Membership number: CP000000
What is the College of Paramedics?
Soon after the HCPC was formed and the Orders in Council were approved by the Privy Council, it was required that the HCPC had to liaise with a professional bodies for all the professions that the registrar was responsible for. At that time the only profession not to have professional body was the Ambulance profession. Two colleagues from Essex Ambulance Service undertook the necessary work to set up a professional body in order to ensure that the profession would be represented and fulfill the self regulation responsibilities for standards and education. The name of British Paramedic Association (BPA) was agreed at an inaugural meeting held at AMBEX in 2001. From this point the development of the BPA began, and has now taken the name the College of Paramedics (CoP).
What are the benefits of a professional body?
The real benefits of a professional body are not always tangible. Our main areas for benefit to members lie in the philosophy that as a profession we shall work towards undertaking responsibility for our own professional future. Historically you will be aware that the standards we have worked to and the awards following training have been driven largely by the employers with significant medical support. This kind of approach had not been followed by any other registered profession from medical professions to allied health professions. Having a professional body of our own was the opportunity to change the way that education, training and associated awards are established. The prime responsibilities for the wider member benefit are:
� Self regulation of professional standards and education
� Standards of Education and training (HCPC)
� Standards of Proficiency (HCPC)
� QAA Benchmarking (DoH)
� Curriculum Guidance (HCPC)
� Continuous Professional Development (provision and support)
� Responsibility for the review of professional awards
� Reference for point for health organizations
� Professional support and advice
Within this work our main objectives are:
Any profession that wishes to undertake full responsibility for its standards and future direction will need to pursue the objectives and establish the wider benefit of taking our profession into the future for ourselves and not led by others.
The College through determination and perseverance is, for the first time in our history achieving this benefit for its members as the people who deliver ambulance care to the public and our patients. A good example of this is the production of the curriculum guidance for higher education institutes and their partner ambulance service. The document has been prepared completely by registered paramedics who are also CoP members and some advice has been sought from universities and other specialists. The document has been sent to every College member as part of the consultation process in order to give all members the opportunity to make comment and influence the future of their profession and the associated educational standards. These responses will be incorporated into the work before the final document is submitted to the HPC for use in the approvals process for higher education and ambulance services delivering ambulance education. This is a milestone in our history and one we should all be proud of.
The constitution of the College is set to fulfill the professional development for its members and not to act in relation employment matters, contracts or pay. In essence the College was never established to be a trades union. The College does provide an advice service for its members who have any concerns about aspects of their profession or career. We deal with many telephone calls and email enquiries in the areas of professional concerns and employment enquiries from members and we shall continue to provide advice and guidance to assist them.
The College has worked hard to show itself as a responsible and professional body, willing to work hard with the profession to represent its knowledge and understanding of what the profession believes is right for the safe delivery of care to the patients and public safety. What better place is there for the HCPC to get this information and establish these standards than from the profession itself. It can then meet its statutory requirement to protect the public in the knowledge that the standards and responsibility for self regulation of those standards has come from within the profession.
In conclusion the College exists to ensure that all of you in the ambulance profession, whatever sector you work in will take forward the standards for education and practice. The College has made significant progress in helping to promote our profession and we aim to continue to do so. I do hope that you will feel inclined to join the CoP and using your enthusiasm and knowledge help us to improve our mandate and continue our work as a professional body.
College of Paramedics