University of Limerick
Knox_2015_professional.pdf (1.48 MB)

A national study of continuous professional competence (CPC) amongst pre-hospital practitioners

Download (1.48 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-23, 16:08 authored by Shane Knox, Walter Cullen, COLUM DUNNECOLUM DUNNE
Background: Internationally, continuing professional competence (CPC) is an increasingly important issue for all health professionals. With the introduction of the first CPC framework for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and the imminent introduction of CPC for Paramedics and Advanced Paramedics (APs) in Ireland, this study aimed to identify attitudes towards CPC and factors that might influence such a framework. Methods: All EMTs (n = 925), Paramedics and APs (n = 1816) registered in Ireland were invited by email to complete an anonymous on-line survey. The study instrument was designed based on continuous professional development (CPD) questionnaires used by other healthcare professions. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were performed. Results: The overall response rates were: EMTs 43 % (n = 399), Paramedics and APs 43 % (n = 789), with 82 % of APs and 38 % of Paramedics participating. The majority of participants in all groups agreed that registration was of personal importance and that evidence of CPC should be maintained; 39 % of Paramedics/APs and 78 % of EMTs believed that persistent failure to meet CPC requirements should mandate denial of registration. From a pre-determined list of activities, in excess of 88 % of all respondents indicated practical training scenarios, cardiac re-certification, e-learning supplemented by related practice, and training with simulation manikins were most relevant to these roles. However, least relevant to them were: e-learning alone (Paramedic/AP 36 %; EMT 35 %); project work (Paramedic/AP 27 %; EMT 48 %); and appraisal of journal articles (Paramedic/AP 24 %; EMT 39 %). Conclusion: Irish EMTs, Paramedics and Advanced Paramedics were supportive of CPC and favoured a ‘mixed’ model approach which includes: blended learning, practical skills, simulation, practical/team-based exercises, e-learning combined with practical skills, and evidence of patient contact. It is hoped that these insights will inform the CPC guidelines to be introduced.



BMC Health Services Research;15:532


BioMed Central





Also affiliated with

  • 4i - Centre for Interventions in Infection, Inflammation & Immunity

Department or School

  • School of Medicine

Usage metrics

    University of Limerick


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager