College of Paramedics
Chair: John Martin FCParaChief Executive: Gerry Egan QAM FCPara
The College of Paramedics is the recognised professional body for paramedics in the United Kingdom. The role of the College is to promote and develop the paramedic profession across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The College represents the paramedic profession across key organisations such as the UK regulator - Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the Department of Health and the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (JRCALC).
Paramedicine in the UK began with regional schemes in the 1970s and the introduction of a national course in 1985 for 'extended care ambulance staff.' The introduction of professional registration of paramedics in 2000 led to a demand for the formation of a new professional body.
Paramedics were the only professional group in the initial registration to not have representation by a central body. Two members of staff from the then Essex Ambulance Service (Stephen Dolphin and Richard Lane) established a professional association to represent the paramedic profession and undertake the self-regulation of paramedic standards and education required by the HPC. The name of British Paramedic Association (BPA) was agreed at an inaugural meeting held at AMBEX in 2001.
In 2009 its name was changed to the College of Paramedics. This reflected the association's ambitions to be not only the professional voice of pre-hospital ambulance clinicians, but as the driving authority for increasing sections of pre-hospital clinical care education, training, proficiency and continuous professional development.
In November 2015 the College announced that they had been awarded registered charity status.
In June 2017 the College had a total membership of 12,700 - around 35% of registered UK Paramedics.
Full details of the College's history can be found on their website.
- To strengthen and develop the profession and represent the interests of paramedics
- To raise awareness of the paramedic profession's contribution to patient care
- To encourage and share good clinical practice and high standards of care
- To develop and expand the potential of the profession in its contribution to patient care
- To represent the views of the profession, employers and other important and influential external bodies
- To encourage high standards of professional education and development
- To commission, report and analyse research in out-of-hospital patient care
The Board of Trustees is appointed to ensure the College serves the interests of its members and the paramedic profession. It is responsible for the governance, oversight of business and the setting of the strategic direction for the profession.
The Board of Trustees comprises elected members known as Representative Trustees and Trustee Officials. Representative Trustees represent either a region in England or the home nations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and also the independent, student and military groups. Trustee Officials include the Chair, Deputy Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Trustees for Education, Professional Practice and Communications.
The Board of Trustees is supported by an Executive Team and staff, including the Chief Executive, the National Education Lead, the Head of Professional Development, the Research Lead, the Head of Administration and the Marketing Manager.
|Deputy Chair||Paul Younger|
|Vice Chair||Tracy Nicholls|
|Vice Chair and Trustee Professional Practice||Paul Gowens|
|Trustee for Education||Lizi Hickson|
|Trustee for Communications||Richard Webber|
There are three levels of membership available within the College of Paramedics:
- Full – available to Paramedics (registered with the HCPC).
- Student – available to those who are currently undertaking a Health and Care Professions Council approved course leading to eligibility to apply to the register.
- Associate – available to anyone with an interest in the paramedic and pre-hospital care profession.
Post-Numeral and Fellowships
The College of Paramedics authorises the use of the following post-nominals by members:
- MCPara - Member of the College of Paramedics
- FCPara - Fellow of the College of Paramedics. The title of Fellow of the College of Paramedics is awarded to Paramedics who have made outstanding contributions to either the development of Paramedic education, improving professional practice, or outstanding contributions towards the objectives of the College of Paramedics.
Benefits of Being a Member
- Representation - The College of Paramedics represents members in projects such as independent prescribing, airway management and scope of practice. It also lobbies government on your behalf; for example on issues including the pensionable age of paramedics, mental health and policing.
- Email New Digest - Members receive a regular email news digest keeping them informed of what's going on within the College and the profession.
- Paramedic INSIGHT - Members receive a quarterly membership magazine 'Paramedic INSIGHT' packed with interesting features, news and advice.
- Conferences and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Events - Members have access to a national network of CPD events and conferences, including a national annual conference, which are designed to educate, inform and entertain, and support members in their development and practice as a paramedic.
- Discounts - There are savings of products and services, including additional medical supplies, sector books, driver training and the Journal of paramedic practice.
- British Paramedic Journal (BPJ) - Members receive a free subscription to the College of Paramedics very own research journal. The BPJ is a quarterly, peer reviewed electronic journal containing high quality research aimed at increasing the evidence-base for the paramedic profession and contributing to enhanced patient care.
- Research and Development - The College of Paramedics has a Research and Development Advisory Committee (RDAC) which provides guidance and support, including annual grants to paramedics who are undertaking research.
- Developing a Profession - The College represents members in developing the career structure for paramedics and education pathways, including the Curriculum Guidance and the Post Registration Career Framework.
- Fitness to Practise Representation - All full members of the College of Paramedics benefit from fitness to practice insurance cover and a 24 legal helpline. If a complaint to the HCPC, or a court claim is made, the insurance will cover the cost of an expert professional discipline layer.
- Medical Malpractice and Public Liability Insurance - The College provides full members with up to £5 million medical malpractice and public liability insurance.
The college has published policy, including;
- Position statement on intubation in the Journal of Paramedic Practice
- A Curriculum Framework for Ambulance Education (2006) (newer versions have been produced but are not open access or freely available to the public)
- Position statement on intubation (2008)
- Annual Reports
- Administration of drugs by Paramedics and Student Paramedics (2011) 
The College of Paramedics are active participants of a range of groups, including the Joint Royal College Ambulance Liaison Committee and the AACE Clinical Practice Guidelines. The College is also a member of the Royal College of Physicians hosted Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party and Guidelines Development Group, leading the pre-hospital guidelines development sub-group. The College has been the key partner in the development of the Professional Guidance on the Content of Ambulance Clinical Records.
The College represents the views and interests of the paramedic profession on various groups:
- Higher Education Ambulance Development Group (HEADG)
- National Heads of Ambulance Education Group
- Joint Royal College Ambulance Liaison Committee (JRCALC)
- JRCALC Clinical Guidelines Group
- UK Stroke Forum
- Allied Health Professions Federation (AHPF)
- Department of Health
- Ambulance Workforce Forum
- Connecting for Health (CfH)
- National Ambulance Education & Development Forum
- Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine
- Ambulance Infection Control Group
- Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC)
- The Trauma Care Council
- The National Ambulance Research Steering Group
- The Faculty of Pre-hospital Care Board
- The 999 EMS Research Forum Board
- Cardiovascular, Stroke and Vascular Specialist Collections of NHS Evidence (formerly the National Electronic Library for Health)
- "About Registration - Professions - Paramedic". Health Professions Council.
- "Main Committee Members". Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee.
- Whitmore, David; Furber, Roland (2006). "The Need for a Professional Body for UK Paramedics". Journal of Emergency Primary Health Care. 4 (1).
- "About us". British Paramedic Association. Archived from the original on 11 July 2011.
- "The College has been awarded Registered Charity Status" (Press release). College of Paramedics. 23 November 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- "Strategic Plan 2014: a five-year strategy for the College of Paramedics". Journal of Paramedic Practice. 2 July 2014. doi:10.12968/jpar.2014.6.7.376.
- "A Curriculum Framework for Ambulance Education" (PDF). British Paramedic Association. February 2006. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- "College of Paramedics (British Paramedic Association) updated position paper following JRCALC recommendations on paramedic intubation" (PDF). College of Paramedics (British Paramedic Association). 22 September 2008. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- "Administration of drugs by Paramedics and Student Paramedics" (PDF). College of Paramedics. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- "Representation". College of Paramedics. Retrieved 25 July 2016.