Important Notice Regarding 2019/20 reporting period
The Emergency Medical Assistants Licensing Board (EMALB) recognizes the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and is supporting options to ensure that BC’s emergency medical assistants are available to support the provincial response to this public health crisis.
As the regulator for the province’s emergency medical assistants, EMALB is responsible for protecting patient safety by ensuring that all paramedics and EMRs have a current licence and are competent to practice.
For EMAs who have not completed or submitted their continuing competence requirements for the current (2019-2020) reporting period, and recognizing the special circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board will not require EMAs to complete their continuing competence requirements for the current reporting period. Any EMAs who have completed continuing competence courses may, but are not required to, enter their credits and contacts into the EMACCS system.
Please be assured that the EMALB is working with provincial government authorities to ensure that we have an adequate level of licensed health care professionals to address the challenges presented by the pandemic.
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 British 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. (the written exam is only available if you are unsuccessful in your adjudication request)
- 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.
Please note: any exams that are assigned by the Board as a result of disciplinary action, including for failing to complete submission reviews, are not continuing competence exams and therefore do not exempt you from reporting your current year continuing competence requirements.
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 many 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.
By contrast, the Director may allocate up to 0.5 credits for educational activities undertaken in areas that do not relate to direct patient care, despite the duration of the educational activity. For example activities that are one day or less in length and that fall within the NOCP topic Areas 1 (Professional Responsibilities), 2 (Communication), 3 (Health and Safety), 7 (Transportation), or 8 (Health Promotion and Public Safety), will qualify for 0.5 credits, however; activities greater than one day will be reviewed on a case by case basis and the Director may allocate 0.5 credits per day to a maximum of 5 credits regardless of duration (see table below). One day is considered a minimum of seven hours of educational training. Refer to the policy EMALB 2017-01 (PDF, 454KB) for more information.
If you are a training institution or employer, you can apply to the branch to have your training programs approved and added to the approved activities drop down list in EMACCS by completing the request for EMALB CME credits form.
Please note: this form is for training institutions or employers. Individual requests will not be reviewed.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
Continuing Competence Submissions Reviews
Between July and December of each year, the Licensing Branch conducts reviews of randomly selected EMAs to confirm their continuing competence submissions in EMACCS for the three previous reporting years.
If you are selected and receive an email requesting your submissions, you must respond within the allotted time frame of the request. Please see the "My CC Status" tab in EMACCS and use the arrow to select the “Reporting Year” to confirm what education activities you are required to submit.
Your response must include the following supporting documentation:
- Continuing Education Activities:
- Proof of successful completion of each activity, including dates, for all activities you’ve entered through EMACCS for the reporting years requested
Examples for supporting documents include, but are not limited to: transcripts, certificates, or a letter from your employer verifying you have attended and successfully completed an activity.
- Patient Contacts:
- Supporting documentation for patient contacts submitted during the three previous reporting periods
In order to provide this documentation, have your employer write a letter or email verifying the patient contacts you submitted during the reporting periods requested. Note that you need not include every patient contact, only the patient contacts reported during the requested periods.
If your employer/past employer refuses to grant you a letter:
- You must attempt to gain a verification letter
- If employer/past employer refuses, document who you spoke to, number you called and the reason why you were unable to attain a letter
- We will then contact the employer/past employer to confirm
Submitting Your Documentation:
Please direct all correspondence and submissions to email@example.com
ATTN: Continuing Competence
EMA Licensing Branch
Ministry of Health
PO Box 9625 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9P1
If an EMA does not respond to the request within 30 days, the Director will refer the EMA’s file to the EMA Licensing Board for possible disciplinary action.
If an EMA is found to have submitted continuing education activities or patient contacts which cannot be substantiated the Director will refer the EMA’s file to the EMA Licensing Board for possible disciplinary action.
Please contact EMA Licensing Branch at