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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-06819: Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 2 February 2017

To ask the Scottish Government further to the answer to question S5W-05557 by Shona Robison on 10 January 2017, whether the 200 new ambulance technicians, who are to be recruited to replace existing technicians moving into paramedic roles, will be trained to the same standards and qualifications as the staff whom they are replacing.

Answered by: Shona Robison 1 March 2017

New ambulance technicians recruited to backfill positions of technicians who have moved on to become paramedics will enter into the recently revised SAS technician training programme.

From 2016 the Technician programme for new appointees involves completing a Level three Diploma in Emergency Care Support which, when followed by completion of a Level four Diploma for Emergency Medical Technicians will allow staff to qualify as an Ambulance Technician with the Scottish Ambulance Service.

The overall programme takes approximately 18 months to complete and the Diploma is equivalent to Scottish Curriculum and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level seven. This new course is delivered more locally to the candidates at six regional clinical education centres, has widened access and, as it is slightly longer, allows the students more time to consolidate their clinical skills and theoretical knowledge under the supervision of a qualified clinician.

The level 4 Vocational Diploma has been developed in conjunction with other UK Ambulance Services and is endorsed by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives. It covers the same curriculum as provided by the previous Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) in Ambulance Studies (also equivalent to SCQF level seven) and staff have an identical scope of practice on completion.