Becoming a Paramedic
In Ontario, high school graduates who wish to become a paramedic must attend a recognized college Paramedic program. Almost all college Paramedic programs are 2 years in length.
Generally colleges require the following prior to the start of their program:
- Current Standard First Aid (or equivalent) certificate
- Current CPR (C) - Basic Rescuer level (or equivalent) certificate
- Senior Biology high school course (grade 11 or higher)
- Senior Science high school course (other than biology)
- High School graduation diploma
- Class 'F' Drivers License - Ontario
- Current Immunizations (including Hepatitis B, Chicken Pox -if needed-, & flu shot recommended)
- Be Communicable Disease free
- Be physically fit & able to lift
- Possess good communication skills & be able to fluently read & write English (French also required for francophone programs)
- Be at least 18 years old prior to beginning preceptorship (on-the-job) training
Medical, Vision and Hearing "Class F" Drivers License Requirements
Medical, Vision and Hearing requirements are determined by:
The "Class F" (Ambulance) Drivers license medical must be repeated as follows:
- every 5 years, under age 46
- every 3 years, age 46-64
- every year, age 65 and over
Medical Requirements are set out by the Ontario Ministry of Health
Physical requirements should follow best-practice guidelines as established by researchers at Wilfred Laurier University.
Information on the A-EMCA provincial certification exam
Upon completion of the college Primary Care Paramedic program, graduates are eligible to write the Advanced Emergency Medical Care Assistant (A-EMCA) examination. Candidates for the A-EMCA are offered 3 attempts to successfully pass (70% required) the exam before remedial training is required & may work for an ambulance service for up to 210 days while preparing.
If you are attending an approved institution that offers the paramedic program, your institution should be contacting the MOHLTC-EHS Branch office to obtain application packages for all of their students, prior to graduating.
For more information on the A-EMCA, please contact:
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Emergency Health Services Branch
Patient Care Standards, Education and Certification
5700 Yonge Street, 6th Floor
North York, ON M2M 4K5
Tel #: (416) 327-7813
Fax #: (416) 327-7911
Toll Free: 1-800-461-6431
Ontario Ambulance Service - Emergency Health Services
All paramedics are subject to follow the Ontario Ambulance Service - Emergency Health Services "Paramedic Practice Documents".
Paramedic Labour Mobility
If you are interested in becoming a paramedic in Ontario please determine which of the following best describes your starting point:
- If you have no paramedic training
- If you are a certified paramedic from a province or territory other than Ontario
- If you are a certified paramedic from outside of Canada
Each respective scenario is broken down into some quick and easy steps to provide you with the information you require.
1) If you have no paramedic training:
If you have no previous paramedic training and you are a Canadian resident interested in becoming a paramedic in Ontario, you must do the following:
- Attend an Ontario College to become a paramedic.
- Please visit our schools link to find out which colleges offer paramedic programs.
2) If you are a certified paramedic from a province or territory other than Ontario:
If you are currently certified as a paramedic in a province other than Ontario but you would like to determine how to achieve labour mobility so you may become a paramedic certified to work in Ontario, you must perform one of the following:
- STEP 1 - Visit the Canadian Organization of Paramedic Regulators (COPR) which is an agreed upon comparator tool for use by Canadian paramedic practitioners. The tool is a guide to help you assess gaps that occur from province to province. Licensure of paramedics is the responsibility and domain of the various provincial regulatory bodies. Consult the provincial regulators for final decisions regarding practice.
- STEP 2 - Visit the Ontario Ministry of Health - Ontario Paramedic Equivalency Process to present your experience and qualifications on a case-by-case basis, to determine eligibility to challenge the AEMCA Theory Examination. The Equivalency Process for all applicants involves two phases - validation of educational and work experience, and qualifying evaluations.
- STEP 3 - Follow the Labour Mobility process as defined by the Ontario Ministry of Health (contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you require specific information on the Labour Mobility process).
- STEP 4 - Apply to a Paramedic Service for employment.
- STEP 5 - Upon successful employment you must become certified to perform specific Delegated Medical Acts under the license of an Ontario Base Hospital Medical Director.
3) If you are a certified paramedic from outside of Canada:
If you are currently certified as a paramedic in a country other than Canada or you do not meet the Labour Mobility equivalency requirements within Canada and you would like to determine how you may become a paramedic certified to work in Ontario, you will need to follow one of the following two processes when applying to work in Ontario (1) Labour Mobility Process or (2) The Standard Equivalency Process. The Standard Equivalency Process will be more complex and time consuming than those paramedics who can achieve reciprocity under the Labour Mobility Process.
- STEP 1 - Visit the Ontario Ministry of Health - Ontario Paramedic Equivalency Process to present your experience and qualifications on a case-by-case basis, to determine eligibility to challenge the A-EMCA (Advanced Emergency Medical Care Attendant) Theory Examination. The Equivalency Process for all applicants involves two phases - validation of educational and work experience, and qualifying evaluations.
- STEP 2 - Follow Standard Equivalency process as defined by the Ontario Ministry of Health.
- STEP 3 - Apply to a Paramedic Service for employment
- STEP 4 - Upon successful employment you must become certified to perform specific Delegated Medical Acts under the license of an Ontario Base Hospital Medical Director.