In New Zealand health professions can be regulated under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act 2003 if the government thinks a particular profession has the potential to pose a risk of harm to the health and safety of the New Zealand public.

It’s possible ambulance officers and New Zealand Defence Force medics could fit into this category.

To be eligible for regulation, a profession must meet certain criteria and specific requirements set out under the Act. If ambulance officers and medics were regulated, individual practitioners would have to be registered if they wanted to work within the scope of practice which defines what the profession can do.

When they are registered, a practitioner becomes personally responsible for remaining competent to practice. This is their individual responsibility. A person’s competency would be assessed each year when they get a certificate to practice.

Each profession regulated under the HPCA Act has Responsible Authority or Board which oversees the operation of the Act for that profession. This includes setting scopes of practice and nationally consistent standards for qualifications, competence criteria and a complaints procedure. They must get input from the profession on these matters.

It’s possible some levels of ambulance officers and medics could be regulated and not others. If this was the case, only people practicing at those levels would need to be registered.