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Paramedic Education and Certification
Questions and Answers
Publications and Legislation
How do I become a paramedic?
All Ontario paramedics must hold Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) Advanced Emergency Medical Care Assistant (AEMCA) certification.
Candidates, who either have successfully completed a Paramedic training program provided by an approved Ontario College or Training Institution or have successfully completed the Ontario Equivalency Process are eligible to write the provincial MOHLTC AEMCA Theory Examination and obtain AEMCA certification.
An AIT Equivalency candidate, who successfully completes the Ontario Equivalency Process will receive an AEMCA certificate without the requirement to write the MOHLTC AEMCA Theory Examination.
Note : You will need to first attain AEMCA certification prior to applying for other credentialing examinations (e.g. ACP, Aeromedical, or CCP).
What are the levels of certification that an Ontario paramedic can obtain?
There are three levels of paramedics in Ontario : Primary Care Paramedic (PCP), Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) and Critical Care Paramedic (CCP).
What Colleges and Training Institutions offer paramedic training?
A list of approved programs and coordinators can be found on the Paramedic Programs page.
How do I apply for a provincial exam?
You must complete an application and submit it with your fee. Examination Application Packages can be completed online or printed and completed manually. You must mail your completed form and fee to the address provided on the application.
What do you mean by “deemed equivalent”?
Individuals who were trained in paramedicine outside the province or country may have the skills required to work as a paramedic in Ontario. See the Paramedic Equivalency section for more information.
What is a Primary Care Paramedic (PCP)?
A PCP is an individual who meets the qualifications for employment set out in section 6(1) of Regulation 257/00 made under the Ambulance Act and who is authorized by the medical director of a base hospital program to perform the controlled acts referred to in Schedule 1 of Regulation 257/00. The controlled acts that may be performed are symptom relief drug administration and semi-automated external defibrillation (SAED).
What is an Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP)?
An ACP is a qualified primary care paramedic who has successfully completed an advanced care paramedic training program approved by the Emergency Health Services Branch director and has passed an advanced care paramedic examination set or approved by the director. They must also be authorized by the medical director of a base hospital to perform the controlled acts referred to in Schedule 2 of Regulation 257/00 made under the Ambulance Act. This includes responsibilities beyond those performed by the primary care paramedic, such as manual defibrillation and endotracheal intubation.
What is a Critical Care Paramedic (CCP)?
A CCP is a qualified advanced care paramedic who has successfully completed the critical care paramedic training program approved by the Emergency Health Services Branch Director and has passed a critical care paramedic examination set or approved by the Director. They must also be authorized by the medical director of a base hospital to perform the controlled acts referred to in Schedule 3 of Regulation 257/00, made under the Ambulance Act. These acts are beyond those performed by the primary and advanced care paramedics and currently include skills such as chest tube insertion and x-ray interpretation.
I am a Primary Care Paramedic and would like to upgrade to an Advanced Care Paramedic. What are the necessary steps to do this?
A number of Colleges and Training Institutions offer ACP training. Anyone interested in becoming an ACP should contact an approved Advanced Care Paramedic program.
I am an Advanced Care Paramedic and would like to upgrade to a Critical Care Paramedic. What are the necessary steps to do this?
Anyone interested in becoming an CCP should contact the approved Critical Care Paramedic program.
What is an EMA?
EMA is a common acronym for Emergency Medical Assistant. All paramedics, regardless of classification, can be broadly referred to as EMAs.
What is a P1, P2, and P3 paramedic?
These are older designations for paramedic levels (e.g. P1 = level-1 paramedic = Primary Care Paramedic). Ontario no longer uses these designations, as the PCP, ACP and CCP designations more clearly indicate the paramedic's training and skills.
What is the difference between an EMCA and an AEMCA paramedic?
AEMCA stands for Advanced Emergency Medical Care Assistant, a credential for graduates of approved college primary care paramedic programs that include training in selected Advanced Life Support (ALS) skills. Advanced Life Support means the performance of a controlled act as defined by the Regulated Health Professions Act. Prior to 1997, the scope of practice for paramedics in Ontario did not include symptom relief medications and semi-automatic external defibrillation. Graduates of approved ambulance and emergency care programs who successfully completed Ministry of Health certification were issued an EMCA (Emergency Medical Care Assistant) certificate. Following the change in scope in 1997, the title of the credential was changed to AEMCA to recognize the inclusion of symptom relief and defibrillation in the approved training programs and the provincial certification exam.
Does the ministry have a Special Learning Needs policy for individuals identified as having a learning disability?
Yes. Applicants with special needs must indicate that on their application form. The Emergency Health Services Branch cannot accommodate late requests for special needs. If the request is granted, semi-private accommodations will be provided as well as up to 30 per cent additional writing time for each part of the exam.
Official confirmation of the candidate's special learning needs must be documented by their College or Training Institution’s Special Needs Office or documented in a current letter from a doctor specializing in learning disabilities. All documentation must accompany the application form in order for the applicant's request to be considered.
If additional information is required, contact the Paramedic Training Coordinator and specify the accessibility options you are inquiring about.
Publications and Legislation
Where can I obtain a copy of the Basic Life Support (BLS) Patient Care Standards manual?
Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards manual, written by Emergency Health Services Branch, is available for download from the Reference Materials page.
Where can I obtain a copy of the Advanced Life Support (ALS) Patient Care Standards manual?
The ALS Standards manual is available for download on the Reference Materials page.
Are there other training references available?
See the Reference Materials page for a complete list of files available.
What government legislated acts must a paramedic abide by? Where can I find copies of these acts?
All of the above acts can be downloaded from the e-Laws website. Hard copies may also be available from Publications Ontario, 880 Bay Street, Toronto ON M7A 1N8 (416-326-5320).
Emergency Health Services Branch
Call the ministry INFOline at 1-866-532-3161|
(Toll-free in Ontario only)
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00pm
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