As of today, planned changes to the paramedic education threshold have come into force. This follows on from our consultation and decision by our Council to increase the threshold to degree level in 2018.
In 2017, we consulted on proposed changes to the threshold level of qualification for entry to the Register for paramedics (SET 1). This consultation proposed that the level specified in SET 1 for paramedics be changed and sought views on what level SET 1 should change to and on timescales for implementation.
Following this consultation, our Council decided in 2018 that the threshold level of qualification for entry to the Register for paramedics should change from 'Equivalent to Certificate of Higher Education' to 'Bachelor degree with honours' or equivalent (Levels 6/9/10 of relevant qualifications frameworks). This would come into force from 1 September 2021 onwards.
We concluded this is necessary to deliver the standards of proficiency for paramedics to the depth required for contemporary practice.
What this means for registrants
This change does not directly affect existing registered paramedics (even if their training was not at degree level). This change applies only to pre-registration education and training programmes and not to individuals.
What this means for students
Any student currently on, or mid-way through, an approved paramedic programme will still be eligible to apply to join the Register once their training is complete. This applies even if this paramedic programme is not at degree level, as the changes only apply to programmes taking on new learners.
What this means for paramedic education programmes
As of today, 1 September 2021, only programmes delivered at or above the new threshold level can admit new cohorts of learners. Programmes below this will not be able to take on any new learners.
You can read more about how we will review and implement the threshold level of qualification in our policy statements:
- Policy statement on review of the threshold level of qualification for entry to the Register - April 2019
- Policy statement on assessing the threshold level of qualification for entry to the Register – September 2019
You can read our previous news articles and consultation page from 2018 below, setting out the context, reasoning and impact of the education threshold change.
New threshold for paramedic registration
In 2018, we raised the level of qualification for paramedics’ registration. Previously paramedics needed to achieve ‘Equivalent to Certificate of Higher Education’ to become registered. Currently they need to achieve ’Bachelor degree with honours’.
 9 month extensions have been agreed in discussion with the Northern Ireland and Scottish Governments for two existing providers. This was agreed as a proporitionate measure to manage workforce training impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.