ICoP President Shane Knox and Vice-President Alan Batt presented this poster about the Irish College of Paramedics at the EMS Gathering 2017 in Kinsale last week.
The world of prehospital practice in Ireland has developed significantly over the past number of years. Whilst improvements are evident among the practitioner group in education, skillset and professional standards, the public know little to nothing of the role and function of the Irish prehospital care practitioner. The need for a national and all-inclusive professional body to represent all registered pre-hospital practitioners in Ireland was identified through research into continuous professional competency requirements.
The Irish College of Paramedics was proposed and formed as a result in 2012. It is not a college, not a university, but ‘collegial’ defined as: ‘Co-operative interaction among colleagues’ or a group of professionals working for our profession. ICoP represents the profession, and includes all levels of registered pre-hospital practitioner. As well as registered practitioners (EMTs, Paramedics and Advanced Paramedics) its membership includes all those with a ‘pre-hospital’ interest, and is not restricted to registrants only. It is an all-encompassing body representing practitioners and responders from professional, voluntary and private organisations.
The Irish College of Paramedics is now considered the voice of prehospital care practitioners in Ireland. It represents its members to the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council Medical Advisory Group and Education and Standards Committee; the University of Limerick; and University College Cork. The Irish Journal of Paramedicine has been launched, which is the official academic, peer-reviewed journal of ICoP. An affiliation agreement has been signed with the Paramedic Association of Canada, and one is forthcoming with the Turkish Paramedic Association. The future growth of the Irish College of Paramedics is unknown, but is essential to the maturation of the paramedic profession within Ireland. Using Greenwood’s model of a profession, the establishment of a professional culture, and the development of a unique body of knowledge are two specific areas of professional practice which the Irish College of Paramedics seeks to strengthen within Ireland. Strengthening links with international organisations is aimed at constructing a unified international standard of practice, making labour mobility easier. This will also in turn provide additional education and practice opportunities for Irish prehospital care practitioners worldwide.