Credible education through accreditation
MARCH 2018 / IN THIS ISSUE
  • Accreditation Q & A
  • Register Now for CAAHEP Accreditation Workshop in Portland
  • Portfolio Expectations
  • Be Ready for Appendix G Implementation
  • CoAEMSP Interpretations of CAAHEP Standards for Medical Directors
  • Site Visit and Visitor Policies Adopted
  • Annual Report in Pilot Testing Stage
  • EMS Strong 2018
  • Board Member Joseph Mistovich Receives Excellence Award
  • By the Numbers
  • Milestones
  • Help Us Celebrate Our 40th Anniversary
Accreditation Questions and Answers
The Internet is a rich information source for almost any subject. On occasion however, it can lead to miscommunication if a person is accessing an unofficial source.

When it comes to information about accreditation of Paramedic programs, there are only two websites you can depend on for accurate and consistent information: www.coaemsp.org and www.caahep.org.

If you read something related to accreditation and you are not sure if the information is accurate, we encourage you to simply reach out and ask us! The CoAEMSP staff is available via telephone or email to support you and answer your questions. Below is a question we recently received, and we think you will benefit from the answer.

Standards Question: How Many Preceptors?

Q: During a student's internship, how many preceptors are recommended and what is the purpose of the recommendation?

A: As a matter of best practice, the CoAEMSP suggests limiting the number of preceptors to as few as possible to ensure continuity of the student's education. If a student sees a different preceptor each time he or she rides, it is very difficult to know if he or she is progressing towards entry-level competency. This means if a student is struggling in a particular area, the preceptor can recognize the problem and then work with the student accordingly in order to remediate any deficiencies. It also prevents a student from getting to the end of the program only to realize he or she is not ready to graduate. This is a matter of fair practice which helps protect the student and the program from possible adverse action(s). For agencies that simply cannot achieve assigning one or two preceptors to a single student, the program is required to document the evidence of communication between preceptors and the student to allow the adequate feedback for progression.

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION?
Email Dr. Gordon Kokx, gordy@coaemsp.org . Your question may appear in a future CoAEMSP eUpdate!
Seats Filling Up Fast!
Registration Now for CAAHEP Accreditation Workshop in Portland

April 26-27
Portland, Oregon
550 SW Oak St
Portland, OR 97204

Courtyard Portland City Center is in the heart of the Financial District, and just steps from the Max Light Rail, Pioneer Place, Pearl District, and many other well known landmarks.




 REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS APRIL 19!

These workshops will focus on the 2015 CAAHEP Standards and the Self Study Report templates. These accreditation workshops will serve as an invaluable resource for new program directors, lead instructors, and deans as well as the seasoned program directors.

Portfolio Expectations
Since August 1, 2016, the National Registry of EMT’s (NREMT) has required all Paramedic students to complete a portfolio of his/her psychomotor competencies (also known as the Paramedic Psychomotor Competency Portfolio, PPCP, or Paramedic Portfolio). The NREMT contacted every Program Director in the country to make them aware of the change and has made the NREMT Portfolio available on their website as a free download.

The CoAEMSP Board of Directors has endorsed the portfolio concept of learning and allows programs to use either the NREMT Portfolio or develop their own. To date, most programs are utilizing the NREMT Portfolio with only a few electing to create their own version. Regardless of which portfolio a program chooses to use, it should only be a single portfolio that documents the psychomotor accomplishments of each student throughout the program.

In an effort to assist programs in reporting their portfolio results, the CoAEMSP has developed a new Appendix G that closely mirrors the approach of the NREMT's Portfolio. The new Appendix G also includes a table of evidence-based, recommended minimum competencies for live patient encounters. The recommended minimums were based on over 3,000,000 Paramedic student encounters and were demonstrated to be very achievable across all demographics of paramedic programs. 
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WHAT IS THE CoAEMSP DEFINITION OF A PORTFOLIO?

A portfolio is a skills assessment system that documents the evaluation of the progression of each student over time through individual skills acquisition, scenario labs, clinical and capstone field internship. This assessment system should represent best practices in education, measurement and documentation of the affective, cognitive, and psychomotor domains.
Be Sure You Are Ready!
NEW! Appendix G Implementation Date is July 1, 2019
What is meant by the new Appendix G implementation? The expectation is that 1) each Paramedic program will have established the minimum number of patient encounters [III.C.2. Curriculum] that each student must achieve prior to program completion, 2) those established minimums must have been reviewed and approved by the medical director, and 3) they must have been endorsed by the Advisory Committee by July 1, 2019.


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COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING THE NEW APPENDIX G

Q. What am I required to do by the July 1, 2019, deadline for the new Appendix G?

A. As a Program Director, you will first need to work with your Medical Director to establish the minimum competencies for your program [III.C.2. Curriculum]. After the minimums are established, the Medical Director must approve them. Lastly, the program’s Advisory Committee must endorse the program’s minimums by July 1, 2019. The CoAEMSP will then expect any cohort that begins on or after July 1, 2019, to use its newly approved and endorsed minimums. For more information click here and scroll down to this section: Student Minimum Competency Matrix and CoAEMSP Recommended Competency Minimums (effective July 1, 2019).

Q. What if our program adopts minimums that are less than the CoAEMSP recommended competency minimums?

A. Programs may choose to adopt lesser minimums than those recommended in the revised Appendix G, however the CoAEMSP will require such programs to offer a written explanation for each established minimum that is less than the recommended numbers.

Q. Are my students required to complete both an NREMT Portfolio and a CoAEMSP portfolio?

A. No! Students are only required to complete a single portfolio. The program may choose to use the NREMT Paramedic Portfolio or the program may develop its own portfolio. There is no “CoAEMSP portfolio”.

Stay tuned for further updates as the process progresses and we all work towards an evidence-based approach to Paramedic education!
CoAEMSP Interpretations of the CAAHEP Standards : Medical Directors
The CoAEMSP Board adopted two new interpretations of the CAAHEP Standards during its February board meeting.

Interpretation for Standard III.B.2.a.4)
[The underlined language is the new approved language.]

Documentation must include a terminal competency form for each graduate signed and dated by the Medical Director. (A CoAEMSP Terminal Competency form is available on the CoAEMSP web site for use by the program, if so desired).   If the CoAEMSP form is not used, the program’s own terminal competency form must include the following statement: “We hereby attest that the candidate listed below successfully completed all of the Terminal Competencies required for graduation from the Paramedic Education program as a minimally competent, entry-level, Paramedic and as such is eligible for State and National Certification written and practical examination in accordance with our published policies and procedures.“  The form must also have a section or sections where the medical director attests to and ensures the competence of the graduate in all three domains: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor.

Interpretation for Standard III.B.4.a.

If an Associate or Assistant Medical Director was used for an out-of-state program or clinical, field experience, or capstone field internship site(s) in the most recent five-year accreditation cycle, an approved CoAEMSP Associate or Assistant Medical Director form must be on file for each out-of-state site. 

The companion document contains the CAAHEP Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in the Emergency Medical Services Professions with CoAEMSP interpretations adopted by CoAEMSP through policies.

The interpretations are NOT part of the CAAHEP Standards and Guidelines document and are subject to change by CoAEMSP. Policy revisions may occur often, so this document should be reviewed frequently to ensure the most current version.

Please refer to the CoAEMSP Interpretations of the 2015 CAAHEP Standards and Guidelines. Questions regarding the interpretations can be directed to Dr. Gordon Kokx, gordy@coaemsp.org.
Site Visit and Site Visitor Policies Adopted
Upon recommendation from the Site Visit and Visitors Committee, the CoAEMSP Board adopted three policies surrounding site visits and site visitors.

Site Visitor Biennial Review
Site visitor status is subject to review at least biennially by the CoAEMSP Board of Directors and is based upon recommendations by the Site Visit Subcommittee. Reappointment recommendations will be based upon both the activity of the site visitor during the prior year(s) and assessment of the quality of their site visitor performance. Review and reappointment will occur during the February Board of Directors meeting in the even numbered years.

A site visitor may be appointed for lesser time if warranted based on quality assurance evaluations.

Conflict of Interest from a Program Sponsor Toward a Site Visitor
The CoAEMSP provides the program sponsor with the opportunity to review members of the proposed team to identify any conflicts of interest that would make service by any member of the team inappropriate.

If the program sponsor believes that one or more of the members of the proposed team has a conflict of interest and would not be able to serve as an unbiased member of the team, the program director must notify the CoAEMSP immediately. The following conflicts of interest may include but are not limited to:

  • Employed or living in the same geographic region
  • Previous employee or appointee of program or sponsor
  • A graduate of the program
  • Been involved with publicly expressed opinions bearing on accreditation of program
  • Previous employee or appointee of a clinical or field affiliate site
  • Has a relative associated with the program or sponsor
  • Is or has been a paid or unpaid consultant to the program

Upon disclosure of a possible conflict of interest, the CoAEMSP Executive Office will make the final determination.

Number of Site Visitors and Length of a Site Visit
A regular site visit is comprised of two (2) appointed site visitors for two (2) days. On a case-by-case basis, the CoAEMSP determines if there are special circumstances that require more than two site visitors and/or more than two days. Special circumstances include, and are not limited to, programs with one (1) or more satellite campuses, distance between satellite campuses, or on-line/distance learning.

Policies specific to site visits and site visitors are available in the Site Visitor Manual.
Annual Report is in Pilot Testing Stage
The CoAEMSP is revising the Annual Report tool and transitioning to an Excel based Annual Report. Currently 200 randomly selected Paramedic programs are participating in the pilot test; they will report data for the 2017 calendar year. The deadline for completing the new tool is May 1, 2018.

“This format is vastly improved as compared to the former. Kudos to all who have developed it.” Program Director Comment

The CoAEMSP staff and Quality Improvement Committee (QIC), charged with managing the Annual Report, are listening! Feedback has been received through formal channels, comments directly sent to staff and board members, and from informal channels such as the program director listserv. All of the feedback is being captured to ensure the best possible enhancements are made to the new tool.

Approximately 5% of the programs have submitted their Annual Report as part of the pilot.

“This seems very easy to do provided you have kept up with all of the required tracking and evaluations and the Resource Assessment Matrix (RAM)” Program Director Comment

Other comments are focused on the functionality of the Excel based Annual Report and the user experience. There have been conversations among programs about challenges with on-time graduation for each cohort, and concern for "late-completers." Reporting the on-time graduation is not new and has been in place for previous cohorts and the previous annual report tool. Remember that the Annual Report is for one year only and programs will have the ability to include "late-completers" on subsequent reports.

“First and foremost, great job making this a one year reporting event and making the spreadsheet very easy to work with!” Program Director Comment

Reports are due May 1. After the CoAEMSP has had an opportunity to review and analyze feedback, we will share our analysis and potential revisions.
Join the CoAEMSP in Supporting EMS Strong 2018
EMS STRONG is a campaign designed to celebrate, unite, and inspire the men and women of EMS 365 days a year. The CoAEMSP is a proud sponsor of EMS STRONG.

EMS STRONG is produced by the American College of American Physicians (ACEP), in partnership with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT).

EMS STRONG is the bond you share with fellow first responders. Sometimes that bond is expressed in a silent nod of recognition, and other times it takes the form of war stories shared for the umpteenth time. But it's always there.

EMS STRONG is what draws a special few together to do incredibly important work, often under difficult circumstances, and many times with little thanks. We are STRONGER TOGETHER.

Please join the CoAMESP in supporting EMS Strong!

Learn more about the campaign   here
Board Member Joseph Mistovich Receives Excellence Award
Joseph Mistovich, MEd, NRP, CoAEMSP Executive Committee Member-At-Large, is the recipient of the 2018 Excellence Award for Department Chairpersons in Scholarship from Youngstown State University.

The Excellence Award demonstrates the high regard in which his colleagues hold him for the quality of his scholarship. Mr. Mistovich’s research is significant testimony to his commitment to professional development and to the life of the mind. Through the dissemination of its outcomes, the scholarship benefits others in the profession and inevitably the students he teaches in the University.

Mr. Mistovich represents the National Registry for EMTs (NREMT) on the CoAEMSP board, of which he has been a member for more than 13 years.
It's our 40th Anniversary! Send Us Your Photos & Messages! Visit our New History Page!
The Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services (CoAEMSP) is pleased to be celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018.

Be sure to visit the history page in the 40th anniversary section of our website.

We invite you to send a message that can be shared with the EMS community on our website, in our monthly newsletters, or in other possible methods of communications.

In addition, if you have photos from the past 40 years that relate to the history of the CoAEMSP and accreditation, we encourage you to send them to Jennifer Anderson Warwick at jennifer@coaemsp.org .
By the Numbers
The number of CAAHEP accredited Paramedic educational programs has surpassed the 600 mark as of March 19, 2018! Congratulations to each and every program that has helped us reach this important milestone!
Milestones
Ben Symonds, MPA, NRP, Program Director at Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, earned the Master of Public Administration degree conferred in December 2017, from Upper Iowa University.
Upcoming Events
CAAHEP Accreditation Workshop
April 26-27, 2018
Portland, Oregon
CAAHEP Accreditation Workshop
October 25-26, 2018
Location to be determined
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Is there something you would like us to cover in a future eUpdate? 
Let us know!

Sincerely,
Jennifer S. Anderson Warwick, MA
CoAEMSP