Objectives: Program accreditation is used to ensure the delivery of quality education and training for allied health providers. However, accreditation is not mandated for paramedic education programs. This study examined if there is a relationship between completion of an accredited paramedic education program and achieving a passing score on the National Registry Paramedic Certification Examination.
Methods: We used data from the National Registry Paramedic Certification Examination for calendar year 2002. Successful completion (passing) of the examination was defined as correctly answering a minimum of 126 out of 180 (70%) of the questions and meeting or exceeding the individual subtest passing scores. Accredited paramedic training programs were certified by the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP) on or before January 1, 2002. Candidates reported demographic characteristics including age, gender, self-reported race and ethnicity, education, and employer type. We examined the relationship between passing the examination and attendance at an accredited paramedic training program.
Results: A total of 12,773 students completed the examination. Students who attended an accredited program were more likely to pass the examination (OR = 1.65, 95% CI: 1.51-1.81). Attendance at an accredited training program was independently associated with passing the examination (OR = 1.58, 95% CI = 1.43-1.74) even after accounting for confounding demographic factors.
Conclusion: Students who attended an accredited paramedic program were more likely to achieve a passing score on a national paramedic credentialing examination. Additional studies are needed to identify the aspects of program accreditation that lead to improved examination success.