For State Licensing Boards

Why is accreditation important?

Accreditation is one of the key benchmarks for measuring quality. Valid accreditation is key to assuring the general public that the critical care paramedic is competent and current.

Why use the IBSC® exam process as your state's specialty certification process?

  • Licensure as a paramedic is 100% the purview of State. Only specialty level certification is measured by the IBSC.
  • A validated exam process that tests knowledge, not the teaching of a single program.
  • No cost to the state for creating and maintaining an exam process.
  • No burden to the state to create and defend a critical care exam.
  • 4-year certification renewable through continuing education or retesting.

Understanding Specialty Certification

Specialty Certification is a voluntary credentialing process designed to validate essential knowledge and judgment required for safe and competent practice. Specialty Certification is not a substitute for entry-level certification and licensure, but a tool to validate additional knowledge and dovetail with existing systems. The Board for Critical Care Transport Paramedic Certification (BCCTPC) and the International Board of Specialty Certification (IBSC) developed exams to provide specialty certification designations for professionals who demonstrate knowledge, experience and excellence in a variety of specialty areas. In today's complex healthcare system, providers are engaged in specialized practice areas that require substantial additional knowledge and experience beyond what can be expected from an entry-level practitioner.

The historical evolution of paramedicine has created a situation in which specialized practice is not well defined or accepted, yet is demanded by advances in the science of medicine. Appropriate regulation of specialized practice has developed over nearly two centuries in medicine, nursing and other allied health professions. However, in EMS, multiple regulatory agencies have not been able to adopt a uniform schema nor a definition that is uniformly applied around the world. While it is clear that specialty certification processes evolve slowly, existing models provide for effective, safe and standardized specialty education programs with valid examination and ultimately improved patient outcomes. The International Board of Specialty Certification is an organized and functional specialty board that has a mission to support all specialties in specialized occupations everywhere in the world. IBSC is the only organization offering a psychometrically valid and legally defensible framework for specialty certification that answers the question of how to quantify competency in a specialty area like critical care transport or tactical medicine.

The IBSC certification process is the only one of its kind and creates a universally recognized means for medical professionals, employers and the public to understand that paramedics holding this specialty certification qualify to work in the domain of paramedicine beyond that of an entry-level paramedic.

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