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Entry requirements for working in the ambulance service

Entry requirements for working in the ambulance service

This page outlines the broad entry requirements for the different roles in the ambulance service team.

Background

Whatever your age, education and qualifications, you can join the ambulance service at a level that's right for you. You'll be given every support to develop your career if this is what you want. There is on-the-job training for every role, so you can earn while you learn. There is also the chance to study for formal qualifications, to degree level and beyond. Below are some of your options and entry routes.

With good GCSEs and/or work experience

Many people in senior roles - whether in clinical or management jobs - came in at a junior level with few qualifications. Local ambulance trusts differ in their entry requirements, however. Some ask for GCSEs or an NVQ or the equivalent, while others will also recruit people with a good general education and/or work experience.

To drive an ambulance, whether emergency or non-emergency, you will need a full, manual driving licence. If you passed your test after 1996, you may need an extra driving qualification to drive larger vehicles and carry passengers.

With A-Levels

Several universities offer courses approved by the Health and Care Professions Council, leading to a diploma, foundation degree and/or BSc honours degree. The courses tend to be modular with flexible entry and exit points, depending on your academic qualifications and any relevant experience. With further study, for example, you can convert a foundation degree into an honours degree.

Some courses are open on a full-time basis to direct entrants, coming in through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), and others are on a part time basis to those already employed by an ambulance service trust as a student paramedic.

As a graduate

As a qualified paramedic or other registered healthcare professional (such as a specialist nurse), you may be eligible for one of the growing numbers of part-time and full-time degree and postgraduate courses in the developing area of emergency care. These can lead to roles in senior paramedicine.