Accreditation is the act of granting credit or recognition to educational institutions and/or education providers which demonstrate compliance with and maintenance of the accrediting body’s Standards of Accreditation and applicable policies and procedures. Accreditation is necessary for any person or institution in education that needs to prove that they meet a general standard of quality.
What is NEMSMA Accreditation?
Individual candidates for Paramedic Officer credentialing at the Supervising Paramedic Officer (SPO), Managing Paramedic Officer (MPO) and Fellow in the American College of Paramedic Executives (FACPE) levels are required to demonstrate a minimum number of “Qualifying Education” hours commensurate with the level of credentialing they are applying for as a prerequisite when they submit their credentialing application and portfolio. Qualifying Education is further divided into “Accredited” and “General” (a/k/a Approved) Leadership Education hours, with a combination of each type required. Programs and conference sessions registered and recognized through the NEMSMA accreditation process will satisfy the “Accredited” portion of the Qualifying Education credentialing and re-certification portfolio requirements. For more on the difference between “Accredited” and “General” Leadership Education, please see: What Is the Difference Between “Accredited” and “General” Leadership Education?
To meet NEMSMA accreditation standards, an education provider must demonstrate that a particular program or conference session “maps to” (i.e., covers topics contained in) the standardized knowledge objectives and skill sets established in the NEMSMA Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies. NEMSMA accreditation shows that an education provider has voluntarily submitted leadership educational content to an objective assessment of its ability to meet established standards for educational planning, implementation, and evaluation and that it has met or exceeded those criteria. Educational programs and conferences which have gone through the NEMSMA accreditation process have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in leadership and management education.
To download a copy of the NEMSMA Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies, go to https://www.nemsma.org/resource/resmgr/pdfs/credentialing/nemsma_seven_pillars_of_nati.pdf.
What are the “Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies”?
A document published by NEMSMA in 2014, which establishes a national standardized comprehensive leadership competencies for each of three (3) levels of leadership within the Paramedicine/EMS profession, specifically Supervising Officer, Managing Officer, and Executive Officer. The Executive Officer level is now known as a Fellow in the American College of Paramedic Executives (FACPE). The Competencies are accepted by the industry across the country and form the basis for Paramedic Officer credentialing by the American College of Paramedic Executives (ACPE).
What Is the Difference Between “Accredited” and “General” Leadership Education?
As depicted in the infographic below, individual candidates for Paramedic Officer credentialing at the Supervising Paramedic Officer (SPO), Managing Paramedic Officer (MPO) and Fellow in the American College of Paramedic Executives (FACPE) levels are required to demonstrate a minimum number of “Qualifying Education” hours commensurate with the level of credentialing they are applying for as a prerequisite when they submit their credentialing application and portfolio. Qualifying Education is further divided into “Accredited” and “General” (a/k/a Approved) Leadership Education hours, with a combination of each type required.
“Accredited” Leadership Education (ALE) in the context of Paramedic Officer credentialing is specifically limited to programs and conference sessions which have been voluntarily submitted to NEMSMA’s Committee on Accreditation for detailed review of how the educational content “maps to” (i.e., covers topics contained in) the NEMSMA Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies, as well as an objective assessment of how the program or conference session plans to meet established standards for educational planning, implementation and evaluation. ALE consists of programs and conference sessions on leadership and management topics which have been accredited by NEMSMA’s Committee on Accreditation. All ALE hours are accepted by the American College of Paramedic Executives (ACPE) towards satisfaction of the total Qualifying Education hour requirements for Paramedic Officer credentialing candidates.
“General” (a/k/a Approved) Leadership Education (GLE), on the other hand, consists of other programs and conference sessions on leadership and management topics which have not been reviewed by NEMSMA’s Committee on Accreditation, nor has there been any formal review of whether or how the program or conference session “maps to” (i.e., covers topics contained in) the NEMSMA Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies, certificates of completion or transcripts of which are submitted to the American College of Paramedic Executives (ACPE) by individuals seeking Paramedic Officer credentialing as part of the individual’s application portfolio. The decision to accept GLE hours from a particular program or conference towards satisfaction of total Qualifying Education hour requirement rests entirely with the ACPE.
For more information on the ACPE and Paramedic Officer credentialing, go to www.nemsma.org.
What is the Difference between a “Registered Leadership Education Provider” and “Accreditation”?
Leadership education providers are required to be registered with NEMSMA in order to seek accreditation of their programs or conference sessions. This means that before being allowed to apply for program or conference session accreditation, an education provider must register with NEMSMA to become designated as a NEMSMA “Registered Leadership Education Provider (RLEP).” However, registration does not mean that programs or conferences offered by the RLEP are automatically accredited.
“Accreditation” is a separate process following RLEP registration during which a Registered Leadership Education Provider submits the educational content of its programs or conference sessions to NEMSMA’s Committee on Accreditation for a detailed review of how the educational content “maps to” (i.e., covers topics contained in) the NEMSMA Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies, as well as an objective assessment of how the program or conference plans to meet established standards for educational planning, implementation and evaluation.
Registered Leadership Education Providers may identify themselves as “Registered” in promotional and marketing materials, but may not represent that their educational offerings are “Accredited” until such accreditation has actually been awarded. Accreditation is awarded only for individual programs or conferences sessions. Once a particular program or conference session receives Accreditation, the Registered Leadership Education Provider may use the NEMSMA Accreditation logo (or other NEMSMA-approved designation) in publications, displays, and on course completion certificates related to the particular program or conference session for which accreditation has been awarded.
What is the NEMSMA Committee on Accreditation?
The Committee on Accreditation is comprised of NEMSMA members and invited Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who have an interest, experience or expertise in educational content accreditation activities. The Committee works under the delegated authority of and reports to the NEMSMA Board of Directors through its Board Liaison and works under the direction of the Board Liaison and the Committee Chair. The Committee is divided into two Sub-Committees: one which oversees the development and maintenance of the NEMSMA accreditation process (the “Standards and Policies Sub-Committee”), and one which handles the accreditation reviews (the “Review Team Sub-Committee”). The Committee on Accreditation meets as a whole at least monthly via telephone conference call to discuss accreditation activities and review final written reports prepared by the review teams, making the final decision on approval of accreditation. The Sub-Committees meet as often as necessary via telephone conference call and/or in person to accomplish the work required of each of them.
What Type of Accreditation Reviews does NEMSMA Perform?
NEMSMA Accreditation is tied to the educational content contained in various programs and conference sessions centered around EMS/Paramedicine Leadership concepts. To meet accreditation standards, an education provider must demonstrate that a particular program or conference session “maps to” (i.e., covers topics contained in) the NEMSMA Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies. The Review Teams perform a detailed, objective review and assessment of the educational content of the submitted program or conference session and its ability to meet established standards for educational planning, implementation and evaluation to show that it meets or exceeds those criteria.
Why the Use of the Term “Paramedic”?
Please see the FAQ “Can We Still Apply for NEMSMA Accreditation if Our Educational Offerings are Not Limited Only to Paramedics?”
Can We Still Apply for NEMSMA Accreditation if Our Educational Offerings are Not Limited Only to Paramedics?
Absolutely! The use of the term “Paramedic” by NEMSMA, the Committee on Accreditation, and the American College of Paramedic Executives (ACPE) is intentional but not exclusive of other levels of clinical certification besides paramedic. It is NEMSMA’s position and belief that the term “paramedic” should become the standard reference for all individual providers regardless if clinical scope of practice, and is not limited strictly to those who have achieved clinical certification or licensure at the traditional Paramedic level. In fact, just the opposite is true. NEMSMA’s Paramedic Officer credentialing program is open to all levels of clinical EMS providers aspiring to or serving in Paramedicine/EMS industry leadership roles. Correspondingly, NEMSMA Accreditation is available for all programs and conference sessions which map to the Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies, regardless of the level of the clinical certification of enrolled students. That is because NEMSMA Accreditation focuses on the three levels of Leadership Competencies, namely Supervising, Managing, and Executive Officers, which, depending upon individual agency requirements, may very likely include EMTs, AEMTs, Paramedics, and other levels of authorized EMS providers, or even those who serve in ancillary or supportive roles within an agency which do not require current clinical certification.
Why Should We Seek NEMSMA Accreditation?
NEMSMA Accreditation of leadership education offerings is a win-win, for both the education provider and its registrants/attendees. Although Paramedic Officer credentialing is still in its infancy, maximizing the opportunities for potential Paramedic Officer Candidates to obtain Accredited Leadership Education (ALE) towards satisfaction of the ACPE’s “Qualifying Education” requirements is critical to the success of the Paramedic Officer credentialing initiative. Participation will establish your organization as an early adopter and recognized leader of Paramedic Officer Leadership education, as well as position your organization to prepare the next generation of paramedic leaders. Programs and conferences which offer NEMSMA-Accredited leadership education will likely experience increased attendance as potential and aspiring Paramedic Officer candidates seek out NEMSMA-Accredited leadership education opportunities in order to fulfill their application and re-certification portfolio requirements.
How is NEMSMA Accreditation Different from CAPCE Accreditation?
NEMSMA is specifically concerned with accreditation of Leadership and Management education from a reputable source, directly related or easily translated to EMS, and connected specifically to one or more of the NEMSMA Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies. The Competencies were developed to help form and guide aspiring and current leaders so they can best perform in their role as Paramedic (EMS) officers across the nation. As the Competencies were developed, NEMSMA stressed equally the importance of identifying the attributes of a successful leader and that of identifying the operational tasks and skills needed to best perform in each level of leadership. As discussed in other FAQs, a certain amount of NEMSMA- accredited content is required to achieve Paramedic Officer certification through the American College of Paramedic Executives (ACPE) (see: What is NEMSMA Accreditation? and What Is the Difference Between “Accredited” and “General” Leadership Education?).
By contrast, the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE) focuses on EMS clinical certification/licensure and/or NREMT certification continuing education and as such, accredits many different types of EMS education, including clinical topics in categories such as BLS, ALS, Trauma, Medical Emergencies, Cardiology, and EMS Operations, which are required for certification/re-certification as a clinical provider.
What Forms of Accreditation Are Available Through NEMSMA?
NEMSMA’s Accreditation program is divided into two categories: Conference Session Accreditation and Program Accreditation.
Conference Session Accreditation is limited specifically to national, state, regional, and local conferences of any duration. NEMSMA does not accredit the conference itself, but rather individual sessions offering Leadership educational content within the context of the conference environment. Conference session accreditation is therefore tied specifically to each individual conference session and is only valid for the specific dates of a specific conference.
For example, Leadership education sessions offered at an annual state EMS conference held in March 2018 may receive accreditation for the March 2018 conference dates. Subsequent conferences run by the same host (i.e., the same state EMS conference held in March 2019) will have to have re-apply for conference session accreditation for all Leadership education sessions offered at subsequent conferences. This is the case regardless of whether any particular session was accredited in previous years or at other conferences conducted by the same or a different organization.
Accredited sessions may be repeated during the duration of a particular conference (although the conference host will be charged accreditation fees based upon the total number of hours of accredited sessions it will be offering).
Program Accreditation includes classes, courses, workshops, programs, and distributed learning delivered outside the context of a conference. Programs may be of any length or duration, ranging from as little as one (1) hour to as long as a 16-week semester and beyond. Program accreditation, once received, is valid for up to 5 years, provided the Registered Leadership Education Provider (RLEP) pays the annual fee to maintain their registration and corresponding eligibility to maintain on-going program accreditation.
Re-accreditation of programs at intervals of not more than every 5 years helps ensure that accredited programs are keeping pace with updates to the NEMSMA Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies and industry leadership standards.
What is a “RLEP ID #” and How Do We Get One?
A “RLEP ID #” is a unique seven-digit alpha-numeric number (for example, ABC-1234) assigned to Registered Leadership Education Providers (RLEPs) who have registered with NEMSMA for the purpose of applying for and providing NEMSMA-accredited leadership educational content and is used for filing, reporting, and tracking purposes. A RLEP ID # is different from an Accreditation Registration number. A RLEP ID # can be obtained from NEMSMA’s Committee on Accreditation by completing and submitting an Application for Registration as a NEMSMA Leadership Education Provider. Note: You must be registered with NEMSMA as a Registered Leadership Education Provider prior to submitting an application for accreditation. The Application for Registration as a NEMSMA Leadership Education Provider (Form CA-1) is available on the NEMSMA website at https://www.nemsma.org/page/forms-and-documents or by contacting the Committee on Accreditation directly at email@example.com.
What Happens if We Don’t Pay Our RLEP Annual Renewal Fee on Time?
Registered Leadership Education Provider (RLEP) Annual Renewal Fees are due prior to the expiration of the current RLEP registration period, which is defined as the last day of the month of the initial registration anniversary date (i.e., if initial registration anniversary date is January 10, renewal is due on or before January 31).
RLEPs which fail to pay their Annual Renewal Fee prior to the expiration of the current registration period but pay the Annual Renewal Fee not later than 90 days following the last day of the month of the initial registration anniversary date (i.e., if initial registration anniversary date is January 10, renewal must be paid no later than April 30), will still be entitled to pay the reduced Annual Renewal Fee rate. However, accreditation of any accredited educational offerings will be suspended pending payment of the Annual Renewal Fee.
How Do We Know Which Accreditation Application Form(s) to Use?
There are separate sets of Accreditation application forms and materials for Programs and Conferences. Programs, by definition, include distributed learning activities (i.e., distance, distributed, “shrink wrap” or “turn key,” webinar, and on-demand e-learning education).
Conferences should apply using NEMSMA Forms AA-1 (Application for Conference Session Accreditation) and AA-2 (Conference Accreditation Spreadsheet).
Programs should apply using NEMSMA Forms AA-3 (Application for Program Accreditation) and AA-4 (Program Accreditation Review Spreadsheet).
Do We Have to use NEMSMA’s Forms / Format for Our Accreditation Submissions?
Yes. All applications for accreditation must be completed using only NEMSMA forms. Related attachments must be submitted in the format(s) outlined in the application instructions. Applications and submissions of required information on other forms or in different formats than those specified will not be accepted.
Do We Have to Use the Application Submission “Link” to Submit Our Accreditation
Yes. NEMSMA requires that all applications for Accreditation (both for Programs and Conference Sessions) be submitted to NEMSMA’s Committee on Accreditation (CoA) electronically. After exploring many different options, NEMSMA selected “Dropbox for Business” as its secure electronic file transfer, file-sharing and file storage platform. Unlike the “free” version of Dropbox, “Dropbox for Business” is a robust and secure file transfer and sharing platform with best-in-class privacy and security features, which is HIPAA/HITECH compliant, meets US and EU privacy standards, and includes advanced data protection; 256-bit AES and SSL/TLS encryption; two-factor authentication (2FA); password-protected, expiring shared links; and, advanced sharing permissions. NEMSMA provides all RLEPs with a unique,
secure, one-way link to this platform through which to submit Accreditation applications. You DO NOT need a “Dropbox for Business” (or even a regular Dropbox) account to access the link or upload Accreditation application documents.
NEMSMA requires that all Accreditation Applications and attachments be submitted using the link provided upon successful RLEP registration. Exceptions may be granted in the discretion of the CoA on a case-by-case basis for good cause shown.
If you cannot locate the link, never received it, or experience other difficulties accessing it (such as firewall restrictions in your workplace), please email the Committee on Accreditation at accreditation@NEMSMA.org for assistance.
How Are Accreditation Review Fees Calculated?
Accreditation Review Fees are calculated based on 0.25 hour increments and are calculated based upon the amount of Accredited Leadership Education (ALE) hours applied for.
When Are Accreditation Review Fees Due?
Accreditation Review Fees must be submitted up front along with the Application, based on the Accreditation Review Fee worksheet contained in the accreditation application package. Fees are calculated based upon the amount of Accredited Leadership Education (ALE) hours applied for. Rates are scaled and capped at a maximum amount per offering.
What Are the Maximum Accreditation Review Fees We Could Expect to Be Charged?
Program accreditation maxes out at $2,650, assuming the Program is requesting 75 or more hours of Accredited Leadership Education (ALE), and Rush Processing is required.
Example: Accreditation Application Processing Fee = $100 + Accreditation Review Fees for 75 or more hours of ALE = $2,000 + Repeat Program Fee = $300 + Rush Processing Fee = $250 == $2,650.
Conference Session accreditation maxes out at $2,725, again assuming 75 or more hours of Accredited Leadership Education (ALE) is requested, the Registered Leadership Education Provider (RLEP) elects to pay the Competencies Mapping Fee, and Rush Processing is required.
Example: Accreditation Application Processing Fee = $100 + Accreditation Review Fees for 75 or more hour of ALE = $2,000 + Competencies Mapping Fee for 75 or more hours of ALE applied for = $375 + Rush Processing Fee = $250 == $2,725
This is in addition to applicable RLEP Initial Registration, Annual Renewal, or Reinstatement Fees, Appeal Fees, or Program Revision Fees.
Are Accreditation Review Fees Refundable?
Accreditation Review Fees will be refunded in total in the case of complete denial of accreditation, or on a pro rata basis in the case of a partial denial (i.e., accreditation awarded for fewer hours than applied for).
Do NEMSMA Strategic Partners and Sponsors Have to Pay RLEP and Accreditation Fees?
The Initial, Annual Renewal and Reinstatement Registered Leadership Education Provider (RLEP) Fees will be waived for all NEMSMA Strategic Partners, Sponsors, and Management Development/ Education Partners provided that their partner- or sponsorship status is in good standing and their partnership or sponsorship fees are current.
If the RLEP is a NEMSMA Strategic Partner or Platinum Sponsor ONLY, the Application Processing, Accreditation Review, and Repeat Program Fees will be waived one time annually during each 12-month RLEP Registration cycle. Rush Processing Fees, if applicable, will still apply. Subsequent Accreditation Applications by the same RLEP within each 12-month RLEP Registration cycle require the payment of all applicable Accreditation fees.
How Far in Advance Should We Apply for Accreditation?
Ideally not less than 90 days, but in any event not less than 45 days, in advance of when the Registered Leadership Education Provider (RLEP) wants to begin using the “NEMSMA- Accredited” logo on its promotional and marketing materials and/or course completion certificates or CEH reports. Frankly, the more lead time, the better!
RLEPs who request accreditation reviews not in accordance with NEMSMA accreditation review timelines are required to pay a Rush Processing Fee. The Rush Processing Fee applies to requests for accreditation reviews:
- With turn-arounds of less than 30 days;
- Inside of 45 days from the program or conference start date; or
- In the case of conferences submitting a deficiency update,
- Requiring less than 30-day turn-around from date of deficiency re-submission, or
- Submitted after the re-submit deadline.
Although there is a Rush Processing Fee available, applicants for accreditation are strongly discouraged from utilizing it. So, please, plan accordingly and DO NOT wait until less than 45 days prior to the start of your program or conference to apply for NEMSMA accreditation. The Committee on Accreditation (CoA) is made up of volunteers, and although the CoA members do their best to accommodate all requests, rush accreditation processing on tight time frames cannot be guaranteed.
Rush Processing Fees must be paid at time of request for rush processing and are non- refundable.
What Type of Information Will We Be Required to Submit for Accreditation?
For Conferences, submission requirements for each session for which accreditation is sought, include but are not limited to:
- Session Duration/Length
- Session ID (conference host internal session identification tracking number)
- Session Title
- Session Description (i.e., abstract)
- Learning Objectives
- Educational methodology(s)
- Identification of the applicable Pillar(s), Topic(s), Competency(s), and Competency(s) Level(s) within the Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies which will be addressed. (*Unless the RLEP has opted to pay the Competencies Mapping Fee)
Track (NOTE: NEMSMA does not accredit clinical topics, however sessions in tracks other than Leadership/Management MAY be submitted and qualify for accreditation if the session focus is on leadership/management even if classified in the program catalogue as clinical or some other category (e.g., Special Topics, Community Paramedicine, Operations, Safety, etc.).
- Session Start/End Dates
- Speaker First/Last Name(s)
For Programs, submission requirements include but are not limited to:
- Overall Program Name/Title
- Overall Program Description (i.e., abstract or catalogue course description)
- Lesson Number (the number or letter designation for the lesson within the overall course, e.g., “Chapter 1,” or simply “1”)
- Lesson Name (the title for each individual lesson within the Program, e.g., “Introduction,” “Anticipating a Crisis,” etc.)
- Lesson Description
- Learning Objectives
- Educational methodology(s)
- Identification of the applicable Pillar(s), Topic(s), and Competency(s), and Competency Level(s) within the Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies which will be addressed in each Lesson of the Program.
- Delivery Method
- Instructional Materials and Aids, including all PowerPoints, videos, audio files, or other visual aids
- Identification of how Learning Objectives will be demonstrated
- Total Program and Individual Lesson Durations/Lengths
- Classroom Breaks and Duration of Breaks
- Description of learning environment
- Program Outline/Lesson Plan
- Assessment tools (testing materials, including quizzes and exams)
- Evaluation tools (including student and instructor evaluation forms)
- Bibliography of sources
- Program Instructor Guide /standardized Instructor notes (if applicable)
- Student Guide / Handouts (if applicable)
What is Competencies Mapping and Why is it Important?
Competencies Mapping is the process of identifying and cross-referencing program or conference session educational content with the applicable Pillar(s), Topic(s), Competency(s), and Competency Level(s) within the NEMSMA Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies. This is a vital step in the objective assessment, evaluation, and subsequent validation of the program or conference session’s ability to meet or exceed the competencies set forth in the Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies.
Is Competencies Mapping Required for All Accreditation Submissions?
Identification of the applicable Pillar(s), Topic(s), Competency(s), and Competency Level(s) within the NEMSMA Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies is required for all applications for accreditation, regardless of whether the application is for a program or conference. However, NEMSMA recognizes that performing the required Competencies Mapping may be a big “ask” for many conferences. As a result, NEMSMA offers a “Competencies Mapping” fee – available ONLY to conference providers. This fee is optional; if the conference provider elects to perform the Competencies Mapping themselves, no Competencies Mapping Fee is required. If the conference provider chooses not to perform the Competencies Mapping themselves, they can elect to pay the Competencies Mapping Fee and the NEMSMA accreditation review team will perform the Competencies Mapping as part of the accreditation review process. The Competencies Mapping fee is necessary because of the additional work involved. Competencies Mapping Fees are not available for Programs, and are not refundable.
How Will We Know When We Have Been Awarded Accreditation?
Once the Committee on Accreditation has awarded accreditation, the Registered Leadership Education Provider will receive a “welcome package,” which includes, among other things, a certificate of accreditation suitable for framing, a digital image of the applicable NEMSMA Accreditation logo(s), and specific wording regarding NEMSMA Accreditation which may be used in program and conference marketing and program materials and on course completion/CEH certificates or letters in accordance with NEMSMA Accreditation policies and procedures. The exact Accreditation logo(s) provided will depend upon the level of accredited educational content (i.e., Supervisor, Manager, or FACPE). In the case of conferences which provide multiple levels of accredited educational content, the logo representing the highest level of accreditation awarded across all sessions will be provided, but all applicable Accreditation logos will be provided upon request.
For example, if a conference is awarded accreditation at the Supervisor level for some sessions and the Manager level for others, the Manager-level logo will be provided automatically. If the conference also wishes to display the Supervisor logo in promotional, marketing and conference show guide materials, it may request a copy of the Supervisor-level logo, as well.
When and Where Can We Use the NEMSMA Accreditation Logo(s)?
The NEMSMA Accreditation logo is the exclusive property of NEMSMA. However, NEMSMA allows accredited programs and conferences and their respective Registered Leadership Education Providers (RLEPs) to use the NEMSMA Accreditation logos in publications, displays, and on course completion certificates related to accredited educational content, provided the logo is used in its entirety and not modified (although it may be reduced or enlarged to suit the use, provided the scale of the elements is retained). NEMSMA Accreditation logos may ONLY be used on materials related specifically to NEMSMA-Accredited conferences and programs. NEMSMA Accreditation logos may NOT be used by RLEPs to advertise or promote any conference or program which has not been submitted for NEMSMA Accreditation, has been denied NEMSMA Accreditation, in cases where NEMSMA Accreditation has been applied for but not yet received, or to imply that the RLEP is “generally” accredited by NEMSMA.
If We Apply for Accreditation but Have Not Received Confirmation of Accreditation Yet, Can We Still Promote that NEMSMA Accreditation Has Been Applied For?
Yes. NEMSMA’s Committee on Accreditation will provide specific language which may be used by Registered Leadership Education Providers (RLEPs) which have an accreditation application pending. The language must be used as provided without modification (except that font size/style may be modified, reduced or enlarged to suit the use). The Committee on Accreditation reserves the right in its sole discretion to withhold permission to use the “accreditation pending” language in instances of incomplete applications, failure to pay all required fees, or other violations of NEMSMA Accreditation policies and procedures.
Is There More Than One Level of NEMSMA Accreditation?
Yes. NEMSMA has three levels of available accreditation, each one tied to the applicable level of Paramedic Officer identified within the Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies (i.e., Supervising Officer, Managing Officer, and FACPE). For example, a program which is geared towards current or aspiring Supervising Paramedic Officers and which “maps to” Supervising Officer competencies within the Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies would be awarded accreditation at the Supervising Paramedic Officer (SPO) level, while a program designed for executives would be awarded FACPE-level accreditation. It is up to the applicant to self-identify in their application what level of accreditation they are seeking.
Are Conferences Required to Identify What Level of Accreditation They Seek?
That depends upon the conference. Smaller conferences, ones with limited Leadership session offerings, and specialty Leadership conferences are encouraged to self-identify specific levels of accreditation for each session requested. However, the Committee on Accreditation recognizes it may not be practical or even feasible for large conferences, or those submitting a large amount of sessions for accreditation, to self-identify. In such cases, the Committee on Accreditation will award the highest possible category of accreditation based upon the session abstract, learning objectives, and Competencies Mapping. For example, if a session covers both Supervisory and Managerial level competencies, it will be awarded accreditation at the Managing Paramedic Officer (MPO) Level.
If a Conference is Awarded Accreditation, Does the Accreditation Apply to the Entire Conference, or Just Specific Sessions?
NEMSMA Accreditation is awarded to individual conference sessions which meet or exceed NEMSMA’s Standards of Accreditation and map to the NEMSMA Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies. NEMSMA does not accredit clinical educational content. Therefore, a conference which offers both clinical and leadership topics will only receive NEMSMA Accreditation for leadership-focused sessions. However, if a conference is entirely leadership- focused, and all of the sessions receive NEMSMA Accreditation, then effectively the entire conference is accredited. However, the accreditation still runs with each individual session.
If a Conference is Awarded NEMSMA Accreditation for Specific Sessions, Can the Conference Promote that the Entire Conference is “NEMSMA-Accredited” or Can it Only Say that Specific Conference Sessions are “NEMSMA-Accredited”?
From a practical standpoint, the Conference can say that it is “NEMSMA-Accredited” or “carries NEMSMA Accreditation” as long as it is clear that only specific content/sessions are accredited by NEMSMA as opposed to the overall Conference carrying NEMSMA Accreditation.
If a Class Receives Accreditation at One of the Upper Levels, Does That Mean that Lower- Level Paramedic Officers Cannot Enroll?
NEMSMA does not dictate pre-requisites, registration restrictions, or entry-level requirements for individual programs or conferences (provided such restrictions are not discriminatory or illegal); those are strictly in the discretion of the Registered Leadership Education Provider (RLEP). Upper level accreditation simply means the program content maps predominantly to the Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies at the Managing Paramedic Officer or FACPE levels, as applicable.
Example: A student who is aspiring to become a Supervising Paramedic Officer (SPO) attends a program which has been accredited at the Managing Paramedic Officer (MPO) level and successfully completes the program. That student will be recognized by the ACPE as having successfully completed an accredited program regardless of the fact that the program was accredited at the MPO level; the ALE hours the student receives can still be counted as part of their SPO application.
Example: A RLEP institutes a program pre-requisite requiring credentialing at the SPO level before registering for a program accredited at the MPO level. A student who is still aspiring to become an SPO would not be allowed by the RLEP to register for the MPO level program. Such a restriction may have consequences for the student, but will not affect the MPO program accreditation.
From the student and ACPE perspective, all that matters is successful program completion. Successful program completion, regardless of level of accreditation, simply allows a credentialing candidate to apply those ALE hours towards their credentialing application. The RLEP, on the other hand, is free to dictate any pre-requisites, registration restrictions, or entry-level requirements it deems fit (provided such restrictions are not discriminatory or illegal) as a business decision.
Is Accreditation Renewal Required, and if so, How Often?
As discussed in the FAQ “What Forms of Accreditation Are Available Through NEMSMA?” conference session accreditation is only valid for the specific dates of a specific conference. Program accreditation is valid for up to 5 years, in the sole discretion of NEMSMA’s Committee on Accreditation.
Re-accreditation of programs every 5 years helps ensure that accredited programs are keeping pace with updates to the NEMSMA Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies and industry leadership standards.
If a Registered Leadership Education Provider Does Not Renew Its Registration or Allows its Registration to Lapse, How Will That Affect Conference or Program Accreditation?
Non-renewal or lapse of annual Registration will not affect accreditation for completed programs or conferences. It will, however, affect current or future programs or conferences. Registration must remain current for accreditation of current or future programs or conferences to be valid.
How is Registration/Renewal Different from Accreditation?
We respectfully refer you to the FAQ, “What is the Difference between a ‘Registered Leadership Education Provider’ and ‘Accreditation’?”
If We Only Hold One Conference per Year and We Offer the Same Content Every Year, Do We Have to be Re-Accredited Every Year?
Yes. Conferences are not eligible for automatic re-accreditation because conferences rarely offer the exact same content from year to year. Although your conference might be the exception, generally speaking, what appears the same on the surface is most likely not. In other words, even if the content appears the same on the surface, there are inevitably some changes from year to year. In fact, the majority of conferences are usually looking for new, cutting-edge, and exciting content, especially in the area of leadership education. We also know from experience that conference faculty may either re-use titles but change substantive content or vice versa. Frankly, there are just too many variables to simply renew accreditation of what would appear on the surface to be the same conference or conference session offering year- after-year. So even if your conference plans to repeat sessions from prior years, the sessions need to be reviewed each year for accreditation purposes. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.
Our Program is Already Accredited by NEMSMA but We Will Be Offering It at an Upcoming Conference. Does it have to be Re-Accredited as Part of the Conference Session Accreditation Process?
If a Registered Leadership Education Provider (RLEP) submits an accredited Program to a conference for inclusion on the conference program (for example, as a pre-conference or co- located class), it is the RLEP’s responsibility to notify the conference provider/host that the Program is already accredited by NEMSMA (the RLEP must provide the Program Registration Number). When the conference provider/host submits its application for conference session accreditation, the conference provider/host should notify the CoA that the Program will be offered as part of the conference and that the Program is already accredited independently by NEMSMA and provide the Program Registration Number. The conference provider/host may then subtract the Program from the total Accreditation Review Fees the conference provider/host is required to pay upon conference session accreditation application.
For example, a RLEP runs an 8-hour “EMS Supervisor Bootcamp” Program which is accredited by NEMSMA. Sometime during the accreditation cycle, the Program is offered in conjunction with (i.e., as a pre-conference workshop) a conference. If both the RLEP and the Program Accreditation are current and in good standing with NEMSMA, the conference provider/host may notify the CoA of the pre-existing Program accreditation for the “EMS Supervisor Bootcamp” Program and subtract the Program from the total Accreditation Review Fees the conference provider/host is required to pay upon conference session accreditation application.
Note that only independently-accredited Programs qualify for this exception; not conference sessions previously accredited at other conferences.
Is Accreditation Transferrable?
No. If a Program undergoes a 20-50% programmatic or content (i.e., substantive) revision, the Registered Leadership Education Provider (RLEP) must notify the Committee on Accreditation of the change and will be charged a flat fee to cover the cost of revision review to maintain accreditation. If the revision is greater than 50%, full re-accreditation is required.
Programmatic changes include, but are not limited to, changes in the legal status or form of ownership or control of the conducting RLEP, contracting or subcontracting with a third party for management or administrative services, and contracting or subcontracting with a third party for the educational delivery of a portion of any Accredited program.
Programmatic changes do not include contracting with or changing to a new technology company or LMS provider to distribute or host NEMSMA-accredited educational content online, provided that the educational content itself does not change. However, the RLEP is still required to notify the Committee on Accreditation of such contracts or changes.
Our Business Model Involves Authorized Trainers and/or Training Centers. Is that Considered Sub-Contracting with a Third Party?
No, as long as the Registered Leadership Education Provider (RLEP) has a system and documented established standards for educating, vetting, verification, and authorization of instructors and training centers in place. Documentation of the system and standards must be provided to NEMSMA upon request.
Can Accreditation be Denied?
Yes. There are two types of denials: Complete and Partial. Complete denial of accreditation means that the program or a particular conference session is not accredited by NEMSMA. If a program is granted accreditation but for less Accredited Leadership Education (ALE) hours than applied for, it has effectively received a partial denial of accreditation. In other words, the Program will still carry NEMSMA Accreditation, just for less ALE hours than initially applied for. For example, a Registered Leadership Education Provider (RLEP) submits an application for accreditation for a 20-hour program, but the program is only accredited for 16 hours.
Conference sessions are not eligible for partial denials.
What are Some Examples of When Accreditation Might be Denied?
Examples include but are not limited to: Failure to submit all required documentation or fees; failure to submit an abstract/session description and/or learning objectives; or, requesting accreditation hours for time spent clearly not engaged in active leadership education, such as class or lunch breaks, organization membership meetings held during conferences, or social/networking functions in conjunction with a program or conference.
If a Conference Session is Denied Accreditation Due to a Lack of Information, Can We Submit That Information Once We Receive it?
NEMSMA understands that conference planning is often a moving target, and getting faculty to submit requested materials in a timely manner can be a huge challenge. And we also understand that sometimes last-minute scheduling conflicts and substitutions take place. As a result, in special circumstances, conferences which apply for accreditation may be given one (1) opportunity to submit a comprehensive update to address any deficiencies noted during the initial Accreditation review and any substitutions which may have occurred in the interim. This does not, however, excuse the conference host from making every reasonable effort to obtain and submit the most complete and comprehensive information they have during the initial accreditation submission.
The one-time update will generally be due to the Committee on Accreditation at least 60-90 days prior to the start date of the conference. Any adjustments to the Accreditation Review Fees, such as refunds for overpayment or additional fees for added sessions, will be made at the conclusion of the update review.
If Accreditation is Denied in Whole or in Part, is There an Appeals Process?
If a complete denial of accreditation is involved, the only recourse is to submit a completely new accreditation application. In the case of a partial denial, the Registered Leadership Education Provider (RLEP) can submit an application requesting a re-review of the hours denied.
Can Accreditation be Revoked or Withdrawn Once Awarded?
Yes. If, during the period of accreditation, a program, conference, and/or a Registered Leadership Education Provider (RLEP) appears to be no longer in compliance with registration or accreditation criteria or policies, the Committee on Accreditation may institute investigative and revocation proceedings.
We’re Still Not Sure if NEMSMA Accreditation is Right for Us. Can We Take NEMSMA Accreditation for a “Test Drive”?
If you are a Conference Provider, Organizer, or Host, NEMSMA will work with you to accredit your conference sessions on a one-time only basis for FREE! NEMSMA’s goal is to develop as many opportunities as possible for Paramedic Officer Candidates to obtain required Accredited Leadership Education (ALE) while at the same time offering a credible accreditation program, which ensures quality and validates that educational content connects to the Seven Pillars of National EMS Officer Competencies. NEMSMA also knows that putting together a conference and obtaining accreditation from the various accreditation bodies can be overwhelming. But we also know how valuable offering NEMSMA-Accredited educational opportunities to your attendees will be. So, by all means, try out the process – on us – for the first year! Note: You will still have to register as a Registered Leadership Education Provider, but we will waive all registration and accreditation fees (except for Rush Processing Fees) for the first year of registration. If you decide to continue to offer NEMSMA accreditation in the future, you will be charged the full Initial Registration Fee of $285 upon your first registration renewal cycle and will be responsible for paying all applicable accreditation fees for future conferences.
Unfortunately, due to the complexities of the application and review processes for programs, NEMSMA is unable to offer you a free “test drive.” We hope you understand.
If there is a Conflict between an FAQ, Application Instruction, or Some Other Document and a CoA Policy, Which Do We Follow?
Although the CoA has made every possible effort to ensure consistency across all documents, instructions and forms, we are still human and sometimes things get missed. If there is a conflict between a policy and some other document, the policy will control.
The CoA also appreciates your assistance with pointing out any inconsistencies we may have overlooked. If you find an inconsistency between documents, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the name(s)/form number(s) of the inconsistent document(s), and the policy number(s) they are inconsistent with.
For more information on NEMSMA Accreditation, email us at email@example.com