In general, professional standards define the nature and quality of work of persons who practice a particular profession. For medical professions, standards of practice refer to desired and achievable levels of performance against which an individual practitioner’s performance can be compared, and are designed to direct and maintain safe and clinically competent practice. Education standards define the knowledge, skills, and behaviors required to practice in a particular medical profession.
Many countries have developed national standards of practice for the delivery of paramedicine, and national education standards that describe the core competencies that paramedicine practitioners should possess. Standards of paramedicine practice and education form the foundation of what paramedicine practitioners are taught and assessed. They are used to develop curricula and testing mechanisms; to track, measure, benchmark and compare performance and outcomes; and to ensure the safety of patients and practitioners.
Standards are the starting point for a strong national system of prehospital and out-of-hospital patient care that is an essential component of a country’s healthcare system.