Facilitators, barriers and motivators of paramedic continuing professional development

Hobbs, Lisa ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5706-6674 and Devenish, Scott and Long, David ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6278-7377 and Tippett, Vivienne (2021) Facilitators, barriers and motivators of paramedic continuing professional development. Australasian Journal of Paramedicine, 18. pp. 1-7.


As registered health professionals, Australian paramedics are required to abide by professional registration standards including the maintenance of continuing professional development (CPD). The broader health literature identifies facilitators, barriers and motivators for engaging in CPD, however the body of knowledge specific to paramedicine is weak. This research seeks to address this gap in the paramedicine body of knowledge.

This study adopts a constructivist grounded theory methodology. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, and analysed using first and second cycle coding techniques. Paramedics from various state-based Australasian ambulance services and private industry (N=10) discussed their experiences specific to their attitudes, perceptions and engagement about CPD.

Paramedic CPD goes beyond the traditional approach to mandatory training. Paramedics are motivated by factors such as modality of delivery, professional expectations, clinical/professional improvement and, sometimes, fear. Facilitators included organisational support, improved clinical knowledge, practitioner confidence, self-directed learning opportunities and perceived relevance of content. Barriers include cost, workload/fatigue, location, rostering, lack of incentive to engage, lack of employer support and technological problems.

By understanding what facilitates or motivates engagement in CPD activities, paramedics can navigate their CPD in conjunction with regulatory requirements. Although paramedics report some similar experiences to other health professionals, there are nuances that appear specific to the discipline of paramedicine. Of interest, a unique finding related to fear influencing paramedic CPD engagement. The results of this study informs paramedic employers and paramedic CPD providers with insights to assist in the development of positive CPD experiences and interactions.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Health and Wellbeing (1 Jan 2015 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Health and Wellbeing (1 Jan 2015 -)
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2021 00:15
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2021 09:12
Uncontrolled Keywords: paramedic; paramedic education; paramedic continuing professional development (CPD); lifelong learning (LLL)
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110399 Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320219 Paramedicine
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.33151/ajp.18.857
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/40435

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