Paramedic Development

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A new deal for paramedics, which will see them move up the pay scale from band 5 to band 6, and meet the clinical practice requirements set out in the Urgent and emergency care review, was agreed by ambulance unions, employers and arms-length bodies in December 2016. 

The agreement, which was jointly decided by NHS Employers, the Department of Health, ambulance unions, the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, NHS England and NHS Improvement, is in recognition of the additional responsibilities and knowledge needed by paramedics to carry out increasing amounts of clinical work. 

The NHS Staff Council has agreed a new job profile for paramedic at pay Band 6. Our emergency services national job profiles contains information on the new profile, guidance for the job matching process and FAQs. 

The November 2017 jointly agreed statement, provides the latest information on the joint work to progress the requirements of the national agreement, including:

  • implementation of the consolidation of a learning programme for newly qualified paramedics (NQPs)
  • fast track scheme for the consolidation of learning programme
  • the development of a new paramedic job description
  • earlier progress to pay Band 6 for newly qualified paramedics impacted by the retrospective application of the national agreement.

New Band 6 job description

The national agreement committed employers and unions to the development of a new paramedic job description and this has been undertaken with feedback from employers and unions, including a local consultation process. As a result, agreement has now been reached on the final version of the national Band 6 paramedic job description. Joint discussion are continuing in respect of the implementation of this aspect of the national agreement and further information will be circulated shortly.

The newly qualified practitioner role

Trade unions and employers recognise that new paramedics should be supported when they start to apply their knowledge and skills in their first substantive role. The December 2016 agreement also included the development of a 24-month consolidation of learning programme for newly qualified paramedics. This is designed to support new paramedics to deliver the scope of practice demanded by current out-of-hospital emergency healthcare.

The duties and responsibilities of newly qualified practitioners (NQPs), in line with Health and Care Professions Council standards, are described in a nationally agreed generic job description which will be adapted for use locally by each trust. The NHS Staff Council’s Job Evaluation Group (JEG) have developed a new profile in line with the job description. 

The additional support given to NQPs in decision making at the start of their careers places the role in pay band 5. Upon completion, NQPs will automatically move into a paramedic role in pay Band 6, where they will be autonomous within the scope of their clinical practice. Newly qualified paramedics commencing employment on or after 1 September 2016 will undertake the consolidation of learning programme.

Consolidation period framework

NQPs will own and maintain a portfolio of agreed learning outcomes that will be evidenced, in order for the individual to progress through the consolidation period. Individual trusts will determine how best to support their new paramedics during the consolidation period. The consolidation of the application of theoretical knowledge and practical skills in operational settings will be assessed against standard specified learning outcomes.

A new schematic has been produced to describe the two year post-registration consolidation period. 

Fast track scheme

The December 2016 agreement also included the development of a fast track programme for NQPs. Some NQP's may be able to gain confidence and capability, particularly if they have previous relevant experience, to move though the consolidation of learning period in less than two years. Candidates will self-assess, providing evidence they have met all competencies and undertake a panel review. Employers and local trade unions will work together to implement the programme as soon as possible in each ambulance trust.

In addition, agreement has been reached to pay Band 6 for newly qualified paramedics who were employed between 1 September 2016 and 31 March 2017 and were impacted by the retrospective application of the national agreement. The training and development needs of these staff will be reviewed and they will need to commit to undertake outstanding training or development, with employer support, by 28 February 2017.

The fast track programme for newly qualified paramedics is based on nationally agreed principles

Further information

FAQs on the newly qualified role.

FAQs on improved arrangements for newly qualified paramedics impacted by the retrospective application of the national agreement, the new paramedic job description and fast track scheme.

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