EMS Training Program Accreditation

Accreditation of EMS education programs has been a key national initiative spearheaded by leading organizations like the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP), and the National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE) since 2013. This coordinated effort aims to establish and uphold rigorous standards for EMS training programs across the United States, ensuring that programs adhere to best practices in curriculum design, instructional methods, facilities, and resources.

The impact of this accreditation drive has been significant within Virginia. Programs that achieve accreditation have implemented rigorous self-evaluation processes, integrated evidence-based teaching methodologies, and invested in state-of-the-art training resources. This has resulted in a more skilled and better-prepared EMS workforce, capable of delivering high-quality emergency care to communities across the Commonwealth. Accreditation has also fostered greater accountability, transparency, and collaboration among EMS training institutions, positioning Virginia at the forefront of producing highly competent emergency medical professionals.

For more information about EMS training program accreditation, please select the training level you are interested in learning more about below.

Accreditation is both a status and a process. As a status, accreditation provides public notification that an institution or a program meets standards of quality set forth by an accrediting agency. As a process, it consists of ongoing evaluation, and frequent program improvement. Accreditation is a signature of training excellence achieved through strict compliance to the highest standards.

This YouTube video helps make the distinction between institutional and programmatic accreditation. For example, the school you want to attend may be accredited, but the EMS educational program itself may not be.  The video “Specialized and Professional Accreditation: What should I know?” is produced by the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA).

Through the process of accreditation, the Office of Emergency Medical Services assesses programmatic compliance with published administrative and academic standards. Providing appropriate standards, guidelines and regulations are key elements in achieving these goals. Additionally, accreditation and a commitment to require both ethical business and educational practices, promotes organizational effectiveness.

Accreditation examines and evaluates resources, processes, outputs, and outcomes of existing programs, departments, or schools that are parts of an institution following Department standards. A training institution is defined as an established organization or foundation that gives practical, vocational, and technical instruction. The accredited unit may be as large as a college or a school within a university. An accredited unit may also be as small as a curriculum within a discipline, or even EMT training programs within professional schools or other specialized or vocational institutions. Some accredited programs may be free-standing in their operations, as well as EMT educational programs within non-educational settings such as hospitals.

The goals of EMS training program accreditation are as follows:

  • To assist educational programs to identify and achieve goals in order to protect students, the public and to enhance the profession.
  • To assure the educational community and the general public that an EMS training institution or program has clearly defined and appropriate objectives, and maintains conditions under which their achievement can reasonably be expected.
  • To provide reassurance to EMS students that the program in which they are enrolled, or are considering enrolling, is engaged in continuous review and improvement of its quality.
  • To provide a formal process for ongoing evaluation and improvement of accredited EMS training programs, their faculty, and to ensure quality delivery of prehospital patient care techniques.
  • To provide public accountability of an EMS program or institution that has the means and demonstrates the outcomes for an educational process that is consistent with its goals and objectives.

If you have questions about accreditation or the accreditation process, please feel free to contact Debbie Akers via e-mail or call 804-888-9122.

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