Continuing Medical Education Guidelines

The purpose of this page is to provide the reader with information concerning the applicability of time spent studying certain subjects towards the continuing medical education (CME) requirements for recertification as an Emergency Medical Technician. In addition, the page includes information on the process of "pre-approving" continuing medical education programs. The requirements for EMT-I, EMT-II, and EMT-III recertification can be found on the downloadable application for recertification.

"Continuing Medical Education" is defined in Alaska EMS Regulations. Policies regarding the approval of continuing medical education are developed by the State EMS Training Committee, a subcommittee of the Governor's Alaska Council on Emergency Medical Services. The policies are based on the definition of continuing medical education found on the following page. The Physician Medical Director for a certified EMS service, Defibrillator Technicians, EMT-IIs, or EMT-IIIs, is responsible for a plan of continuing medical education for each of the persons he or she sponsors and should be consulted early in the CME planning process.

Definition of Continuing Medical Education:

7 AAC 26.999 (12) "continuing medical education" means instruction in topics included in the training course curriculum for EMT-Is, EMT-IIs, or EMT-IIIs, that may be presented using critiques, didactic sessions, practical drills, workshops, seminars, or other department-approved means; additional topics for continuing medical education include air medical emergency care, athletic injuries, battered spouses, child abuse, communications, crime scene response, disabled adults, electrical hazards, explosion injuries, extrication, medical terminology, farm machinery injuries, hazardous materials, incident management industrial injuries, infectious diseases, injury prevention, medico-legal aspects, neonatal care/sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), protective breathing apparatus, radioactive materials, rape intervention, rappelling, sea survival, hyperbaric medicine, or special rescue (e.g. aerial, diving, mountain, search).


This page is intended to provide information to emergency medical services personnel and offeror of continuing medical education (CME) about the policies in Alaska regarding CME and the processes for voluntary pre-approval of CME. Note that this policy applies to EMT-I, EMT-II, and EMT-III personnel in Alaska only. Continuing Medical Education policies for Mobile Intensive Care Paramedics are the responsibility of the Alaska State Medical Board.

Documentation of Continuing Medical Education:

The number of hours, for each offering, must be verified by the Fire or EMS Chief, Service EMS Coordinator, Medical Director, Training Officer, or agency providing the CME credits. Documentation should be submitted with the appropriate application for recertification and should include the following information:

  • Name of the Participant;
  • Subject of the CME;
  • Level of the CME Provided (EMT-I, EMT-II, etc.);
  • Number of Hours Awarded; and
  • Signature of course coordinator or course instructor.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation:

A valid CPR credential includes CPR cards, course rosters, or a letter from the CPR Instructor attesting to the applicants' successful completion of a CPR program. The card or letter must clearly indicate that the course included adult, child, and infant CPR and airway obstruction relief maneuvers, including two-rescuer CPR and barrier devices. The following CPR credentials are acceptable for EMT certification.

  • American Heart Association-BLS for Health Care Providers
  • American Red Cross-CPR for the Professional Rescuer
  • Medic First Aid-Advanced-CPR component
  • EMP America-Basic Life Support for Professionals (BLSPRO)
  • American Safety & Health Institute-CPR for the Professional Rescuer
  • Respond Systems-AED/CPR
  • AAOS Emergency Care and Safety Institute-Professional Rescuer CPR
  • ProTrainings--ProCPR or Pro First Aid Advanced
  • Emergency First Response-CPR & AED
  • Military Training Network-BLS
  • National Safety Council-Basic Life Support for Health Care & Professional Rescuers
  • EMS Safety-CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers

Programs that do not include all of the necessary components or that offer a card valid for greater than two years do not meet the CPR requirements for EMT certification. Requirements for CPR certification and training are specified in 7 AAC 26.985 (d) of the Alaska EMS Regulations.

Policy on "Self-Study" CME:

Self-study CME includes internet-based CME Training, as well as EMS related videotapes and magazines.

Continuing Medical Education credit for approved self-study programs may be applied towards recertification as an Alaska EMT- I, II, or III. The number of hours, for each offering, must be verified by the Fire or EMS Chief, Service EMS Coordinator, Medical Director, Training Officer, or agency providing the CME credits. The total number of hours which may be applied towards EMT-I, EMT-II, or EMT-III recertification is limited to 24 per two year certification period.

CME for Serving as an Examination Proctor, Simulated Patient or Certifying Officer:

An individual who has served as an EMT examination proctor, simulated patient and/or certifying officer may receive up to 12 hours of CME per certification period for these activities. Credit is awarded on an hour for hour basis and is determined by adding the number of hours served each in these roles and applying the total or 12, whichever is lower, to the CME requirement. Questions regarding CME can be directed to your nearest Regional EMS Office or the Alaska Office of EMS (AOEMS).

Instructor Activity:

Each recertification period, an EMT-I Instructor, EMT-II Instructor or EMT-III Instructor may apply up to 24 hours of instruction the instructor has provided at the EMT-I, II, or III level to his or her EMT-I, II, or III recertification requirements. The instructor may not, however, check off his or her own skills. This must be done by another department-approved instructor.

Preceptorship Programs:

Up to 12 hours of continuing medical education per certification period may be awarded for out-of-hospital EMS based preceptorship programs meeting the following guidelines:

  • The preceptorship program must be approved by the Regional EMS office in writing so that assurances can be made regarding the cooperation of the sponsoring or host organization.
  • The sponsoring organization must provide at least basic life support services and be staffed with persons certified or licensed to at least the EMT-I level;
  • Documentation must be on forms provided by the regional EMS office, approved by the AOEMS, and submitted by the applicant for recertification;
  • The forms must be signed by the individual's preceptor of the host EMS system;
  • One hour of continuing medical education will be awarded by the department for each hour of patient contact; and
  • Non-emergency transports may not be applied to the applicant's continuing medical education requirements.

Physician-Moderated Run Reviews:

Participation in physician conducted run reviews can be used toward the continuing medical education requirements for EMTs. You may claim one hour for every hour actually spent in run reviews, up to 48 hours in a two-year certification cycle.

Specific CME Training Programs:

The following courses have been pre-approved for continuing medical education on an hour for hour basis up to the assigned maximum. Courses that are not on this list may still be approved by the AOEMS provided that the course is job-related and proper documentation is provided. If you take the same course twice, such as a CPR provider course, it can be applied only once to your CME requirements.

Except for the courses specified below, a single continuing medical education course may not be applied to satisfy more than 16 hours for the CME requirement for recertification. The department will permit a single CME course to be applied to satisfy more than 16 hours on a course-by-course basis if the department determines that the nature and extent of the course content warrants a greater number of hours [7AAC 26.110 (k)].

As a rule, successfully completed college courses such as anatomy and physiology and others that are peripherally related to EMS can be counted to a maximum of 12 hours/course with a 2 course/cycle maximum.

To obtain CME credit for participation in an EMS instructor training program (e.g. CPR Instructor, ETT Instructor, EMT Instructor, etc.) you must document each separate section of the medical education. Training in course organization and methods of instruction may not be applied toward CME requirements at the ETT, EMT-I, EMT-II or EMT-III levels. As with all CME offerings, a credit will be given on an hour for hour basis.

Please review the National Continued Competency Program (NCCP) website for more details on continuing education requirements.

CME for Air Medical Services Personnel:

Alaska regulation 7 AAC 26.370 (c) requires that applicants for air medical service recertification "show evidence that all medical attendants employed or used on the medevac service, critical care air ambulance service, or specialty air medical transport team have current certificates or licenses, as well as have at least 16 hours per certification period of continuing medical education in specialized air medical patient transport topics."

The following are examples of valid CME for air medical personnel under this regulation:

  • In-services on equipment;
  • "Run reviews" of air medical responses;
  • Training listed in as part of an air medical training program as defined in 7 AAC 26.999; and
  • Lecture, demonstrations, and skills sessions related specifically to medical care in the air medical environment.

Typical continuing medical opportunities, such as BTLS and ACLS, do not count towards the CME requirement of 7 AAC 26.370 (c) unless the content is geared specifically for use in the air medical environment.

Pre-Approval of CME Programs:

Although there is no requirement for continuing medical education to be pre-approved by the AOEMS, it is often in the best interests of the person or organization offering the CME to do so. Pre-approval allows the offeror to have a clear idea of the number of CME hours which will be accepted by the AOEMS for EMT-I, EMT-II and EMT-III certification. This information is valuable when marketing the CME program. Requests for pre-approval of CME programs should be directed to:

  • CME Program Approval
    Alaska Office of Emergency Medical Services (AOEMS)
    Department of Health and Social Services
    Division of Public Health
    Section of Rural & Community Health Systems
    P.O. Box 110616
    Juneau, AK 99811-0616

Requests for pre-approval of CME programs can take from several days to several weeks depending on the complexity of the offering.

Approval requests should include:

  • An overview of the program and its relationship to the role of emergency medical services personnel;
  • a schedule which breaks the course down into blocks of no more than four hours;
  • an agreement to issue verification of participation/course completion which includes the information listed in the documentation section above; and
  • evidence that the instructor is a subject matter expert in the program's content.

The AOEMS may seek recommendations from Regional EMS Office staff, and others, regarding the CME approval request. In addition, the AOEMS may request additional information, such as learning objectives, to assist in its review.