A Guide to the NREMT EMT Renewal Process

An answer to the most common question we receive: How do I renew my EMT certification?
Jenny Ewen, BA, NREMT
Refreshing your EMT certification can be a confusing and complicated process. Our goal at AMT is to make it simple, by offering all the required hours in one course, and guidance on completing your renewal application.

We’d like to note here if your time is valuable and you aren’t interested in reading a whole article, you can check out the flowchart above – it gives a summary of the renewal process!

For the readers, let’s continue!

What is the NCCP?

The NREMT’s renewal model is called the NCCP (National Continuing Competency Program) and consist of 40 hours divided into 3 categories:

  • National (NCCR – 20 hours): Prescribed topics and hours set out by the NREMT.
  • Individual (ICCR – 10 hours): Flexible topics but must be EMS-related.
  • Local (LCCR – 10 hours): This is where any specific state-required hours would go; otherwise, any EMS-related topics will work.
This means one option is for refreshers to take the NCCR 20 hour, then pad out the remaining hours with various conferences, training, or courses, as long as it’s EMS-related. It can be complicated to figure out which hours might count for which component and how to apply those hours, so we recommend taking all the hours from one place – it simplifies the renewal process, particularly for those who do not have several hours of EMS education from other sources already. For those who have taken hours elsewhere, we do offer just the individual components of the NCCP (NCCR, LCCR, and ICCR), so you can take what you need.

What is CAPCE, and why does it matter?

Just to complicate it a little further, let’s talk about CAPCE, which stands for Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education. You may be familiar with CAPCE, having seen their logo on various training program sites and EMS agencies, or maybe you haven’t heard of them before.

CAPCE is an accreditation agency that verifies specific education programs are meeting the highest standards of quality that are accepted by the NREMT and many states. It’s important to note that not all EMS education programs are CAPCE accredited – it requires a specific application and approval process for the program, and you can always double-check on the CAPCE website to verify if a program is actually accredited.

Alright, so taking a course from a CAPCE-accredited program means it will be accepted by the NREMT, and most likely your state. And yes, Allied Medical Training is a CAPCE-accredited program – since 2018, which has allowed us to offer fully online recertification courses, even before that became an accepted standard by the NREMT. (Sorry, just had to toot our own horn a little bit!)

So you’ve now figured out that you just want to take an all-in-one course, such as our NCCP 40 hour course. What next?

Well, first, sign up and complete the course! Note that the hours are there for a reason – the course is actually supposed to take that long. So plan to spend 40 hours working on your NCCP course.

Now you’ve finished the course. Great – we hope you’ve learned some valuable life-saving knowledge that you can keep applying to patient care! For our course, we’ll send you a certificate for your records and an email confirming your credits have been sent to CAPCE.

Do I have to actually do a renewal application?

The short answer: yes. So now it’s time for your NREMT renewal application! You’ll go into your NREMT account and create this application. The great part about taking a CAPCE accredited course is you’ll be able to import the credits then just assign them to the correct areas (and don’t worry – we have detailed instructions for this with screenshots and are happy to help on a Zoom call if more assistance is needed).

So now you’ve filled out your NREMT application, paid the NREMT renewal fee (currently $25), and submitted the application. Within a few days, the NREMT will email you to confirm when your certification has been renewed and updated.

How do I renew my state certification?

Now that your NREMT is updated, you should update your state certification (if you are state certified). So this opens up another door of potential confusion: how do you renew your state certification?

Well, most states accept NREMT certification for renewal with the NCCP course (but not all, most notably New York and New Jersey don’t accept NREMT certification for renewal).

; This means your state renewal should be a pretty simple process of applying with your current NREMT certification. You may need to include your recertification completion certificate as well.

Not sure where to start with your state renewal? The first step would be finding the website of your state EMS office – there’s a link below to the NREMT’s helpful guide on state EMS offices. Many state EMS agency websites have information on requirements for renewal; however, we’re the first to admit it can be confusing to read the various statutes and regulations!

If you aren’t able to find the information easily, we recommend contacting your state EMS office directly – most often, they’re happy to help!   If you took our course and are still struggling to find the information, let us know! We can help point you in the right direction.

If all goes well and you renew your state certification, now you’re good to go! Renewal process is done, and you’ve got around 2 years until it’s due again.

I’m in a different situation…what do I do if my NREMT is lapsed?

The NREMT allows renewal of a lapsed certification by completing some extra steps than if your certification hadn’t lapsed.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • NCCP 40 hour course (as already discussed)
  • State-approved psychomotor skills exam (you can get this from any local EMT program – and yes, if you’re local to Minnesota, you can take this exam with us)
  • NREMT cognitive exam (remember when you first got certified? This is the written exam by the NREMT that is taken either remotely or at a Pearson Vue Learning Center, which are nationwide)
  • Current Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider certification (this is the highest level of CPR certification)

And just to make things interesting, if your NREMT has lapsed but you have a current state certification, you would do the same above steps except you only need to do the 20 hour NCCR component instead of the full NCCP 40 hour.

How far should I plan ahead for my next renewal?

The NREMT allows any education within the 2 years before your expiration date to count towards that renewal cycle. If you plan on taking an NCCP 40 hour course, we recommend waiting until within a year of your renewal cycle – sometimes, things can change and it’s good to ensure you’re taking the correct course for your expiration date.

What do we not recommend? Signing up for the NCCP 40 hour course within 24 hours of your expiry date (or even 72 hours). Don’t forget: 40 hours means 40 hours.

The refresher course also contains important knowledge that’s so valuable for EMS providers to have, so giving yourself time to take the course and really absorb the information is critical to being a successful and competent healthcare professional.

Sources & Helpful Links:

NREMT – State EMS Offices: https://nremt.org/resources/state-ems-offices
NREMT – Recertification Guide: https://nremt.org/EMT/Recertification
CAPCE Website: https://www.capce.org/

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