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Home > Education > Our standards > Changes to SET 1 for paramedics

Changes to SET 1 for paramedics

The first of the standards of education and training ('SET 1') sets out the threshold level of qualification for entry to the Register for each of the professions.


Between 25 September 2017 and 15 December 2017, we consulted on changing SET 1 for paramedics. The majority of respondents supported a change to degree level.

On 21 March 2018 the Council agreed that the threshold level should change from 'Equivalent to Certificate of Higher Education' to 'Bachelor degree with honours'. We have concluded this is necessary to deliver the Standards of proficiency for paramedics to the depth required for contemporary practice.

Implementation of the change to the threshold level will be phased as follows:

    • From 22 March 2018, we will not accept new applications for approval of paramedic programmes that are delivered below degree level.
    • From 1 September 2021, we will withdraw approval from existing programmes delivered below the new threshold level. They will not be able to take on any new students.

This change does not directly affect existing registered paramedics, or students part way through pre-registration education and training programmes. This change applies only to pre-registration education and training programmes and not to individuals.

To provide guidance on the impact of this change, we have produced a series of FAQs and a flow chart below. This is targeted at registered paramedics, student paramedics and prospective paramedic students.


Flowchart


Frequently asked questions for Paramedics

I am a registered paramedic who qualified in the past with an IHCD, certificate, diploma or foundation degree qualification. Does a change to SET 1 mean I can no longer remain on the Register?

No.

The change to SET 1 does not affect the ability of paramedics to remain registered with us. This is because SET 1 is about the contemporary level of education and training required for entry to the Register and only applies to approved programmes.

All existing registrants will be able to remain registered with the HCPC. No top up education will be required of paramedics in order to remain registered.

I completed an HCPC approved qualification in the past, but I am not currently registered. Can I still apply to register in the future?

Yes.

The change to SET 1 does not affect your ability to apply for registration with HCPC, even if you decide not to apply for registration until after SET 1 has changed. This is because SET 1 is about the contemporary level of education and training required for entry to the Register. It applies to approved programmes for registration going forward and is not applied retrospectively.

If you have been out of practice since you qualified, you may need to meet our returners to practice requirements before you register. You can find out more information here.

I have just started an HCPC approved diploma in higher education in paramedic science. Does this change affect my ability to register when I complete it?

No.

Any student who is currently enrolled on an approved programme - now or when the change is fully implemented on 1 September 2021 - will be eligible to apply for registration with us when they complete their programme.

Enrolled students do not need to have complete their approved programme by 1 September 2021. They can graduate after this date and still be eligible to register

I am looking to train as a paramedic in the future. Does this change mean I have to complete a degree level education programme in order to join the Register?

Maybe.

We will be implementing the change to SET 1 as a phased approach. Students will still be able to start approved certificate, diploma and foundation degree level programmes up until 31 August 2021 and will graduate with eligibility to apply for registration when they finish their studies.

From 1 September 2021, only education programmes delivered at degree level or above will be approved to take on new students. From this date, you will need to enrol on to a degree level programme if you want to train to be a paramedic.

We anticipate that education providers will phase out their certificate, diploma and foundation degree level programmes between 2018 and 2021. Individual education providers will decide when to close approved certificate, diploma and foundation degree level programmes to new entrants. We expect the timelines to vary from provider to provider. We strongly recommend that you contact any providers you are considering applying to as soon as possible to find out their specific plans.

If you are currently employed by an ambulance trust who sponsor / support a programme at a local education provider, then your trust may be able to advise you of their plans for supporting existing ambulance clinicians who wish to develop and become a paramedic in the future.

I have a place on an HCPC approved foundation degree in paramedic science and I am due to start in September 2018. Does this change affect this programme and my ability to register when I complete it?

No.

There is no requirement for education providers to close approved certificate, diploma and foundation degree level programmes immediately. Individual education providers will decide when to close approved certificate, diploma and foundation degree level programmes to new entrants. We anticipate that education providers will phase out this provision at different times between now and September 2021. If you are considering deferring your place, we strongly recommend that you contact the provider as soon as possible as there may not be any guarantee that the programme will run in the next academic year.

The change to SET 1 is being implemented as a phased approach. Students will still be able to start approved certificate, diploma and foundation degree level programmes up until 31 August 2021 and will graduate with eligibility to apply for registration when they finish their studies.

The date for no longer accepting new applications for approval of paramedic programmes has changed. Why is this?

Our Council decided that this decision should be implemented with immediate effect. This is because they felt it was not in keeping with the overall aims of the change and that we shouldn’t be encouraging more growth around lower levels of training whilst at the same time raising the level of training required.


Contacts

Should you have any questions about the impact of these changes, please contact either the Policy or Education department at:

Policy department: policy@hcpc-uk.org / 44 (0)20 7840 9815.

Education department: education@hcpc-uk.org / 44 (0)20 7840 9812.



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