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Journal Article

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School of Medical and Health Sciences




Simpson, P., Barr, N., Reid, D., Boyle, M., & Williams, B. (2023). Profiling the Australasian paramedicine tertiary academic sector and workforce: A cross-sectional study. Paramedicine, 20(6), 206-213.


Introduction: In 1994, the first Australasian paramedicine tertiary program commenced as an off-campus offering not required as an entry-to-practice qualification A quarter of a century later, university programs have proliferated with tertiary qualifications becoming mandatory to acquire Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency registration. Despite this progression, concerns have been voiced regarding student enrolment volume and sustainability of the paramedicine academic workforce. To date, a census of the sector and the workforce has not been conducted, limiting capacity for data-informed strategic planning. The aim of this study was to profile the Australasian paramedicine tertiary sector and describe the academic workforce working in it. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in May 2022 using an online survey designed specifically for this research. The participants were discipline leaders from 19 universities or polytechnics offering entry-to-practice courses in Australia and New Zealand. Participants were asked to provide data on their course structure, organisational position, student enrolment loads and academic and non-academic staffing profiles. Simple descriptive statistics were generated to describe these data. Results: Of the 19 eligible programs, 18 participated (response rate 90%). All but one course was at the undergraduate level; of the undergraduate courses, all but one were 3 years in duration. The academic workforce comprised 161 full-time or fractional and 727 casual paramedicine academics. Of the full-time academics, 131/161 were registered, with 45% of those holding ‘non-practicing’ status. Twenty-nine paramedicine academics (18%) had PhDs. There was 1 Professor and 10 Associate Professors, whilst 65% overall were Lecturers or Associate Lecturers. Conclusion: This analysis represents the first description of the Australasian paramedicine tertiary sector. It reveals a diverse sector with large student enrolments and diverse course structures. The seniority of the academic workforce is skewed substantially towards lower academic levels; this shortfall in senior academics creates risk for the sector and may be symptomatic of a workforce sustainability issue.



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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License