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Survey: AEMT program directors enthusiastic about voluntary accreditation

CoAEMSP and CAAHEP announced the launch of voluntary AEMT accreditation starting Jan. 1, 2025


Earlier this year, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP) announced the launch of voluntary programmatic accreditation at the advanced emergency medical technician (AEMT) level starting Jan. 1, 2025.

This was big news in the EMS world. However, there was no way to know whether AEMT programs would seek voluntary CAAHEP accreditation. Based on new survey results, we have an answer.

Enthusiasm for voluntary accreditation among AEMT program directors

Two-thirds of AEMT program directors (65%) believe voluntary accreditation for AEMT programs would potentially benefit their program and 59% are likely to seek voluntary accreditation, according to a survey of 293 AEMT program directors conducted by CoAEMSP between Sept. 19, 2023, and Oct. 6, 2023. Half of the respondents (50%) are from CAAHEP-accredited paramedic programs and more than three-quarters of respondents (78%) are familiar with accreditation.

This survey represents the first real measure of interest in voluntary AEMT accreditation. The results indicate many AEMT program directors are both familiar with accreditation and its benefits and interested in seeking voluntary accreditation.


Value of accreditation seen in NREMT pass rates

Among survey respondents with an established goal for annual pass rates of the National Registry certification exam, 93% have a goal that 70% or more of exam takers pass the test. However, according to data from the National Registry, only 56% of AEMTs who voluntarily took the NREMT certification exam in 2022 passed the test the first time, and 69% passed within a cumulative three attempts. In contrast, among paramedics, all of whom attended a CAAHEP accredited paramedic education program in 2022, 71% passed the first test, and 85% passed within three cumulative attempts.

Accreditation results in a reliable, consistent and competent aramedic workforce, which in turn enhances the safety and well-being of communities nationwide. Now we have an opportunity to bring the benefits to AEMT education programs on a voluntary basis.

CoAEMSP is working closely with national EMS stakeholders to gather perspectives and recommendations on how best to implement this new option. Our hope is to respond to the high level of enthusiasm for accreditation with programs that advance our shared goal of advancing AEMT education nationwide.

Visit the CoAEMSP website for the full survey results and more information on AEMT voluntary accreditation, including registration details for a Town Hall meeting on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. CT.

Dr. Hatch is the executive director for the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP).