This short question comes from a paramedic student in NSW who wonders:

… if I’ll actually be able to practice the skills I’ve been taught with a private ambulance company once I complete the diploma. And will it change once paramedic registration starts?

This of course assumes that my correspondent has secured a job which I’ll assume has occurred.

Today paramedicine is a largely unregulated field.  Today it’s up to the employer to determine what the graduate paramedic is employed to do, ie the scope of practice.  It will also be up to the employer to determine whether the new graduate must undergo supervised practice or further training before being allowed to work on his or her own or as the senior member of a team.

Once registration is in place, the Paramedicine Board will have a role in determining what is required for registration. They may require a period of internship or supervised practice before registration, or they may allow a paramedic to be registered upon graduation but impose a condition on the paramedic’s registration that restricts their practice.  Alternatively the Board may allow full registration upon graduation, with no restrictions.   I can’t say what the Paramedicine Board will decide to do.

I realise I misunderstood the question and this student is doing a diploma, not a degree. It will be up to the paramedicine board to determine which qualifications are suitable for regisration as a paramedic. Qualifications for registration haven’t been determined but it is expected that, with the exception of Diplomas issued by Ambulance Service of NSW, a diploma program will not be sufficient for registration.

For those that have a diploma and relevant experience, they may be registered under the grandfathering provisions – see ‘Grandparenting’ paramedic qualifications (April 26, 2017).

So the answer should be:

Today paramedicine is a largely unregulated field.  Today it’s up to the employer to determine what qualifications are required for the job and the paramedic’s scope of practice.  It will also be up to the employer to determine whether to employ people with a diploma and whether the new graduate must undergo supervised practice or further training before being allowed to work on his or her own or as the senior member of a team.

Once registration is in place it will be the paramedicine board that will determine whether the Dipoma is sufficient for general registration or will be allowed for registration under the grandfathering provisions.  If the Diploma is not sufficient then my correspondent will not be able to be employed as or use the title ‘paramedic’.

My correspondent may be employed in a role that is not a paramedic role and again it will be up to the employer to determine what his or her role will be.