Developing competent EMS graduates requires the continued evolution of dedicated educators who are knowledgeable in educational methodology and critical thinking. To complete the components of the EMS Education for the Future: A Systems Approach and the EMS Agenda for the Future there is a need to develop a standard for the EMS educator.
The National EMS Educator Certification, Inc. (NEMSEC) offers a valid and reliable credentialing examination that verifies mastery of cognitive instructional methodology. This article will provide an overview of the history, requirements for credentialing, current activities and how to become a Nationally Credentialed EMS Educator (NCEE).
Why Do We Need National Educator Certification?
Soon after the release of the EMS Education for the Future: A Systems Approach and the EMS Agenda for the Future, a group of well-known EMS subject matter experts (SME), and National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE) members, had a vision of advancing the standard of competence for EMS educators worldwide. They began the intensive work of defining competence, blueprinting, test item writing and psychometric analysis based upon the 2002 National EMS Instructor curriculum. With the assistance and endorsement of NAEMSE, these pioneers formed NEMSEC and began credentialing EMS educators.
Since the administration of the first examination in 2006 at the NAEMSE Symposium, many instructors across the nation have been successful with the credentialing process and are able to place “NCEE” credentials after their name. The credential is valid for a period of three years and is renewable by documentation of teaching activities, attending education in adult learning and submission of the recertification fee.
There are many reasons why an educator should take the exam, both intrinsically and extrinsically. Intrinsically, participation in the credentialing process motivates an individual to set themselves apart in the field of education. Further, professional development is also an attractive addition to a performance evaluation. An extrinsic motivation could come from a college or educational institution requiring all affiliated instructors to obtain this credential, thus making their program more attractive to prospective students who are exploring multiple program options.
Additionally, proactive EMS education programs wishing to revise their curriculum to meet compliance with the aforementioned white papers may use this process to complete the recommended components.
Organizational Structure and Vision
While the NEMSEC Board of Directors (the Board) continues to meet in person twice yearly, they also hold a conference call on a monthly basis to continue the work of item writing, pilot testing new questions and continued testing analysis. Further, the Board is undergoing the process of obtaining accreditation from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The NCCA helps to ensure the health, welfare and safety of the public through the accreditation of a variety of individual certification programs that assess professional competency. The NCCA uses a peer review process to:
- Establish accreditation standards
- Evaluate compliance with the standards
- Recognize programs which demonstrate compliance
- Serve as a resource on quality certification
The Board’s vision continues to burn brightly to provide a nationally recognized examination that can endure psychometric scrutiny and provide consistent credentialing standards worldwide. This credentialing process is designed to confirm mastery cognition in educational methodology based upon the 2002 National EMS Education curriculum. NEMSEC’s ambitious goal for 2012 is to credential twice as many instructors as in the past.