Self-regulation has been a topic of discussion among Paramedics in Manitoba since 1983, first as members of the Manitoba Pre-hospital Care Personnel Association and then under the leadership of the Manitoba Prehospital Professions Association (MPPA). In early 2001 the Paramedic Association of Manitoba was formed with the vision "to become a self-governing, self-regulating society responsible for licensure of all pre-hospital practitioners in the province of Manitoba".
Health professions are regulated to ensure the public is protected when they seek or receive health care. Self-regulation is based on the concept that members of a profession, based on their knowledge, skills and judgment, are best suited to govern their profession in the public interest. The legislation that forms the basis of self-regulation for health professions in Manitoba is the newly enacted Regulated Health Professions Act (June 2009).
Paramedics in Manitoba are currently regulated by Manitoba Health Emergency Services under the Emergency Medical Response and Stretcher Transportation Act. This legislation and the associated regulations (the Land and Air Emergency Medical Response System Regulations) govern both personnel licensing and EMS service licensing and operations, and also enable fees to be set when making application for a license of either type.
With the advent of the National Occupational Competency Profiles (NOCP), a defined and very specialized body of education and competence requirements was accepted for entry into the practice of paramedicine. Many of the procedures conducted by Paramedics are considered to be "reserved acts" (medical acts) as defined in the new Regulated Health Professions Act. Paramedics are recognized as health care providers, generally working in uncontrolled environments with very little direct supervision. Taking all of this into consideration, coupled with the growth of our profession in the past decade, there's little argument that regulation of Paramedics should be reviewed to ensure the public is adequately protected in this field.
Our current regulatory framework (government regulation of both personnel and employers) no longer serves in the best interest of the public. Whether considering enhanced education and entry to practice standards, mandating improved continuing competency requirements, or investigating a practice complaint, it has become increasing difficult to govern both the employee and the employer without experiencing some conflict of interest. Paramedic self-regulation under the Regulated Health Professions Act would allow flexibility for the profession to adopt evidence based best practice and policy and ensure accountability, transparency and public protection.
Understanding Professional Self-Regulation
Professional self-regulation is a "partnership" with Government that enables a profession to regulate its members activities in the best interest of public safety and protection. With the privilege of self-regulation comes considerable responsibility.
The following presentation has been prepared to help Paramedics better understand the concept of professional self-regulation.
Additional Resource Materials:
Understanding Professional Self-Regulation - Glenn Randall BA, MA, MBA, PhD candidate
Professional Self-Regulation - Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association
Regulating in the Regulatory Society - presentation to the Canadian Network of National Association of Regulators (CNNAR)
Shared Professional Regulation - presentation to the Canadian Network of National Association of Regulators (CNNAR)