PCP Scope Change

The PCP scope of practice has recently been expanded in Saskatchewan to align with new NOCP guidelines approved by the Paramedic Association of Canada in 2011. This affects all current and future PCPs and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).

Current members at the PCP 2001 NOCP level have until June 30, 2019 to fulfill the requirements needed to meet this increased scope. Members not upgrading by then will be re-licensed at the EMR level. Members at the EMT level will also need to choose to upgrade to the 2011 PCP level or be re-licenced at the EMR level.

Saskatchewan is moving to the 2011 NOCP guidelines to enhance patient care, and also to ease labour mobility by aligning with other paramedic regulators and educational institutes across the country.

Steps to upgrading

There are two parts to upgrading from PCP 2001 NOCP to PCP 2011 NOCP.

1. Training

EMTs wishing to upgrade to PCP 2011 NOCP must take the Primary Care Paramedic Bridge program, which educates to the PCP 2001 level, then continue with the steps below. 

Members at a PCP 2001 level must complete training on competencies that could have an impact on the overall safety of a patient, and they must also fill out the Scope Change Reporting Form. Training for these critical competencies can be completed at home, work, or through a training facility delivery format. An individual or an agency may submit content for approval based on the core training requirements developed by the Education Committee. Programs that have already been approved for the PCP Upgrade are listed on the CME Opportunities page > under PCP Upgrade to PCP 2011 NOCP.

If you have already taken some or all of the training at the PCP 2011 NOCP level, have your educational institution(s) fill out the Upgrade Verification Form and submit it through Your Account.

Please note the following:

i) Once content is approved through the standard continuing medical education (CME) approval process, the education may be completed by the member.

ii) The intravenous (IV) initiation can be achieved by the successful completion of the core training requirements. This will include demonstrating that the member can competently start an IV in a clinical setting by having at least two independent practitioners who are trained in IV initiation to sign off. Practitioners must be at the level of Intermediate Care Paramedic (ICP), Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP), Registered Nurse (RN), RN Practitioner, Licenced Practical Nurse (LPN), or physician. A clinical setting has been defined as a hospital, health clinic, ambulance, medical office or nursing home.

The NOCPs that fall into this category:

Category: Critical; further training required

# Performance Environment Specific Competency
4.5(n) Simulated Setting Obtain 12 lead electrocardiogram and interpret findings.
5.1(f) Simulated Setting Utilize airway devices not requiring visualization of vocal cords and not introduced endotracheally.
5.5(d) Clinical Setting Conduct peripheral intravenous (IV) cannulation.
5.8(b) Clinical Setting Follow safe processes for responsible medication administration.
5.8(i) Simulated Setting Administer medication via the buccal route.
5.8(n) Simulated Setting Administer medication via intranasal route.
5.8(o) Academic Understanding Provide patient assist according to provincial list of medications.

2) Declaration

The Education Committee recommended that some competencies need no further training, recognizing that currently licensed PCPs have acquired an acceptable level of experience in these areas. For these, the College accepts a formal declaration stating how these specific competencies, including their sub-competencies, have been met. This declaration is filled out within the Member Account in the PCP Scope Change form in step 3 described below.

The NOCPs that fall into this category:

Category: Highly Desirable; declaration required

# Performance Environment Specific Competency
1.7(a) Simulated Setting Collaborate with law enforcement agencies in the management of crime scenes.
1.7(b) Simulated Setting Comply with ethical and legal reporting requirements for situations of abuse.
4.3(p) Academic Understanding Conduct bariatric assessment and interpret findings.
4.5(b) Academic Understanding Conduct end-tidal carbon dioxide monitoring and interpret findings.
4.5(g) Basic Awareness Conduct invasive core temperature monitoring and interpret findings.
5.6(f) Basic Awareness Provide wound care.
7.4(a) Simulated Setting Prepare patient for air medical transport.
8.1(a) Academic Understanding Participate in health promotion activities and initiatives.
8.1(b) Academic Understanding Participate in injury prevention and public safety activities and initiatives.
8.1(c) Field Preceptorship Work collaboratively with other members of the health care community.
8.1(d) Academic Understanding Utilize community support agencies as appropriate.
8.2(a) Field Preceptorship Work collaboratively with other emergency response agencies.
8.2(b) Academic Understanding Work within an incident management system (IMS).
8.3(a) Academic Understanding Recognize indications of agent exposure.
8.3(b) Academic Understanding Possess knowledge of personal protective equipment (PPE).
8.3(c) Academic Understanding Perform chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) scene size-up.
8.3(d) Academic Understanding Conduct triage at CBRNE incident.
8.3(e) Academic Understanding Conduct decontamination procedures.
8.3(f) Academic Understanding Provide care to patients involved in CBRNE incident.

Upon recommendation from the Provincial Emergency Services Practice Committee (PESPC), and in order to align with the 2011 NOCPs, the below classifications of medications are approved for the PCP and ICP (Intermediate Care Paramedic) scope of practice.

Medication Classifications

Non-Narcotic Analgesic
Adrenergic Agonists
Platelet Inhibitor
Opioid Antagonists


Instructing practitioners according to drug classifications, rather than educating to a specific drug or medication, saves resources when changes in training requirements or protocols occur. When a new medication is approved by the College, members will be held accountable to ensure that they are familiar with the medication. 

3. Completing your upgrade

When you have completed the critical training requirements (step 1 described above), you will complete the PCP Scope Change Declaration form in Your Account, found under Applications. 

The PCP Scope Change Declaration form asks you to describe how you have met the highly desirable competencies (step 2 described above), and declare that you have read and understood the 2011 NOCPs (pdf). 

The purpose of the declaration form is to validate that individuals have met all of the competencies outlined in the 2011 NOCP for PCPs. The competencies listed on the declaration form are not part of the requirements for the PCP Upgrade training programs the College has approved. Therefore, in order to meet this requirement, members must describe using their own words how they have met each competency through prior learning recognition using previous work experience examples, or with thorough descriptions of each. Use at least three or four sentences to specifically describe examples of work experience in which you have performed each competency, or to demonstrate adequate knowledge in these areas.

It will also ask you to provide proof that you have successfully completed the critical competencies (step 1). Proof can be shown by providing certificates of completion, and by filling out the Scope Change Reporting Form

After you have submitted your Scope Change Declaration form and the upgrade is approved by the College, your licence will be changed to PCP 2011 NOCP, and your new licence will be available for download from Your Account.

You can work at the new 2011 level only when your Level of Practice is changed on the Member List on the home page of our website. 

Members will receive 20 CME credits in the year the upgrade is completed, plus credit for Medications Pertinent to Scope of Practice and Supraglottic Airways. 

Which protocol manual do I use?

Members licensed at the PCP 2001 NOCP level should continue to use the Saskatchewan Emergency Treatment Protocol Manual developed by the Ministry of Health.

Once you have completed the upgrade, members licensed at the PCP 2011 NOCP level should use the Paramedic Clinical Practice Protocols manual developed by SCoP.

What is NOCP?

The Paramedic Association of Canada (PAC) first established the National Occupational Competency Profile (NOCP) in March 2000, with an update published in June 2001. Creation of the NOCP followed a multi-year national project involving hundreds of paramedics as well as employers and other key stakeholders. Another revision to the profile was approved by the PAC Board of Directors in October 2011.

The PCP scope change in the 2011 NOCP is now being implemented by the Saskatchewan College of Paramedics.

The primary purposes of the NOCP are:
(1) to create national standards for education programs, and
(2) to provide a tool to assist paramedic regulators establish common
workplace standards and enhance labour mobility.

Important links