Alan M. Batt, Pierre Poirier, Jeanne Bank, Jennifer Bolster, Michael Austin, Cheryl Cameron, Elizabeth Donnelly, Becky Donelon, Noël Dunn, Tim Essington, Sean Hackett, William Johnston, Rene Lapierre, Tyne M. Lunn, Meghan Lysko, Paige Mason, Mary Osinga, Dugg Steary, Sean Teed, and Walter Tavares on behalf of the NOSP Development Group, Working Groups and CSA Technical Committee.

Published in Canadian Paramedicine, November 2022.

Developing the National Occupational Standard for Paramedics

PAC has partnered with the CSA Group to manage the renewal of the existing National Occupational Competency Profile (NOCP) and incorporate it into a new standard following accredited processes of the Standards Council of Canada – the National Occupational Standard for Paramedics (NOSP). Following on from our earlier updates this year, in this article we will provide a further update on the development of the NOSP.

Development process

The development process is collaborative and ensures the inclusion of diverse stakeholders’ and end-users’ views throughout the process. Each step of the six-step development model (1) is conducted in collaboration between the DG and TC. The development of the NOSP is informed by the principles guiding paramedicine in Canada (2) as well as emerging concepts in other healthcare competency frameworks (3) and will be structured according to the paramedic profile roles (4,5).

Step 3 complete

The contexts in which paramedics practice in Canada were explored through pan-Canadian working groups. A total of 146 applicants were appointed to 15 working groups in June with considerations of inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility (IDEA), including geographical representation across Canada. The working groups have now finalized and submitted their data to the DG. In addition, the NOSP has created a patient, public and caregiver engagement strategy, and engaged with Indigenous communities and paramedics. The perspectives of colleagues in other health professions have also been recorded for input.

In October, Dr. Elizabeth Donnelly was appointed to lead a small group to identify how the principle of ‘Healthy Professionals’ could and should be incorporated within the NOSP. In addition, Dr. Donnelly works on behalf of the NOSP with members of the COPR project on developing their ‘Paramedic as a person’ role.


The NOSP development process has been presented at a number of venues across Canada including PACE 2022 in Saskatoon, the PANB conference in St. John, the Ontario Base Hospital Group MAC, the Ontario Paramedic Program Coordinators, and others.

Next: Step 4

The DG will now sort and code the submitted data to identify potential units of work (i.e., professional activities) and the competencies required to enact such activities. This process will take several months and is expected to conclude in the Spring of 2023.

Thank you!

Thank you to the many individuals who generously gave their time over the past few months to contribute to the data collection of the working groups. Our thanks to those who led, participated in, contributed to, or otherwise engaged with the working groups. Without your input we would be unable to develop the NOSP, and we are extremely grateful. We look forward to engaging with many of you again as we seek further feedback throughout the development process.

Contact the development group

If you wish to contact the DG, please contact us via this form: We will provide regular updates on the development of the NOSP in Canadian Paramedicine, and via social media.


1.       Batt A, Williams B, Rich J, Tavares W. A Six-Step Model for Developing Competency Frameworks in the Healthcare Professions. Frontiers in Medicine. 2021;8:2601.

2.       Tavares W, Allana A, Beaune L, Weiss D, Blanchard I. Principles to Guide the Future of Paramedicine in Canada. Prehospital Emergency Care. 2021 Aug 10;0(0):1–11.

3.        Thoma B, Karwowska A, Samson L, Labine N, Waters H, Giuliani M, T Chan T, et al. ‘Emerging Concepts in the CanMEDS Physician Competency Framework’. Canadian Medical Education Journal, 26 September 2022.

4.       Paramedic Association of Canada. Canadian Paramedic Profile: Paramedic Roles. Ottawa: Paramedic Association of Canada; 2016.

5.       Tavares W, Bowles R, Donelon B. Informing a Canadian paramedic profile: Framing concepts, roles and crosscutting themes. BMC Health Services Research. 2016;16(1):1–16.