’s recommendations.’

Taken from Journal of Paramedic Practice, published 25 September 2013.