The Virginia Office of EMS promulgated regulations on January 15, 2003 which require that all training programs which lead to an initial certification at the Paramedic level be accredited.
Beginning January 1, 2013, paramedic students who are candidates for certification testing through the National Registry of EMT’s (NREMT –www.nremt.org) are required to have graduated from a nationally accredited paramedic program – national accreditation is offered through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) in cooperation with the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the EMS Professions (CoAEMSP – www.coaemsp.org ). Accomplishing accreditation at this level will require the following steps:
- Currently accredited Virginia Intermediate programs wanting to conduct paramedic education will be required to first seek Virginia paramedic accreditation through the Office of EMS.
- If the site successfully completes the state paramedic accreditation process, they will be issued a grant of accreditation which will allow them to complete one (1) initial basic program (a cohort). CoAEMSP requires that each program seeking national accreditation have successfully completed an initial paramedic cohort.
- During training of this initial cohort, the program will be required to complete the CoAEMSP self study.
- At the completion of the first cohort, the program will need to submit their self study to CoAEMSP.
- When submitting the CoAEMSP self study, the program will have to request a Letter of Review from CoAEMSP. If the self study is complete and meets CoAEMSP requirements, the CoAEMSP staff will issue a Letter of Review attesting to the fact that the program has applied for national accreditation.
- The program will be required to submit the Letter of Review to NREMT and request that their initial cohort be allowed to apply for and complete NREMT certification testing.
- The ability for programs to announce and conduct additional initial paramedic training programs in Virginia will require that the program have successfully completed and been granted national accreditation through CoAEMSP/CAAHEP.
* Please note: The process outlined above is subject to change by CoAEMSP and/or NREMT.
If you have questions about accreditation or the accreditation process, please feel free to contact Debbie Akers via e-mail or call 800-523-6019.