Full membership is for BC licensed paramedics, EMR through CCP with voting privilege. Student is for currently enrolled PCP or higher level students not yet licensed.  Otherwise all the same benefits and value added services such as eLearning material.
Category: Membership

Please see the complete article “What is a Professional College and what would it change?

We are sure that you are wondering or potentially asking the question; Aren’t Paramedics in BC already represented by an association?

The answer to this question is in understanding the difference between a professional association and a labour union and keys to the development of a self-regulated profession and a regulatory college. 

The important point: The BCPA and APBC are separate entities, both with a mandate to advance the profession of paramedicine in BC. The APBC’s major constituational mandate is labour relations and the BCPA’s major mandate is professional practice and educational development.

These are complimentary to the paramedic profession with the major difference being, that the BCPA does not bargain with any employer and is an impartial professional body, that includes both unionized, non-union and management paramedic practitioners from multiple different employers.

The British Columbia Paramedic Association is agnostic to employment affiliations and supports the safe practice of paramedicine within various employment roles, traditional and non-traditional, and opportunities where paramedics can best serve patients in a safe manner.

We can’t emphasise enough that the union has filled a vital role performing both the role of a labour union and professional association up to this point. We applaud them.  We are now working together and amongst several stakeholders including employers and educational institutions, in our mission for the patient, public and profession.

As the profession of paramedicine matures it is important to build capabilities that show professional leadership and the ability and maturity of the profession to be self-regulated.  Having an independent body to represent the profession on an academic, research and professional development basis is very important in showing that we develop our own unique body of knowledge and practice as a profession.  A key aspect of developing a body of knowledge is ensuring that evidence and research remains as unbiased and independent as possible.

All of these pieces put together make for an evidence based approach to a health care profession with unique knowledge and practice to that profession.

The British Columbia Paramedic Association has very clear core pillars that lay outside the constitution and mandate of the union and are reflective of health care professional practice, thus performing a different role.

Professional Leadership

The pillar of professional leadership encompasses the development of professional standards and regulations. These include the protection of the title of “Paramedic” and all variation and specialties that fall within that title. Development and oversight for public protection, standards, entry to practice requirements with registration services.  This includes knowledge translation of future direction based on advancement and input of the other pillars.

Tertiary Education

The pillar of higher education is about the establishment of a learned profession.  Building the academic pathway and knowledge base to deliver independent clinical practitioners with the aptitude and critical decision making for independent clinical practice.

Establishing a postgraduate pathway to build the research and unique professional knowledge and body of the practice of paramedicine.  Such degrees as Master of Paramedicine or Master of Health Science Paramedicine, Master of Paramedic Education, Master of Paramedic Administration, Master of Paramedic Research, and Doctorate of Paramedicine.

The true pathway of the professional and understanding of the unique clinical practice of paramedicine is through a Faculty of Paramedicine.

Paramedic Research

A key element to a self-regulated profession is knowledge translation to clinical practice.  Translating general medical knowledge to paramedicine is one aspect, but more important is developing original research testing general clinical practice in the unique environment of prehospital and out-of-hospital care. Ensuring that practice reflects evidence in the specific treatment environment is essential for patient safety and protecting the patients.  Decades have past with anecdotal application of best practices from hospital with very little research conducted in our setting to validate patient safety and outcomes. As our profession matures, we owe it to patients to establish a true paramedic research agenda with those practitioners who perform the role conducting the research to best understand the clinical applications and risk.  This process informs both the tertiary education and the continuing professional development.

Continuing Professional Development

Paramedics are used to recurrent education.  The shift to a professional outlook on continuing professional development rests on practitioners maintaining current knowledge, practice and competency through a defined but self-motivated process. An association or college would assist practitioners in direction to appropriate resources and education programs, augment education opportunities specific to the profession locally, provide venues for professional collaboration and most importantly peer review of research for effective knowledge translation to practice updates, entry to practice requirements and ongoing competency with peer led, peer reviewed evidence from original paramedic research.

This brings us back to the discussion around the objectives of a professional association and that of a union.  A union has a mandate and spends much of its efforts and time on educating delegates on labour relations issues, health and safety, and bargaining practices.  This seems counterintuitive to split their energy and expertise on the above pillars and also maintains a position of partiality between clinical practice and labour unionism despite all good intentions.


Finally, we will finish with a look at the Canadian landscape of professional associations, regulatory colleges and labour unions.

Service delivery will simply describe the primary public ambulance system, respecting that there are additional not traditional paramedic employers.

(PAC) at end of professional association depicts affiliation as provincial chapter of Paramedic Association of Canada.

You will note that each province and territory has a slightly different model. 



Service Delivery:  Alberta Health Service, Private Contractors, Municipal Fire Departments

Regulator:  Alberta College of Paramedics (Self Regulatory College)

Professional Association:  Alberta College of Paramedics (PAC), Alberta Paramedic Association

Labour Union: HSAA, IAFF

British Columbia

Service Delivery: BC Emergency Health Services, Private Contractors

Regulator:  BC EMA Licensing Board

Professional Association: CUPE Local 873 (PAC), British Columbia Paramedic Association

Labour Union: Cupe Local 873


Service Delivery:  Health Districts, Private Operators, Municipal, Fire Department

Regulator:  Manitoba College of Paramedics (Self Regulatory College)

Professional Association:  Paramedic Association of Manitoba (PAC)

Labour Union: MGEU, IAFF

New Brunswick

Service Delivery:  Ambulance New Brunswick (Provincial Service) run by Private Contract

Regulator: Paramedic Association of New Brunswick (Self Regulatory College)

Professional Association:  Paramedic Association of New Brunswick (PAC)

Labour Union: Cupe Local 4848

Newfoundland & Labrador

Service Delivery: Private Contractors

Regulator: Eastern Health Provincial Medical Oversight

Professional Association: Paramedic Association of Newfoundland and Labrador  (PAC)

Labour Union: Teamsters Local 855, NAPE

Nova Scotia

Service Delivery:  EHS Nova Scotia (Provincial Service) run by Contractor

Regulator:  College of Paramedics of Nova Scotia (Self Regulatory College)

Professional Association:  College of Paramedics of Nova Scotia

Labour Union: IUOE Local 727


Service Delivery:  Upper Tier Municipal, First Nations, 2 Private Contractors to UTM

Regulator:  Ministry of Health, EHSB, Base Hospital Programs (5)

Professional Association:  Ontario Paramedic Association (PAC), Local Paramedic Associations as Chapters of OPA and PAC


Prince Edward Island

Service Delivery: Island EMS (Provincial Service) run by Private Contract

Regulator: Emergency Medical Services Board of Health PEI

Professional Association:  Paramedic Association of Prince Edward Island (PAC)

Labour Union: Cupe Local 3324


Service Delivery: Urgences-santé, Municipal Fire Department

Regulator: Direction des services préhospitaliers d’urgence of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS)

Professional Association:  Corporation des Paramédics du Québec (PAC)

Labour Union: FPHQ (Fédération des employés du préhospitalier du Québec)


Service Delivery:  Health Authorities, Private Contractors, Municipal Fire Department

Regulator:  Saskatchewan College of Paramedics (Self Regulatory College)

Professional Association:  Saskatchewan Emergency Medical Service Association (PAC)

Labour Union: HSAS, IAFF, CUPE Local 5430


North West Territories

Service Delivery:  Municipal Fire Department, Private Contractors

Regulator:  Education and Registration in another Canadian Province

Professional Association:  Paramedic Association of Canada, Chapter at Large

Labour Union: IAFF, Non-Union


Service Delivery:  Health Authorities, Private Contractors, Municipal Fire Department

Regulator:  Education and Registration in another Canadian Province

Professional Association:  Paramedic Association of Canada, Chapter at Large

Labour Union: NEU, Non-Union


Service Delivery:  Municipal Fire Department, Private Contractors

Regulator:  Yukon EMS Government

Professional Association:  Paramedic Association of Canada, Chapter at Large

Labour Union: YEU

“So I read the mission etc and while that is awesome and I’m excited, it doesn’t speak to me to convince me that I should pay to be a member”

A: (Member Benefits)

As a profession it takes work to create value for members. The greatest achievement we are trying to make is to improve patient care and establish paramedicine as a regulated healthcare profession in BC.

What we will provide for immediate tangible value to members is a basic welcome package and association accessories along with a library of Continuing Professional Development eLearning courses to help members stay current and meet EMALB requirements.  It will include access to the first annual BCPA research symposium and various other discounts in the works.

  • eWallet Memberhsip Card (Coming soon)
  • BCPA Merchandise and Merchandise Discounts
  • G-Suite Account and @paramedicsbc.ca email address
  • eLearning courses for CPD hours to meet EMALB requirements
  • BCPA Research & Education Symposium
  • BC Paramedics Gathering (Conference)
  • Progress to Self-Regulatory College

Also, check out the Member Benefit’s page for up to date tangible benefits.

Category: Membership

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