The Role of a Training Officer: Ranging From Mentor to Fraud Gatekeeper

By: Rae Oliveira

Many providers due to renew their certifications and licenses this cycle are either planning their continuing education track or are actively participating in their required continuing education courses. They often look to their Training Officers for guidance. This is especially true for first time renewals or when there has been a change in training requirements, such as the recent move to the NREMT NCCP Model.

Providers seek guidance from their Training Officers because it is their responsibility to be aware of mandated training requirements. Requirements span across all levels of EMS:

  • Company requirements – These are deemed important by the organization’s Chief and leadership and include requirements such as skills assessments.
  • Local or jurisdiction mandates – These include requirements such as ePCR training.
  • State certification or licensure requirements – These include requirements such as statewide protocol updates.
  • National requirements – These are routinely the NREMT renewal requirements but can also include other requirements such as Certified Critical Care Paramedic.

Training Officers span from the company officer to the jurisdictional official level, and their specific roles can range from mentor to trainer to record keeper and fraud gatekeeper. Let’s take a look at how they may fulfill these different responsibilities.


Training Officer as Mentor

As a mentor, the Training Officer should provide a list of the required training for each of their providers as well as a schedule of when the training is offered or list of the organizations that provide the training. The Training Officer should also assist the provider in completing any required renewal applications.


Training Officer as Trainer

If the Training Officer is the individual conducting the training, they must have the necessary expertise or credentials. The vast majority of training provided requires the trainer to maintain a license or certification at or above the provider-level they are instructing on. However, some specific trainings require the instructor to hold a provider-level certification or license for a specific timeframe or require additional instructor-level credentials—think AHA ACLS Instructor certification.


Training Officer as Record Keeper

A Training Officer’s record keeping can range from tracking providers’ training in an Excel spreadsheet to maintaining a training roster for 3-7 years after course completion to producing course completion certificates. A training roster should, at a minimum, contain:

  • Student name
  • Student ID number
  • Name of training
  • Date completed

Certificates of completion should, at a minimum, contain:

  • Student name
  • Name of training
  • Course number, if assigned
  • Number of hours assigned
  • Date completed
  • Authorizing signature

Training Officer as Fraud Gatekeeper

We have heard too often in the news and trade periodicals of incidents where trainings were nullified and certifications were revoked because of fraudulent training practices. As a Training Officer, you have an obligation to protect your personnel.

Training Officers may also be required to verify the training record submitted on a provider’s application. If training is provided locally, ensure the trainer meets the instructor requirements and attendance rosters are maintained. If training is outsourced, ensure the organization is accredited, for example, there should be a state or CAPCE approval ID for each course provided.


Protecting the Future of EMS

Across all their many areas of responsibility, Training Officers play a critical role in protecting the future of EMS by ensuring providers have the knowledge and skills needed to provide the very best patient care and serve and protect their communities to the best of their abilities.


Thank you to all the Training Officers for their dedication to EMS!


Rae is a Paramedic with over 30 years of emergency medical services experience.  She retired as an EMS Battalion Chief in 2009 from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue (HCDFRS), Maryland after 23 years of service.  As part of her experiences in the HCDFRS, she obtained her Maryland EMS instructor credential in 1996 and oversaw the EMS section of the training division.  She has been teaching EMS and AHA courses ever since, and in 2015 became a nationally certified EMS educator through NAEMSE.  After her retirement in 2009, she was hired at the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services (MIEMSS) and is currently the Director of the Office of Licensure and Certification for Maryland EMS.  Additionally, she is a critical care transport nurse, licensed in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

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