Continuing Competence

The Emergency Medical Assistants Regulation requires that all emergency medical assistants (EMAs), except first responders and EMAs that held a student licence during the reporting period, complete 20 continuing education credits and 20 patient contacts every year. This requirement is a condition of your licence and applies regardless of the EMA’s employer, status (medical leave or maternity/paternity leave), employment status, or residence inside or outside Bjritish Columbia.

Continuing education credits and patient contacts obtained outside of B.C. can be submitted to meet your continuing competence requirements.

You do not have to meet and report the continuing competence requirements if one of the following applies to you:

  • You were issued an initial or higher level licence during the reporting period.
  • You successfully complete a written continuing competence exam for the reporting period.
  • You successfully complete a practical continuing competence exam in which case, you are exempt for the reporting period for which you took the exam and the following reporting period.

Failure to comply with the regulation may result in  terms and conditions being imposed on your licence and may lead to a review by the Emergency Medical Assistants Licensing Board.

Key Definitions can be found in the Continuing Competence Requirements policy EMALB 2017-01 (PDF, 454KB).

Reporting your Continuing Education Credits and Patient Contacts

All continuing education activities and patient contacts are reported using the Emergency Medical Assistants Continuing Competence System. For full instructions on how to use system, please see the EMACCS User Manual (PDF, 1.21MB).

There is only one way to submit your continuing competence information, and that is electronically using the EMA Continuing Competence System. This requirement is set out in Section 22 of the Emergency Medical Assistants Regulation.

The Emergency Medical Assistants Continuing Competence System uses the BCeID system to ensure that your access to the website is secure. It is necessary for you to register with BCeID (a basic or personal ID is accepted). The information you submit when registering for the BCeID (name, email address and phone number) is not stored or shared with any other public body, and the information you are required to submit in order to obtain a BCeID, is information already collected by the Emergency Medical Assistants Licensing Board. The creation of a password means that there is enhanced security so no one else can access your continuing competency records.

Important Information about your BCeID

Does my BCeID password expire?

Yes. It expires two years from the time it was created or last changed.

What do I do if I forgot my user ID or password?

At the screen where you log in, click "Forgot your user ID or password?” You will be taken to a screen where you can reset your password or find your user ID. You can also go directly to the account recovery page.

Please Note: if you did not supply an email address when creating your Basic BCeID, your password cannot be recovered and you will need to register for a new Basic BCeID

What if I forget my password and the challenge answers?

  • For a Basic BCeID, you will need to register for a new Basic BCeID.
  • For a Personal BCeID, contact the BCeID Help Desk. You may need to visit a BCeID Point of Service location.
  • For a Business BCeID, you can contact your Business Profile Manager(s) or Business Account Manager(s). You can search the BCeID Business Directory for their contact information.

Assignment of Continuing Education Credits

When determining how may credits to allocate to an educational activity for which credits are requested, the director may allocate up to one credit per hour for educational activities that relate to pre-hospital patient care. For example, activities that would fall within the National Occupational Competency Profile (NOCP) Topic Areas, 4 (Assessment and Diagnosis), 5, (Therapeutics) and 6 (Integration) would qualify as patient care. Educational activities which cover subject areas described within these topic areas, would generally qualify as one credit per hour of education completed (see below table).

By contrast, the director may allocate up to one-half credit (1/2) for educational activities undertaken in areas that do not relate to pre-hospital patient care, despite the duration of the educational activity. For example activities that fall within the NOCP Topic Areas 1 (Professional Responsibilities), 2 (Communication), 3 (Health and Safety), 7 (Transportation) and 8 (Health Promotion and Public Safety) will generally only qualify for one-half a credit per activity regardless of duration (see below table).

Assignment of Continuing Education Credits

NOCP Topic Area

# of credits per activity

NOCP 1 – Professional Responsibilities

.5 per activity

NOCP 2 – Communication

.5 per activity

NOCP 3 – Health and Safety

.5 per activity

NOCP 4 – Assessment and Diagnostics

1 per hour

NOCP 5 – Therapeutics

1 per hour

NOCP 6 – Integration

1 per hour

NOCP 7 – Transportation

.5 per activity

NOCP 8 – Health Promotion and Public Safety

.5 per activity

Refer to the policy EMALB 2017-01 (PDF, 454KB) for more information.

Shortfall Notice and Adjudication

During May of each year, the Emergency Medical Assistants Licensing Branch will notify emergency medical assistants who have not met their continuing competence requirements. Those emergency medical assistants are said to be in shortfall and will receive a notice by registered mail outlining the next steps.

  • Adjudication - If you have further credits and/or patient contacts, you have 37 days from the date on the shortfall letter to request adjudication through EMACCS or with the Request for Adjudication form (PDF, 264KB). You will receive an email with your results. If you are successful, no further information is required. If you are unsuccessful, you can either submit more information or you will be required to book a written exam.
  • Written exam – If you are unsuccessful with your adjudication, you have one opportunity to successfully complete the written exam by July 15. If you are unsuccessful at the written exam you will have to successfully complete a practical exam. If you do not attempt the written exam by July 15, the director will refer your file directly to the Emergency Medical Assistants Licensing Board for possible disciplinary action under Section 7 (1) (b) of the Emergency Health Services Act.
  • Practical exam - If you do not successfully complete the written exam, you will have up to three opportunities to complete the practical exam by September 30. If you do not attempt your practical exam or you are unsuccessful on your first attempt, terms and conditions limiting your practice may be imposed on your licence. If you are unsuccessful or you do not complete the practical exam by September 30, your file will then be referred to the board for review under Section 7 (1) (b) of the Emergency Health Services Act.