The NREMT is a non-profit organization founded in 1970 whose mission is to serves as the national EMS certification organization by providing a valid, uniform process to assess the knowledge and skills required for competent practice required by EMS professionals throughout their careers. Prior to the 1970’s, a national certification standard for emergency medical care did not exist.
The NREMT has certified over one million EMS providers since its inception. 270,000 are Nationally Certified at the current time.
Entry requirements for certification include completing a state-approved EMS education course, and passing the NREMT written and practical examinations.
Board of Directors
The NREMT is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of some of the most prominent figures from all segments of the EMS community as well as the public. These 21 representatives are committed to public protection and quality patient care.
The NREMT currently certifies five levels of Emergency Medical professionals: First Responder, Basic, Intermediate/85, Intermediate/99, and Paramedic. Exam questions (items) are written by national experts in EMS including state officials, educators, employers, and EMS physicians.
A single test item takes about one year to develop and pilot test, and costs approximately $1,000 to produce.
Each of the item banks for the five levels of certification has thousands of questions that are calibrated to entry level competency, and lead to certification that is legally defensible and psychometrically sound.
How Entry Level Competency is Determined
Consistent standards set by the EMS community means patients can expect the same level of competency from EMS providers, regardless of whether they are volunteers or career-based, or located in urban or rural settings.
Certification through the NREMT indicates that a standard level of competency has been met. Certification means an individual has demonstrated entry level competency, but does not authorize a person to work. Emergency medical professionals are required to obtain a state license to work.
The NREMT defines entry level competency through committees of providers, regulators and medical directors. Examinations are directly tied to practice through data obtained from the NREMT Practice Analysis.
Assessing psychomotor competency (practical exam) takes place through an interdisciplinary team-oriented process involving EMS educators, state offices of emergency medical services, thousands of skill station examiners across the country, examination site coordinators, hundreds of NREMT representatives, thousands of EMS system medical directors and others involved in the delivery of EMS.
How States Use the NREMT
Forty-six states currently use the NREMT for certification for one or more EMS levels.
States that do not use the NREMT must develop their own standards, which leads to inconsistency. In addition, these states must develop and defend their own examination/certification proves, which may not be recognized by other states.
Why Recertification is Important
To ensure continued competency, national recertification requires continuing education and competency verification every two years.
A research program has been implemented by the NREMT, in which the main goal is to help improve EMS and the NREMT processes.
As part of the research program, the NREMT conducts the Longitudinal Emergency Medical Technician Attributes and Demographics Study (LEADS) every year to describe the individuals providing emergency medical services throughout the United States. LEADS includes valuable information such as salary, job satisfaction, gender, age, work experience, and ethnicity.
The NREMT is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the accreditation body of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA). The NCCA’s mission is to help ensure the health, welfare, and safety of the public through the accreditation of a variety of certification programs/organizations that assess professional competency. The NREMT is also affiliated with the Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs (CAAHEP).