Are we finally moving into an era that requires EMS managers to become certified? The answer is yes.

Prior to 2016, EMS managers were selected through an interview process and the position commonly went to people we would consider to be pretty good clinicians. But the problem is just because you’re a good clinician doesn’t mean you are qualified to lead an agency. The National EMS Management Association (NEMSMA) has decided it’s time to change that. So, they now offer a formal curriculum on EMS management.

NEMSMA has identified the attributes and skill set necessary to lead an EMS agency and is actively developing a process that will test and verify a person’s level of competence. Avesta, a company that specializes in recruiting EMS staff, developed the exams. The American College of Paramedic Executives (ACPE) oversees competencies, testing, and credentialing for the three levels of officer certification. The inaugural group of trainees completed the program in June of 2016. Moving forward, there will be regular testing opportunities at the national conferences.