Both de-activation and de-certification signify a stop in a paramedic's authorization from the Medical Director to perform controlled medical acts. Whether de-activated or de-certified, the paramedic is no longer eligible to work as a paramedic within the certifying base hospital, except in the case of a partial clinical de-activation (see below). De-activation and de-certification may be the result of several different processes outlined below.
Most administrative de-activations are due to a paramedic's absence from work for periods greater then 90 days. After ninety days away from practice, paramedics are required to undertake a Return to Clinical Practice process and are deactivated until that process is complete. Following completion of a Return to Clinical Practice process, the RPPEO reactivates paramedics' certification.
Other potential reasons for administrative de-activation include failure to complete annual maintenance of certification activities by the deadline or failing to respond to RPPEO requests for information during audits. It's also used when the RPPEO anticipates that a paramedic plans to continue practising within the RPPEO region, but is missing some aspect of their administrative file in order to continue. In these rare cases of missing information, administrative de-activation can almost always be reversed by providing the missing administrative details.
When the Medical Director has serious concerns about the safety and quality of clinical care, they may use clinical de-activiation to limit a paramedic's activity. In the case of a full clinical de-activation, the Medical Director removes a paramedic from all clinical activities, while a partial de-activation means removing authorization for certain specified clinical activities. Following investigation of the issues, paramedics may be required to undergo remediation or other educational activities to have their certification re-reactivated. While the RPPEO maintains this process should it be required, de-activation for concerns about patient care or safety is exceedingly rare.
The RPPEO de-certifies paramedics who have left our region or who are retired from practice. There is a Ministry of Health mechanism for de-certification on the basis of patient safety concerns described in Appendix 6 of the Advanced Life Support Patient Care Standards, however, clinical decertification is extremely rare. When it does occur, it's at the recommendations of a Paramedic Practice Review Committee (PPRC). By the PPRC's review and recommendation, a paramedic who no longer meets the requirements set out in the provincial Patient Care Standards, the RPPEO's policies and/or other requirements of the Ministry of Health will be de-certified. The authorization to practice as a paramedic under the jurisdiction of the base hospital and the authorization to perform delegated controlled medical acts are thereby withdrawn.
For more details about de-activation and de-certification, see the RPPEO Certification Policy.