What is Continued Competency?

Continued Competency of EMS practitioners is critical for quality care and operations. The NHTSA EMS Education Agenda for the Future: A Systems Approach led to a clear collaborative system for developing and enforcing national standards for entry-level competency in the United States, but similar systems for continued competency lack clear definition. Because of that, continued competency is a crucial area of interest for the National Registry. Continued competency touches many aspects of EMS systems, including continuing education, licensure, certification, and local credentialing by the EMS agency. A systems approach to continued competency can help to ensure appropriate verifications and remove unnecessary conflicts. 

In 2019, the National Registry Board approved an initiative to explore new ways to verify continued competency with the aim of developing a systems approach agenda for the future of recertification. New ways to verify continued competency could revolutionize how we renew certification, licensure and local credentialing.  

With input from many EMS stakeholders, the National Registry has identified three building blocks for the Continued Competency Project.  
  1. Interim Rule Changes: Will provide foundational work and consensus building to update rules effectively that improve national recertification in ways that coordinate with local credentialing and state licensure requirements.  
  2. Evolving standards and medical evidence: Establishes a sustainable system to ensure that National Registry recertification requirements and examinations are explicitly linked to Evidence-Based Guidelines (EBGs) and evolving medical evidence.  
  3. Agenda for the Future: A national group of EMS stakeholder organizations to outline a framework that aligns with the efforts of national recertification, continuing education accreditation, state relicensure and local credentialing.  
The purpose of this page is to keep you updated on the collaborative process the National Registry has undertaken with several key stakeholders, including regulators, EMS educators, EMS agencies and National Associations. 

Reinventing Recert

Continued Competency in EMS is a tough subject that comes with challenging concepts, evolving guidelines and changes in recertification. The National Registry's new podcast series, hosted by Certification Chief Mark Terry, will take you along the journey of the new Continued Competency Project. This podcast will feature many special guests and explore the successes and road bumps of those working toward a new Agenda For The Future, Continued Competency Model.

Episode 1

Introducing Reinventing Recert

As EMS continues to evolve, so do the concepts of Continued Competency and how National Registry recertification will be reshaped over the next several years. In this episode of Reinventing Recert with Mark Terry, we will meet the host and set the groundwork for the exciting journey ahead. 

Listen to this episode here>

Episode 2

Exploring National Registry Recertification: Past, Present and Future

Join host Mark Terry and special guest Bill Seifarth, executive director of the National Registry, as they recall their first encounters with recertification and how they became involved in the field of EMS. Bill talks about how they went from hundreds of mailed-in paper applications to today where practitioners can upload their courses right on the app. 
Later in the episode, Mark shines a light on some potential pathways for the future such as computer-based simulation, more defined high-fidelity simulation, adaptive educational programs to individualize content to each student, and even the practice of breaking down the "recert by exam" into smaller pieces in a more distributed environment. 

Listen to this episode here>

Episode 3

Reinventing Recert: Making Sense of Data

Join Mark Terry and Ashish Panchel, the Research Director for the National Registry and board-certified EMS physician, as they discuss research and how it will inform the Continued Competency project. Throughout this episode they will examine evidence-based guidelines and how those shape and improve practice. Also included in the discussion is what this evolution means for EMS education and how recertification will advance moving forward.  

Listen to this episode here>

Episode 4

Evidence Based Guidelines 

In this episode of Reinventing Recert host Mark Terry chats with special guest, Christian Martin-Gill who is and Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as well as an EMS Chief, Program Director of an EMS Fellowship and the President of the Prehospital Guidelines Consortium.  
Mark and Christian dive into what an evidence based guideline is and why they are integral for the success of the EMS field. They also explore what goes into creating these guidelines, how to find them and Christian even shares some great resources for educators and clinicians alike to use on their own. 

Listen to this episode here>

Episode 5

Reinventing Recert: Where are we now? 

Discussions about the future of recertification are taking place - new education methods, identifying emerging trends and developing definitions to some key terminology. Host Mark Terry puts you in the center of the conversation with the Continued Competency Committee as you get a glimpse of what is on the horizon for EMS certification. 

Listen to this episode here>

Episode 6

Advancing Your Career: Specialty Certifications in EMS

Specialty Certifications give EMS providers a chance to gain specialized knowledge, but what does the future of specialty certifications look like, and how will they interact with National Registry's Certifications?

Mark Terry talks with John Clark from the International Board of Specialty Certifications (IBSC) about the different ways EMS Practitioners can build on their careers with specialty certifications and the big things happening right now in the specialty certification industry. 

Listen to this episode here>

Episode 7

Virtual Simulation: The Future of EMS Training?

In this episode of Reinventing Recert, Mark Terry talks with Amar Patel, the chief learning officer of CAE Healthcare about how virtual simulation can benefit training, what training healthcare and training pilots have in common, and how simulation is becoming more accessible to everyone. You will also hear about how simulation and AI can help measure and train both skills and processes, and how training and games have some interesting similarities.

Listen to this episode here>​

Episode 8

Continued Competency Agenda for the Future: What it Means for You

In this episode, you will take a deep dive into what the Continued Competency Agenda for the Future will look like with Mark Terry and special guest Scott Gilmore. You will learn the difference between education based and competency based approaches, and the benefits and drawbacks to each.

You will also hear about how the ways the new agenda for the future may make your life easier as an EMS professional, and just how many different perspectives are included as we look to build the future of Continued Competency, and what steps you can take right now to prepare for the future.

Listen to this episode here>

Episode 9

Microtask Learning: Smaller Movements for Bigger Impacts

In this episode of Reinventing Recert, Mark Terry discusses the concept of microlearning with Mike Taigman, the Improvement Guide of First Watch, and Kevin Hammond, Manager of ResilientFirst. By transforming raw data into meaningful information, Mike describes the process of utilizing microtasks from analytical methods to reinforce knowledge and skill development for EMS providers. You will also hear how microlearning affects implicit memory, and the preventative approach it has for building mental health resilience.

Listen to this episode here>