Paramedic practice in Canada continues to evolve and there is a duty to ensure our descriptions of practice reflect the complexity of contemporary paramedic practice. Doing so requires that we outline the features required for competent practice in diverse contexts across Canada. The motivation to accurately reflect a profession that is rapidly advancing stems from the prevalence of literature in recent years that outlines contexts of practice, role identity, and integration into the larger health system. It is these new insights that are redefining what it means to be a paramedic.
The National Occupational Standard for Paramedics (NOSP) project aims to renew the existing paramedic competency framework via accredited standards development processes that will reflect the needs of contemporary paramedic practice in Canada.
The NOSP will be developed following the CSA Group’s standards development process, using a six-step model for developing competency frameworks recently published by members of the development group. The six-steps comprise  identifying purpose, intended uses, scope, and stakeholders;  theoretically informed ways of identifying the contexts of complex, ‘real-world’ professional practice, which includes  aligned methods and means by which practice can be explored;  the identification and specification of competencies required for professional practice,  how to report the process and outputs of identifying such competencies, and  built-in strategies to continuously evaluate, update and maintain the competency framework.
A technical committee has been established which contains representatives from industry, research, government/regulatory, education, allied professions, the public, and international groups. This committee has to date adopted terminology, decided on scope and purpose of the project (Step 1), and is currently finalizing a list of contexts of paramedic practice in Canada (Step 2). Step 3 will involve the creation of pan-Canadian working groups to explore paramedic practice across Canada to inform the subsequent identification of competencies in Step 4.
Following public feedback, revision and publication (Step 5), continuous updates will be made to the NOSP, so it may serve as an up-to-date framework that progresses in line with the profession (Step 6).