Alan M. Batt, Jennifer Bolster, Pierre Poirier, Jeanne Bank, Michael Austin, Cheryl Cameron, Elizabeth Donnelly, Becky Donelon, Noël Dunn, Tim Essington, Sean Hackett, William Johnston, Chelsea Lanos, 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 and CSA Technical Committee.

For publication in Canadian Paramedicine.

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). 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 Development Group (DG) and Technical Committee (TC). The development of the NOSP is informed by the principles guiding paramedicine in Canada (2) as well as emerging concepts in paramedicine (3) and will be structured according to the paramedic profile roles (4,5).

Emerging concepts

A team led by Jennifer Bolster conducted a restricted literature review and content analysis of all published and grey literature pertaining to or informing Canadian paramedicine from 2011 to 2022. A total of 302 articles were categorized into 11 emerging concepts related to competencies: inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) in paramedicine; social responsiveness, justice, equity, and access; anti-racism; healthy professionals; evidence-informed practice and systems; complex adaptive systems; learning environment; virtual care; clinical reasoning; adaptive expertise; and planetary health. These concepts will be used to inform data coding and analysis, development group discussions, and competency identification. You can read this paper free and open-access at https://bit.ly/3DAt7Ub (3).

Step 4 nearing completion

Dr. Alan Batt, along with Jennifer Bolster and Meghan Lysko have now sorted, read, and inductively and deductively coded the data to identify roles, principles, emerging concepts, potential professional activities, and the competencies required to enact such activities. They will now collate these findings and prepare them for review by the Development Group. A total of 28 sources were imported and coded from the working groups and the literature, and these were coded over 2500 times by the coding team.

A two-day workshop of the DG is planned for March in Ottawa, ON. During this two-day period, the DG will group and collapse the coded data, and use these insights to inform the ceation of activities and competencies for the NOSP. Following this workshop, Dr. Batt will work with Jeanne Bank to prepare the content for submission to the CSA Technical Committee for review and discussion.

Dissemination

The NOSP development process has been presented to various stakeholders across Canada including PACE 2022, PANB, OBHG MAC, and the Saskatchewan College of Paramedics.

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: https://forms.gle/zQUbNodND7LjSQ4t7. We will provide regular updates on the development of the NOSP in Canadian Paramedicine, and via social media.

References

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.        Bolster, J, Priya P, and Batt, AM. Emerging Concepts in the Paramedicine Literature to Inform the Revision of a Pan-Canadian Competency Framework for Paramedics: A Restricted Review. Cureus 14, no. 12 (December 23, 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.