Advancing the EMS profession

COVID-19: Pandemic Operations Plan for Conducting NAEMT Courses

Recognizing the challenges faced by NAEMT training centers and faculty in providing needed continuing education during the COVID-19 pandemic, NAEMT authorizes training centers to adopt the following formats and procedures in conducting NAEMT courses until the pandemic has abated, effective Monday, March 23, 2020:

Course format:

  • NAEMT training centers will be allowed to offer all didactic content through synchronized (real time) virtual classrooms using online platforms such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Skype for Business, and Webex. You may view the NAEMT webinar recording on how to conduct courses using web-based tools here. For specific questions on how to present NAEMT content online, contact education@naemt.org.

  • For those courses that include skills practice, the skills portion may be conducted using a 1:1 instructor-to-student ratio if needed (or other small group size based on current federal, state/provincial and/or local restrictions). Approved NAEMT instructors may monitor students completing the skills portion of the courses at a training center, an EMS agency, or other venue deemed appropriate by the Training Center Representative.  If necessary, instructors may also use video (live or recorded) to monitor students on the skills portion of the courses. Use of video for student monitoring should be documented.   

  • Testing - please see permitted alternatives for administering tests here.

  • NEW  During the COVID-19 pandemic (at least through the end of 2020), NAEMT has waived the post-test requirement for the following courses when offered live (synchronized) using online platforms:  

              > All Hazards Disaster Response (AHDR)
              > EMS Safety
              > Emergency Vehicle Operator Safety (EVOS – the 8-hour course)
              > Geriatric Education for EMS (GEMS – both the Core and Advanced courses)
              > Principles of Ethics and Personal Leadership (PEPL)
              > Psychological Trauma in EMS Patients (PTEP)

    Note: When finalizing rosters for these courses when a test is not administered, enter "100" in the required post-test score field.

  • PHTLS, AMLS, EPC, TCCC and TECC still require completion of the written post-test. Please visit our web page with guidance on conducting NAEMT courses during the pandemic that includes suggestions for conducting post-tests.

  • Hybrid courses, available in English for Advanced Medical Life Support (AMLS), Emergency Pediatric Care (EPC), and Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS), are also encouraged. This format allows students to take the didactic portion of the course and the written test online, followed by the skills portion of the course which may be conducted as described above. 

In addition, NAEMT will make the following exceptions for instructors and students in light of the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Instructor minimum teaching requirement – For AMLS, EPC, PHTLS, TCCC and TECC instructors, NAEMT will provide a six-month extension on the minimum requirement of teaching one-course per year.   

  • Instructor candidate monitoring – During the pandemic, NAEMT extends the time for providers to complete the instructor requirements from 12 months to 24 months following completion of the provider course. Non-English and non-Spanish speaking countries that teach the NAEMT Instructor Preparation course in a classroom may submit an alternative plan to the NAEMT Education Committee for consideration.
    Further, NAEMT will allow instructor candidates to be monitored by Affiliate Faculty using video monitoring (either live or recorded). Affiliate Faculty will need to indicate on the Instructor Candidate Monitoring Form if they monitor a candidate using this format. This exception will be reevaluated at the end of the year.

  • Provider status – We recognize that some agencies require their EMTs and paramedics to maintain current provider status for PHTLS, AMLS, EPC, TCCC and/or TECC. NAEMT will provide a six-month extension on provider status during the pandemic and will reevaluate this extension at the end of the year.

Finally, NAEMT has made a permanent change in our policy covering requirements to maintain instructor status:

  • Instructor status requirement – NAEMT has revised its general (ongoing) policy on maintaining instructor status as noted below:

  1. For AMLS, EPC, PHTLS, TCCC, and TECC – instructors will be required to teach at least one course per year, and complete the instructor update for each new edition. (Note: NAEMT will provide a six-month extension during the pandemic.) 
  2. For AHDR, EMS Safety, EVOS, GEMS, PEPL and PTEP – instructors will be required to teach at least one course per edition, and complete the instructor update for each new edition.
  3. Course refreshers, hybrid courses and derivative courses (AMLS Basics, PHTLS for First Responders, TECC-LEO, and Advanced GEMS) may count as the minimum one course.

NAEMT invites our faculty to offer other suggestions for conducting NAEMT courses during the pandemic at education@naemt.org.

We understand how challenging this time is for our providers and our faculty. We sincerely thank our faculty for their commitment to their students and for their continued support of NAEMT education. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with all EMS practitioners and their families, colleagues, students and patients as we work together to respond to and contain the pandemic.