Support Center: Certification
Have questions about Certification?Check out the FAQs below to see answers to popular Certification questions!
FAQ's for general information about becoming Nationally Registered for the first time; includes info about EMS education programs, course validity, applying for a National Registry examination and details about the Authorization To Test (ATT).
Q. What are the requirements to become Nationally Certified?
A. Click on the link below to view the entry requirements for each National Registry certification level:
For more information on our cognitive exam, please review our Cognitive Exams page.
Q. How can I locate an EMS education program?A. You will need to contact your state EMS office to find a state-approved program in your area. You can locate your state contact information on our State EMS Agency Map. Paramedic education programs must be state approved and CAAHEP accredited. You can go to www.CAAHEP.org to find an accredited program in your area.
Q. How long is my initial course valid?A. Initial courses are valid for 24 months from the date of completion. If you completed your course between 03/01/2018-08/31/2020, please check our COVID 19 page for more information on your course expiration.
Q. Is there an age requirement to test for National Certification?A. No, there is no minimum age required for National Certification. However, check with your State EMS Office as there may be an age requirement for state licensure.
Q. I am currently state licensed and want to gain National Registry certification. What are the requirements?A. You will need to submit proof of your current state EMS license and education that meets the national component of the 2016 National Continued Competency Program for your certification level. Click on the link below to view the requirements for each level of National Registry certification:
Q. My National Registry certification and state license are expired. What are the requirements to gain National Registry certification?A. You will need to submit proof of education that meets all requirements of the 2016 National Continued Competency Program for your certification level. Click on the link below to view the requirements for each level of National Registry certification:
Q. How do I apply to test?A. Log in to your National Registry account and select the Candidate role. Click on My Applications and then Create Certification Application. (For information on creating an account, view our Account FAQ.)
Q. What does the status “Waiting for course completion” mean?A. Your application is pending course completion verification from your program director. You will need to contact your program director.
Q. How do I locate a BLS (EMR/EMT) psychomotor exam?A. Contact your state EMS office or your local EMS agency for BLS psychomotor exam locations in your state. Locate state contact information on our State EMS Agency Map.
Q. Where can I find my Authorization to Test (ATT) letter?A. Log in to your National Registry account and select the Candidate role. Click on My Applications and click on Application Status/ATTs. Find your current application and click Print/View Authorization to Test.
Q. How long is my Authorization to Test (ATT) letter valid?A. Authorization to Test (ATT) letters are valid for up to 90 days. ATTs may expire sooner if your course eligibility expiration date is less than 90-days.
Q. What is a cognitive exam?A. The cognitive exam is a knowledge-based exam that determines competency for safe and effective practice.
For more information on our cognitive exam, please review our Cognitive Exams page.
Q. How can I find available test dates for the cognitive exam?A. Once you receive your Authorization to Test (ATT) letter, go to Pearson Vue’s website and click on Seat Availability to search for available dates and locations.
Q. I failed my cognitive exam. How do I reapply to test?A. You must wait 15 calendar days from your last exam before you can reapply to test. After the 15 days, log in to your National Registry account and create an express application and pay the application fee.
Q. What is an express application?A. An express application can be used after you have failed the cognitive exam and want to apply to retest. You can choose an express application if nothing has changed from the original application.
Q. I failed the cognitive exam 3 times. What do I need to do to test again?A. You will need to complete remedial training before you will be eligible to test again. The training can be completed via refresher or continuing education hours that meet the NCCP national component requirements for the certification level. Once you complete the training, fill out a new Application To Test and email the remedial training documents to email@example.com. Please put Remedial Training in the subject line of the email and include your application ID number.
FAQ’s for Advanced Placement and EMS Board-Certified Physicians and Fellows
Q. What does a pathway to certification mean for an EMS Board-Certified Physician and Fellows?A. After a review of the EMS Board Certification and EMS Fellows education standards, the education meets or exceeds the needed requirements to test for National Certification. Meaning that you have completed this specific education and are eligible to gain certification. You are required to complete both the cognitive and psychomotor examinations to gain full certification.
Q. What are the requirements to take the National Registry exam?A. To be eligible to take the National Registry exam, you must show proof of board certification as an EMS physician or enrollment in an EMS fellowship program and hold CPR certification or equivalent credentials. The sub-specialty in emergency medical services (EMS) is required for this process, not a specialty in emergency medicine. Documentation of EMS board certification or enrollment in or completion of an EMS fellowship can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- EMS Fellowship - an ACGME-accredited program and medical sub-specialty that involves prehospital emergency patient care including initial patient stabilization, treatment, and transport to hospitals in specially equipped ambulances or helicopters (ABEM, 2020).
- Board-Certified EMS Physician – Certified physicians who attained sub-specialty certification in EMS by meeting the eligibility criteria, fulfilling specific credential requirements, and passing the EMS Certification Examination as recognized by AOBEM/ ABEM (ABEM, 2020).
Q. Can other healthcare professions test for National EMS Certification?A. If you are a nurse, physician assistant or in a different healthcare profession and want to gain certification, you will need to work with the appropriate EMS level education program and use the advanced placement pathway.
Q. What is the advanced placement pathway?A. Advanced placement allows you to apply previously earned course work or work experience towards meeting course completion requirements. Please note, not all the credits, course work and work experience may apply, and not all EMS programs offer advanced placement.
Q. Does the National Registry allow or support advanced placement for EMS certification?A. The National Registry supports the appropriate use of advanced placement by accredited paramedic educational programs, as well as some state-approved EMS educational programs.
Q. Once the advanced placement pathway is complete, what are the next steps?A. Once a program determines that EMS course completion requirements are met, you will create an account and apply to test at the chosen level for the program to verify course completion. You are required to complete both the cognitive and psychomotor examinations to gain full certification.
Q. What happens after I gain certification?A. Once you successfully gain certification, you will need to maintain your certification by completion of either the required continuing education or recertification by examination.
Check out these quick tips to get started!
If you have just completed or are currently enrolled in an EMS education program, follow these easy steps to apply for a National Registry examination.
If you were unsuccessful on your National Registry examination and follow these easy steps to re-apply for the National Registry examination.
Re-entry (if you have lapsed)
If you have a lapsed National Registry certification or state EMS license and want to gain National Registry certification, follow these easy steps to apply for a National Registry examination.
State License entry (if you have a current State EMS license)
If you have a current state EMS license and want to gain National Registry certification, follow these easy steps to apply for a National Registry examination.