March 5, 2009
Canadian Paramedic Regulators
Progress Report on Labour Mobility for Paramedics
Paramedic Regulators (Regulators) continue to make progress on a planned approach to implement full labour mobility. Regulators reported government support for the plan adopted in December, 2008, (see Communiqué #1) with some regulators further along in the approval process than others. To ensure
compliance with the new labour mobility requirements of the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), which become effective April 1 2009, regulators have identified differences in scopes of practice across license levels by jurisdiction and have developed a short term strategy to accommodate those differences.
Regulators examined in detail a comparison of provincial scopes of practice at the EMR, PCP, ACP, and CCP levels, where applicable. There was fairly strong alignment of competency requirements across jurisdictions for each occupational level. Regulators then analysed the competency differences in each level to determine whether each of the skill gaps was substantive enough to constitute a barrier to labour mobility. Of the differences across the four license levels, 19 were determined to constitute a significant risk to the public should a worker be registered without training and assessment. The Regulators agreed to ensure a timely revision of the information to correct errors, add any missing data and provide more clarity on the current standards.
Regulators discussed ways to accommodate these "material" competency differences so that transferring workers could be registered in other jurisdictions effective April 1, 2009. There would be need for exemptions in the short term to issue restricted or conditional licenses or other mechanisms in these cases. Regulators agreed to work together to create training modules which could be used to address these key skill gaps. The intent would be to advise registered workers of the differences in standards across jurisdictions and make available short training packages which, if completed successfully, would make the applicant eligible to be registered without restriction in jurisdictions requiring that competency.
Regulators confirmed that they would continue to require recent, active practice as a condition of registration. Regulators also discussed the problem created by differences across jurisdictions in whether a registration examination was required, and the potential for recent graduates to avoid examinations in their home jurisdictions.
There was agreement to work together toward an inter-provincial registration examination. It was recognized that this would be a long term solution as there would first need to be agreement on an inter-provincial competency profile for each occupational group. Regulators discussed with a representative of the Paramedic Association of Canada the potential for collaboration to confirm competency profiles and develop an inter-provincial registration examination. There are governance issues which would need to be overcome in this regard.
Regulators confirmed an interest in pursuing the longer term goals set out in December 2008, to ensure continued full labour mobility (see Communiqué #1). They recognized there would be a need for ongoing maintenance of the comparison of scopes of practice, competency profiles, and potentially,
registration examination(s) as well as international qualification assessment. Regulators agreed that sustaining this critical support to labour mobility would require an ongoing commitment from every jurisdiction to continue collaboration. The group agreed, in principle, to formalize an organization to support and facilitate this collaboration, and designated a committee to develop an organizational charter for consideration at a future meeting.
Next steps for the Regulators will be to fully develop a plan for sustaining labour mobility over the long term, to develop accessible training modules to address the key competency gaps, and to explore opportunities to develop inter-provincial competency requirements, registration exams and international qualification assessment capacity.