Recertification Guide

Have questions about the recertification process? Check out our Recertification Guide to answer them!

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Recertification Checklist

Follow these steps to get recertified!

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Standardized Course Guide

Check out the Standardized Course Guide!

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Have questions about Recertification?

Check out the FAQ below to see answers to popular recertification questions!
What does the National Registry accept as valid continuing education?

All education must be either state EMS office accepted or CAPCE accredited. In addition, some college or university courses may be accepted if there is proof of education in form of a course completion certificate or college transcript and the course directly applies to EMS (Airway, Cardiology, Medical, Trauma, Operations).

The National Registry uses CAPCE definitions for approved education. CAPCE approved F1, F2, and F5 courses are considered live, instructor led education where an instructor is physically present or virtually instructing in a live format – students, materials, and instructors are present and interacting in real time. CAPCE approved F3 courses are considered distributive education. The National Registry limits the number of distributive education (DE) or F3 courses you can apply to your education.

Sources of education may come from, but not limited to, EMS agencies or employers, national EMS organizations, online education providers, community colleges, private or state colleges or universities, vocational or tech schools, or local EMS programs. EMS conferences, symposiums, and workshops may also be accepted.

For more information on approved education providers, go to or contact your local state EMS office for state accepted education: State EMS Agencies.

What is distributive education?
Distributive education (DE) is defined by the Commission on Accreditation for Prehospital Continuing Education (CAPCE) as “ educational activity in which the learner, the instructor, and the educational materials are NOT all present at the same time, and students and instructors are not able to interact in real time. CAPCE courses will have an F3 designation in the listed course number. Examples include, but are not limited to, video review, recording of instruction, directed studies, online courses that are not virtual instructor led (VILT F5), etc.).
CAPCE courses that have an F1, F2, or F5 designation, are considered live, classroom education. There are no limits on live education. F5, or Virtual Instructor Led (VILT) can take place in several platforms, such as webex, go2meeting, go2webinar, skype, zoom, or other professional online service providers.
What education is not accepted by the National Registry?

The following education courses cannot be applied to continuing education requirements:

Performance of duty either paid or volunteer, clinical rotations which are not part of an initial EMS course program, Instructor methodology courses including all courses to become an instructor or achieve instructor level certifications, management and leadership courses to include fire/EMS administrative courses, preceptor hours including preceptor or field training officer methodologies, or serving as a skills examiner for state or National Registry psychomotor examinations. Most core or general education college courses do not apply directly to EMS topics, such as statistics, chemistry, sociology, languages, and more. Please contact the National Registry if you have a question on an accepted course.

When I submit the online form, do I still need to mail the form to the National Registry?

If you submitted your online application, please do not mail your forms to the National Registry. Your Training Officer and Medical Director (if applicable) will electronically approve your application, and it will be automatically be sent to the National Registry.
How can I tell if I am affiliated with an agency?
Log into your National Registry account and select the ‘My Certification’ role. On your Dashboard, under the ‘Agency Affiliation’ selection it will display any agencies you are currently affiliated with or have requested affiliation.  You may also add and delete any affiliation, by clicking the ‘Add or Remove Agency Affiliation’ link. Note: you may affiliate with multiple affiliations. 
What if my agency shows ‘Pending Affiliation’?

Your agency has not approved your affiliation request. Please contact your Training Officer to request approval.
What if my agency is not listed?

Please contact your agency’s Training Officer and ask them to set up an agency with the National Registry.
How will I know when I can submit my online recertification application?

On the Dashboard, click Recert Application. When all sections are showing complete, you will be able to submit your recertification application.
What forms of payment can I use for my recertification?

For electronic recertification, you may use a credit card or pre-purchased voucher. The National Registry does not take credit card payments over the phone. 
Where can I find a Refresher Class covering the National Component?

You should contact your State EMS Office and/or your local EMS educational institution for the location of approved EMS education course in your state.  You can also check with your agency training officer. 
I am an instructor. Can I use teaching hours if I teach EMS courses?
Teaching topics is the same as taking or attending the topic. Instructing topics obtain the same credit as learns on an hour-for-hour basis. Instructor hours may be used for instructional EMS programs, full courses, individual topics, EMS certificate courses, and standardized courses. All course instruction or teaching must be EMS related and state or CAPCE approved. Note: Courses to become an instructor or instructor methods are not accepted. 
Who can sign the approve the skills verification for my recertification?

Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), your Training Officer/Supervisor, can approve the skills verification.

Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) and Paramedic (NRP), your Medical Director must approve the skills verification.

If you are renewing as unaffiliated and requesting ‘Inactive’ status, you are not required to provided verification of skills.

Do I need to be practicing in EMS to recertify?

No. Individuals who are not affiliated with an agency in which out-of-hospital skills are utilized, but who meet the education requirements may recertify as ‘Inactive.’

The National Registry requires all individual applying for ‘Active Status’ recertification to be affiliated with an agency and using their EMS skills at their provider level. An agency may include fire departments, EMS response units, hospitals, hazmat response teams, rescue teams, private companies who provide EMS care to employees.

How do I request ‘Inactive Status’?

Providers who wish to declare Inactive Status must continue to meet the National Registry continuing education recertification requirements for their current level. Inactive Status is not for those who are unable to obtain and meet the educational requirements or those who have had limitations or revocation of the health care license. 

Inactive status may be helpful for EMS professionals who: 

  • are not actively engaged in ambulance/rescue service or health/patient care activity.
  • must be inactive for a period of time – such as, moving, illness, pursuit of education, family responsibilities, etc. 


Providers who request Inactive Status do not need to obtain skills verification. The provider is eligible to recertify by examination if they so choose. If you are not currently affiliated with an agency when you submit your recertification application, your account will update to ‘Inactive Status’. You can also request Inactive Status once your application has been submitted to your agency.

How do I become ‘Active’ again?
Moving from Inactive to Active status requires you to complete the ‘Inactive to Active’ form. Please ensure that your current or future employer is willing to verify competency of the skills found on the recertification form. You must print and complete the ‘Inactive to Active’ form.  Inactive to Active Request.
No fee is required to move from inactive to active status.
If I fail recert by examination, can I still get recertified?
If you are unsuccessful with recert by examination, you will need to complete the recertification education requirements before your appropriate expiration date. 
Can I drop my certification to a lower level?

You can request to drop their certification to a lower level during your appropriate Oct 1 – March 31 recertification cycle.  Please email the request to

If you choose to go back up to a higher level, you will be required to test both cognitive and psychomotor exams. 

Can I renew late?

EMR Late Renewal 

If the renewal application was not submitted prior to the September 30 deadline, the EMR may pay the reinstatement fee and submit the application between October 1 and October 31 of their current expiration year.  However, all continuing education requirements must have been satisfied prior to September 30 of the current expiration year. 

EMT Late Renewal

If the renewal application was not submitted prior to the March 31 deadline, the EMT may pay a $50 late application fee and submit the application until April 30.  However, all continuing education requirement must have been satisfied prior to March 31.

AEMT Late Renewal

If the renewal application was not submitted prior to the March 31 deadline, the AEMT may pay a $50 late application fee and submit the application until April 30.  However, all continuing education requirement must have been satisfied prior to March 31.

Paramedic Late Renewal

If the renewal application was not submitted prior to the March 31 deadline, the Paramedic may pay a $50 late application fee and submit the application until April 30.  However, all continuing education requirement must have been satisfied prior to March 31.

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