Revisions to the CAAHEP Standards for the EMS Professions
All comments must be submitted via the electronic comment tool here.
Listening sessions were held on September 22 and October 8, 2021. Listen to the original recording.
The current Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in the Emergency Medical Services Professions became effective in January 2015. Per CAAHEP policies, each Committee on Accreditation (CoA) under the CAAHEP umbrella reviews its profession’s current Standards and Guidelines at least once every ten (10) years.
To provide a framework for evaluation, CAAHEP develops a nationally recognized Standards and Guidelines template that addresses five (5) key areas: Sponsorship, Program Goals, Resources, Student and Graduate Evaluation Assessment, and Fair Practices. The CAAHEP Standards and Guidelines template is developed through a rigorous process that includes seeking input from the various Committees on Accreditation and public comment. Once finalized, all Committees use the same required template language and add additional language specific to their profession. There are twenty-five (25) CoAs that work with thirty-two (32) healthcare professions in the accreditation process that use the same template.
The purpose of the CAAHEP Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in the Emergency Medical Services Professions is to maintain compliance with CAAHEP policy, including the Standards Template, and to maintain congruence between the educational preparation of students and the accepted state of practice for the discipline.
CAAHEP released the most recent template in January 2021. Changes in the CAAHEP template include provisions for non-U.S.-based programs; innovation; reducing redundancy; and streamlining language.
CoAEMSP subsequently began reviewing the newly released template and addressing areas the CoAEMSP Board had identified for updates that are specific to the profession.
After several reviews within the CoAEMSP, a preliminary draft is available for review by the stakeholders including Paramedic programs, CoAEMSP sponsoring organizations, and the public.
The review process follows.
- The preliminary draft is posted to the left.
- All comments must be submitted via the electronic comment tool here.
- Comments sent by U.S. Mail, email, and faxes are NOT accepted.
- Comments must be submitted no later than October 15, 2021.
- Comments may be incorporated into a revised draft which will be reviewed at the November CoAEMSP Board meeting.
- The revised draft will be sent to CAAHEP for review by their Standards Committee.
- Following CAAHEP approval the draft will be sent to the CoAEMSP sponsors for endorsement.
- A proposed implementation date will be determined in conjunction with the sponsor endorsement process.
Changes to the preliminary draft of the EMS Standards are not major structural alterations but do include some modifications.
- Programs must have a preparedness plan in place that assures continuity of education services in the event of an unanticipated interruption.
- The required minimum goal statement has been revised and no longer includes language to reflect ‘with or without exit points….’
- A key governmental official is no longer required on the advisory committee and language regarding police representation has been dropped.
- The role of the Clinical Coordinator is described. A program is not required to add this position, but the duties of clinical coordination must be assigned.
The Appendices are not available for review. Appendix A is added by CAAHEP after the conclusion of the revision process; Appendix B is under development and will be stated as educational objectives and competencies.
The CAAHEP Standards continue to be broadly written and avoid being prescriptive. CoAEMSP does provide an Interpretation document to assist programs in the application of the Standards and the current Interpretation document will be updated when the revised Standards for EMS become effective.