|(a) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish
minimum standards and guidelines for educational activities that may
be used by EMS personnel to earn continuing education (CE) contact
hours toward recertification or relicensure in accordance with §157.34
of this title, (relating to Recertification) and §157.40 of this
title, (relating to Paramedic Licensure). The EMS continuing education
consists of educational activities designed to promote and enrich
knowledge, improve skills, and develop attitudes for the enhancement
of professional practice, thus improving the quality of emergency
medical services provided to the public.
(b) Local Credentialing and Authorization to Practice.
Nothing in this section is intended to restrict the authority of EMS
providers or medical directors to establish higher standards and requirements
for continuing education activities that must be completed to acquire
or maintain authorization to practice within a local or regional EMS
(c) Content requirements. Candidates at each certification
level shall, at a minimum, accrue department-approved CE in the following
(d) Definitions. The following words and terms, when
used in this section shall have the following meanings, unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) Accrediting agency--An organization approved by
the department as having met predetermined criteria to approve programs
and providers of EMS continuing education.
(2) Approved--Recognized as having met established
standards and pre-determined criteria of the accrediting agencies
which have been approved by the department. Applies to EMS continuing
education providers and programs.
(3) Continuing Education Audit--Examination and verification
of EMS continuing education contact hours claimed to have been successfully
and timely completed by certified or licensed EMS personnel.
(4) Classroom instruction--Workshops, seminars, conferences,
or short-term courses that an individual personally attends and which
is directly related to one of the content areas noted in subsection
(c) of this section.
(5) Clinical learning experiences--Faculty-planned
and guided learning experiences designed to assist students to meet
course objectives in the noted content areas of subsection (c) of
this section and to apply EMS knowledge and skills in the direct care
of patients. These experiences can include settings in laboratories,
acute medical care facilities, extended medical care facilities, and
participation in other department approved health related activities.
Practice approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
may also be considered a form of clinical experience under these rules.
(6) Contact hour--Fifty consecutive minutes of participation
in a learning activity.
(7) Continuing education--Educational activities that
are related to the content areas noted in subsection (c) of this section
and are designed to promote and enrich knowledge, improve skills,
and develop attitudes for the enhancement of professional practice,
thus improving the quality of emergency medical services provided
to the public.
(8) Continuing education program--An organized educational
activity designed and evaluated to meet a set of behavioral objectives,
which may be presented in one session, or a series of sessions, designed
to enhance or elevate EMS knowledge and practice of certified or licensed
(9) Credit course--A specific set of learning experiences
offered at a regionally accredited institution of higher education
for semester or quarter credit hours.
(10) Continuing Education Provider--An individual,
partnership, organization, agency, or institution that offers EMS
continuing education programs, courses, credit courses, classroom
instruction, or other EMS educational activities.
(11) Course--An organized and specific set of learning
experiences offered by an approved provider. Courses include credit
and continuing education courses, short-term courses, organized clinical
learning experiences and other coherent sequences of learning experiences,
approved by the department.
(12) Self-directed study--An educational activity in
which the learner takes the initiative and the responsibility for
assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating the activity. Self-directed
study may include program development, home study, electronically
programmed instruction, and authorship.
(e) Types of Acceptable Continuing Education.
(1) In this section "approved educational activities"
refers to workshops, seminars, conferences, short-term courses, credit
courses or continuing education courses provided by accredited institutions
of higher education, clinical learning experiences, individualized
instruction, distributive learning courses, and other learning activities
that are related to EMS approved protocols and skills or that enhance
the professional EMS practice of the certified or licensed EMS personnel.
(2) Continuing education contact hours applied toward
EMS recertification or relicensure may be earned by participating
in approved educational activities that are offered or sponsored by:
(A) A continuing education provider, approved under
subsection (g) of this section.
(B) A hospital or other health-care facility accredited
by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations.
(C) A person, agency, entity, or organization approved
by the department as an EMS continuing education provider.
(D) A person, agency, entity, or organization recognized
by a national association or organization representing members of
the emergency medical services profession that has been approved by
(E) A state or national organization in a related field
such as medicine, nursing, respiratory care, and similar fields of
health care practice that has been approved by the department.
(3) Developing, teaching or presenting activities defined
in paragraph (1) of this subsection.
(A) Precepting students in the clinical or field internship
phases of Initial education. Contact hours for precepting of students
may be accrued only in Additional Approved Category content area.
(B) Participating in a self-directed study of an EMS
related topic or issue that results in the participant making written
findings and conclusions of the study which becomes published in an
EMS related textbook, or in a state or national EMS related journal
or magazine, or which results in the presentation of the findings
and conclusions of the study in a department approved workshop, seminar,
conference or class, and which is directed toward, or is applicable
to, the EMS profession.
(f) Activities Unacceptable as Continuing Education.
The following activities are not acceptable toward re-certification
(1) Education incidental to the regular professional
activities of EMS personnel such as learning occurring from experience
or personal research which is not published.
(2) Orientation programs sponsored by employers to
provide employees with information about the philosophy, goals, policies,
procedures, role expectations, and physical facilities of a specific
(3) Meetings and activities such as in-service programs
that are required as part of employment unless the in-service training
is a type of acceptable continuing education under subsection (e)
of this section.
(4) Organizational activity such as serving on committees,
councils, or as an officer or board member in a professional organization.
(5) Institutions of higher education credit courses
that are audited.
(6) Courses in basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation
or other instructional activities designed for lay persons, including
first aid courses.
(7) Any experience that does not fit the types of acceptable
continuing education defined under subsection (e) of this section.
(8) Any identical CE repeated more than once during
the accrual period.
(g) Approval of Continuing Education Provider.
(1) No person, agency, entity, or organization shall
offer continuing education for emergency medical services personnel
unless the department has authorized that person, agency, entity,
or organization to be an approved continuing education provider.
(2) A person, agency, entity, or organization seeking
approval as a continuing education provider shall file an application
with the department along with a nonrefundable fee of $60 in accordance
with the course approval process described in §157.32 of this
title (relating to Emergency Medical Services Education Program and
(3) The applicant shall certify on the application
(A) all programs offered by the provider for EMS continuing
education will comply with the appropriate criteria defined in subsection
(h) of this section;
(B) the provider shall be responsible for verifying
successful completion by a participant of each program and shall provide
a certificate of completion to the participants; and
(C) the provider shall be responsible for verifying
that continuing education program(s) has physician medical oversight
when the education is involving patient care.
(4) The department may require applicants for approval
as continuing education providers to:
(A) demonstrate they possess the financial, administrative,
and educational resources necessary to provide the type(s) of educational
activities proposed; and
(B) provide evidence that they are capable of designing
and delivering educational activities that comply with the appropriate
criteria defined in subsection (h) of this section.
(h) Criteria for Acceptable Continuing Education Activity.
(1) The following criteria have been established to
guide EMS personnel in selecting appropriate programs and to guide
providers of EMS continuing education in planning and presenting activities.
The following criteria shall apply to all activities except those
involving self-directed study concluding in a published writing or
a presentation, as described in subsection (g)(3)(B) of this section.
(A) The program's content, teaching methodologies,
and evaluation methods shall be based on written learning objectives
which are specific, attainable, measurable, and descriptive of expected
(B) The target audience shall be identified and there
shall be evidence of program planning based on the needs of the potential
(C) Content shall be relevant to emergency medical
services practice and/or health care, shall be related to and consistent
with the program's objectives, and shall provide for the professional
growth and/or maintenance of the certificant or licensee.
(D) Principles of adult education shall be used in
the design and delivery of the program.
(E) There shall be documentation of the program developer's
expertise in the content area.
(F) Learning experiences and teaching methods shall
be appropriate to achieve the objectives of the program.
(G) Time allotted for each activity shall be sufficient
for the learner to meet the objectives of the program.
(H) The program shall include activities to evaluate
participant achievement of the program's learning objectives with
clearly defined, stated criteria for successful completion.
(I) Participants shall complete a written evaluation
of the program and instruction. Regional, State and/or National conferences
may be exempt from this requirement.
(J) The continuing education provider shall timely
furnish each participant with a written record of the participant's
successful completion of the EMS educational activity. The record
shall specify the name of the continuing education provider, the title,
date and location of the educational activity, a description of the
content area, the number of contact hours awarded, and the name of
the organization granting approval.
(K) Program records of a continuing education provider
shall be maintained by the provider for a minimum period of five years
from the date of the program completion and shall include target audience,
objectives, and documentation of instructor qualifications, teaching
strategies and materials, evaluation instruments and results, and
a list of names of participants.
(2) Classroom Instruction. In addition to the criteria
listed in paragraph (1) of this subsection, programs consisting of
or including a component of classroom or laboratory instruction shall
meet the following criteria.
(A) The program shall be at least one contact hour
(B) There shall be documentation of the instructor's
expertise in the content area.
(C) A schedule of the program shall be provided which
describes content with corresponding time frames.
(D) Facilities and educational resources shall be adequate
to implement the program.
(3) Clinical Instruction. In addition to the criteria
listed in paragraph (1) of this subsection, programs consisting of
or including a component of clinical instruction shall meet the following