Education to become an EMS provider
Students that successfully complete an initial EMS course from an Idaho approved EMS Education Program and pass both the cognitive and psychomotor exams are eligible to apply for a license of that level in the state of Idaho. Visit EMS Providers for information on the license application process and requirements.
Initial EMS courses are taught by Idaho-certified EMS Instructors and provide students training on the knowledge and skills used by EMS providers in emergency patient care. Initial EMS courses are offered at four different levels in Idaho: EMR (emergency medical responder), EMT (emergency medical technician), AEMT (advanced emergency medical technician), and paramedic.
Find initial EMS Courses by level
All students will need to create an account in the state’s system IGEMS and with NREMT to be added to courses and approved to take exams.
Standardized exams are used to test a student’s competency in the knowledge (cognitive exam) and hands on skills (psychomotor exam) at the level of the EMS course. Idaho is currently using the National Registry of EMT’s (NREMT) computer based cognitive exams and psychomotor exams to test competency. Students have two years to complete both standardized exams after completing an EMS course.
Cognitive exam information
To take the NREMT computer based cognitive exam, you will need to go to the NREMT’s website (linked below), create an account, and submit an application.
Detailed instructions for creating an account, submitting an application, and scheduling an exam are found in the Certification Handbooks for each level under Candidate Resources on the NREMT’s Candidate web page. NREMT.org link
Psychomotor exam information
EMT & EMR
EMT and EMR course students in Idaho complete a psychomotor exam that is coordinated by the education program and the Idaho EMSP Bureau. Results from this psychomotor exam are updated with NREMT after completing the exam.
Paramedic & advanced EMT
Approval for students to take the NREMT psychomotor exam at the paramedic or advanced EMT level is done with your approval to take the cognitive exam application.
Your approval to test must be done BEFORE the date of the scheduled psychomotor exam organized by your education program. Students who haven’t received approval to test at least two weeks before the exam won’t be allowed to test.
Detailed instructions for creating an account, submitting an application, and getting approval to take the psychomotor exam are found in the certification handbooks for each level under candidate resources on the NREMT’s Candidate web page (NREMT.org link).
NREMT exam vouchers
Students sponsored by a volunteer EMS agency may be eligible for an exam voucher. Exam vouchers are used to pay the fee charged by NREMT to take the exam and can only be used for the student’s first attempt at the exam.
To apply for a NREMT exam voucher, log into your IGEMS account, select "Applications" in the menu and go to the NREMT cognitive exam voucher application.
Initial EMS courses in Idaho are taught by state-certified EMS Instructors. Instructors must be certified for the level of course they are teaching or higher.
Instructor certification requirements
- Hold a current EMS license or EMS certificate at or above the instructor level requested.
- Have been licensed or certified at or above the instructor level requested for a minimum of three years.
- Have successfully passed an Idaho Criminal History Unit background check.
- Complete the Idaho education program orientation course within the last 24 months.
- Complete an adult methodology course approved by the department that is developed professionally, and includes content on:
01. The adult learner
02. Goals and objectives
03. Learning styles
04. Lesson plans
05. Teaching resources
06. Teaching aids
07. Teaching methods
08. Measurement and evaluation techniques
09. Remediation, Communication, and Feedback.
To apply for instructor certification, log in to your IGEMS account and select "applications" in the menu and go to the instructor certification – initial application.
EMS education programs in Idaho must be approved by the Bureau of EMS and Preparedness for successful graduates of EMS courses to be eligible for a standardized exams. Qualifying EMS agencies, hospitals, state governmental entities, and schools are eligible for approval as an EMS education program and must be approved before requesting an initial EMS course.
Contact the Bureau of EMS and Preparedness to start a new education program and directions for submitting an education program application.
Course and exam resources
Idaho Specific Content - In addition to the level specific guidelines, all Idaho initial EMS courses must include the following content:
Landing Zone Officer, Extrication Awareness, and Physician Order for Scope of Treatment (POST) are available on TRAIN.
Safe Haven - PowerPoint
Safe Haven - PDF
Course guidelines and outlines
BLS Training Equipment
The Bureau maintains three full sets of BLS training equipment that can be loaned out to an EMS Agency in need of equipment. The borrowing agency takes full responsibility of the equipment and must ensure that all equipment is accounted for and kept in same condition upon return to the bureau. Items that are lost or damaged beyond normal wear and tear must be replaced at the agency’s expense.
If your agency is interested in using one of the education equipment kits, please send your request to EMSCourses@dhw.idaho.gov.
The EMT/EMR psychomotor skill sheets and the advanced/paramedic psychomotor skill sheets can be found on the NREMT psychomotor exam resources page for educators, except for the spinal immobilization skill sheet which is no longer available.
Mobile Written Exams
The mobile written test bank is a method for the EMSP bureau to provide the NREMT cognitive exam, in conjunction with NREMT and coordinated through Pearson VUE (a vendor contracted by NREMT), to rural education programs outside of Pearson VUE established sites.
The mobile written test bank is computer adaptive testing (CAT) and adheres to the guidelines of NREMT which allows the Idaho EMSP Bureau to administer NREMT cognitive exams in an onsite (mobile) capacity. Time limits for each level range from 145 minutes (EMR), 2 hours (EMT), and 2 hours 15 minutes (AEMT), and 2 hours 30 minutes (Paramedic). When reconnected to a data network source following the administration of the exam, results are uploaded to the Pearson VUE database and the NREMT is able to obtain exam results within 8 to 24 hours.
To request the mobile written test bank the education program director must log onto IGEMS, go to “training”, then go to “requests” under training in the menu, and select apply for course approval. Select the course Type: 2 – exams, course name: exam - mobile Written. Requests are reviewed and are approved on a case-by-case basis.
NOTE: The links below may require creation of a user profile.
*Airway for BLS and ALS require Instructor Assessment post webinar*
Optional modules (OMs) are skills identified by the EMS Physician Commission that exceed the floor level scope of practice for EMS personnel and may be adopted by the agency medical director. Requirements, training, and exam information for adopting OMs can be found here and on the EMS Physician Commission page.
When an EMS medical director desires to incorporate an Optional Module (OM), they must:
- Make sure their EMS agency reports patient care response data to IGEMS-PCR directly or by way of an Idaho validated export. If an agency has not been able to obtain IGEMS-PCR validation, they must be in the process of validating an export into IGEMS-PCR. Agencies need to report their use of OM interventions through one of these two methods. For information on becoming IGEMS-PCR compliant email John.Cramer@dhw.idaho.gov or call (208)334-4000.
- Submit an addendum to their medical supervision plan to the EMSP bureau that indicates which OM(s) they want to adopt. The OM addendum is available online through IGEMS in the list of agency applications.
- Provide verification of credentialing providers to the EMSP bureau before using OM skills or interventions.
Instructors The are no instructor requirements for a provider to be an instructor for optional module (OM) skills. OM instructors must be approved by the medical director.
Records Agencies conducting OM training must maintain student and program records consistent with section IV.D. of the Education Standards Manual Version 2014.
Skills identified as "OM" in the EMSPC scope of practice grid
The EMS medical director must make sure licensed EMS personnel receive appropriate initial and continuing training and take an active role in verifying competency in these skills and interventions as state EMS licensing does not address OMs.
Skills identified as "2,OM" in the EMSPC scope of practice grid
Training must be conducted according to the approved standards and curriculum for the level where the 2,OM interventions exists as a floor skill.
- The training must provide for all didactic, psychomotor, lab, and clinical learning over the knowledge and skills as described in the National Education EMS Standards and Idaho EMS curriculum.
- The student must be trained and evaluated to the depth and breadth of competency for the level of training where the skill exists as a floor skill.
- Formal psychomotor testing is required for OM skills and interventions that are tested for certification at a higher license level as a floor skill. In order for the candidate to be eligible to apply for an OM skills test, the EMS medical director must verify the student has completed the training requirements.
Optional Module Exams
The process to host an OM psychomotor examination mirrors the request for an initial EMS course psychomotor examination. Request the exam in IGEMS under training but use the course name exam – BLS optional modules. The bureau will evaluate each test request and resources available on a case by case basis.
Each candidate must have a completed Candidate Exam Registration Form. This form requires the signature of the medical director for permission to test and a hard copy will need to be presented by the candidate at the testing site.
OM skills that require a formal psychomotor examination are:
Supine spinal immobilization
Seated spinal immobilization
Joint or long bone injury
Supraglottic airway (e.g. Kings or Combi-tube)
Intraosseous (IO) infusion