Ambulance technician / paramedic


New Member
Hi Kiera, Thank you.

From getting the letter to say I would be invited for assessment to doing the assessment was about 6 weeks.

Have you tried sending an email to Katie Collins the recruitment coordinator? Her email address is on the secamb website, go to the recruitment page then to the trainee tech post its at the bottom.

Already have C1 on my licence and experience of driving 17 seat mini buses.

Just working on my fitness now so that i can redo that test, not sure when that will be, they did say at the interview they want people to start quickly to meet government targets.

Good Luck



New Member
Hi all,

I really want to have a carer as an Ambulance Technician, but I'm really stuck on some information as to becoming one in the NW area (Liverpool).

My GCSES aren't exactly perfect; pretty bad for that matter, but I got excellent marks in my IT courses, in college too - will this effect me if I was to get training as an Ambulance Technician? - I'm pretty much willing to do other things in order to help me, such as voluntary work, porter in the local hospital and anything else really.

I don't think I'll be able to go to University due to my GCSE grades being so low, but my IT grades being quite high.

I've rang my local HR, and they haven't exactly been helpful, pretty much said what I already know from the NW-Ambulance website.

I read the pages of this thread about your assessments etc, congratulations on them! - does your assessment/interview come before the 12 - 15 week training?

Another curiosity I have, when you do the 12 - 15 week training is it residential or just like school were you turn up ever day? - I know this sounds stupid, but I don't even know where to apply!

Edit: One more thing, I've always wondered what the difference is between the Ambulance Driver and the guy who looks after the patient in the back? or is that classed as the Care Assistant, or do they just take turn to piece?

Thanks, any information is appreciated to put my mind at rest!

Again, sorry for the stupid questions
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New Member
Hi with secamb its a direct apply from their website, just checked nw and you have to apply through the nhs website. Just had a look and they are advertising for ambulance care assistants.

I would suggest doing that to get your foot in the door, being in the service would give you experience and any posts that come up are advertised internally first usually.

I have my NVQ 3 in health and social care, but that's it, i have no other formal qualifications.

The training course is residential, 3 weeks driving and then 9 weeks clinical, they say you do not have to be residential you can go in days only. I will do the residential as everyone is doing the same thing so we can help each other and it helps build friendships.

Go for it, really sell yourself on the application form, ring your local station and ask for an observer day, try anything to show how keen you are to get in to the service.

I aim to be a paramedic in 5 years time.

Good luck



New Member
Ambulance Care Assistants crew the patient transport service vehicles (Granny Wagon). In scotland, the ACAs also crew urgent tier ambulances alongside a paramedic (the ACA drives). Emergency Ambulances are either paramedic/tech or paramedic/paramedic (they alernate driving and being "in the back" although in some cases where it is more appropriate for the para to be with the patient the tech will drive even if it isnt their "turn".)


New Member
Hi thanks for the replies.

I just checked the Ambulance Care Assistant out on nw jobs, and it says this:


Establishment and maintenance of a CPD folder

Appropriate level of literacy and numeracy skills Educated to GCSE standard or above, or equivalent vocational qualification

Educated to GCSE standard or above, or equivalent vocational qualification

I didn't get any A's or C's sadly, only in IT.

Just some questions I'm trying to clear

- Care Assistant courses last up to 3 - 4 weeks, that's right?

- Do you need a C1 driving license? because I thought you are more of the helper, getting people in/out?

- I'm thinking far ahead, but what actually comes first training or the assessment stuff (i.e health etc)?

- Is there a different job title between the Ambulance Driver and the male/female who looks after the patient in the back?

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New Member
Hello Everyone,

Been following this thread with interest for a while now but not posted until now.

I've applied for Trainee Ambulance Technician with Secamb and have got through to the interview stage.

Could anyone who has been through the interview give me some pointers as to what I can expect to be asked?

Many thanks,

P.S. If you are going to the assessment make sure you have brushed up on your maths skills, reading that on here was a great help to me and I'm convinced I would have failed otherwise.


New Member
Hi hopefulchap!

Congratulations on getting through to the interview stage:)
I am still waiting for my dates and times for my assesment. Sorry i can't be any help 2 u for the interview stage but i was hoping u could give me an insight into the assesment day as i am also applying through SECAMB. What sorts of maths questions was u asked? maths happens to be my weakest area so im dreading it :confused:

Any advice is most appreciated


New Member
Maths - just the basics really.

Addition, subtraction, some basic fractions, bit on percentages and some area questions.

Sorry I can't be more specific but it was a bit of a blur.

The English part is quite basic, part of it is a page of words and you have to circle the mis-spelt words.

The pre-learning material part is straightforward.

The last part is map reading and very straightforward.

I think most people came out of the exam thinking it was harder than expected. It was tougher than I had expected but I had done some preparation so was confident. The exam is an hour and I think I finished only 5 minutes from the end. Most people didn't finish.

If maths is your weakest area then maybe skip that part and come back to it after the other sections? The pass mark is 75% so quite high.

The staff there were very friendly and approachable and the whole afternoon wasn't intimidating.

Good luck.


New Member

Hi my name is Nick. I am a qualifired EMT. The only way to join the Welsh Ambulance Service is to join the patent transport service or go to uni and become a paramedic (swansea are offering to the public in 2 years time).
The other way of doing it (the same way as I did) is to join St John Patent Trasport (£8 per hour) and do that. I was doing it for 5 months and got given a contract doing low class 999 calls (most of which where MI's (Heart Atacks)).
The person you need to contact is Dorian Williams on 02920 449634.
You have to live in Cardiff.

Nicholas Owen:p


New Member
How are people getting on? Assessments done? interviews?

I passed the fitness finally, at the second attempt. Then in the letter it states late this year early next before a training course will be available.

They still want the medical and crb completed though. :confused:


New Member
Hi Whatamess!

Im still awaiting mu assesment date! taking ages!
So how did u train for the fitness test? how did u find the test?
u must be looking forward to starting your training.


New Member
Hi Zoo, the fitness assessment has been made easier. ;-)

Really looking forward to starting, its having the patience now to wait for it to start.


New Member
Ok, i see if a can add anything...

I'm currently an EMT for London, so any facts i have may be more applicable to London than anywhere else.

Firstly, as for application route, most trusts are now saying eventually all A&E personnel will be recruited via a university degree, between 2 and 4years long, and be student paramedics and then paramedics once they have competed the course and are registered. However, several trusts, including London, have stopped recruiting trainee EMT's, only to find that the number of graduates does not meet the loss rate of staff, and so they have had to run further technician courses. I was supposed to be on the 2nd last EMT course that London ever ran, but since then there have been a further 6 courses to my knowledge (about a further 75 staff trained). Thus, if you are thinking of applying it may be worth contacting the trusts you are looking to join and asking if they plan on running any more EMT courses.

For my money, the degree route is better. As a trainee EMT you will not see any patients until you are out working on the road. There is no time in hospital, GP surgerys, WIC, etc. All the degree courses associated with London have time spent in these clinical environments, so you gain a better picture of the whole NHS.

See if you can do a ride out with an ambulance crew before they apply, since the types of jobs we go to are not generally what you would expect. If you want to see a representative sample of the people who call an ambulance then sit in the waiting room in A&E for few hours. Where i work most of our Category A calls are from people with colds or other minor respiratory infection.

For any HCPs or PAMs thinking about moving to the Ambulance service i would look here:

and download the full guidelines (top file). This gives you an idea of the Paramedic scope of practice, although i don't know of many trusts that actually allow their medics to do everything in the guidelines, or have access to all the drugs. Compare to what you do now, since it seems a lot of people think we have more interventions available than we do. I would also ask any trust you are thinking of joining how many training days a year you get on your rota, and what grants or leave you get for training. This is often much less than hospital staff get, for example in London, no training days at all, no leave available routinely to attend courses, and a once a year grant of, i believe, £300 towards course costs. Also, if you can get out with a crew ask them about scope of practice, clinical support and training. Bear in mind the ambulance service doesn't really have clinical governance in the way other HCPs think of it. Certainly in london there is no time, willingness or inclination to discuss jobs, debrief properly, or anything else that an A&E would take for granted.

Finally, be VERY careful of any trust that tells you to join as PTS, A&E support, intermediate tier, urgent care, etc and then get on a transfer course to become an EMT. Some trusts, such as Wales and South West have recruited like this for a long time, and have a well sorted system, often with fixed times in post, for moving up each level. Others, like London, have just started doing it. A lot of people were promised progression to EMT and are now stuck as A&E support because there was nothing specified in their contract. Just be careful.

Sorry for the very long post. I hope some of that helps. Feel free to PM me with any questions anyone has. Don't bother asking about ride outs or observation days in London unless you are an HCP or med student though, since our trust insists you have £2 million 3rd party insurance. Other trusts are much more sensible and realise they have to insure you themselves, so ask elsewhere.


New Member
Hello people how are the assessments etc going? I now have a start date of approx sept!

The concern thats come up is money!! not sure that I can take the pay cut. Can anyone advise on take home please. I am working out figures based on basic annual, there are the enhancements to be put on that but I need a guide figure.



New Member
Hi, i like yourself, want to be a paramedic. I am 29 and have decided to go through the University route. It will take me 2 years if i do the Foundation Degree, which is the highest degree my closest uni does in paramedical science.

I suggest you try doing the same thing, it could take you longer than 2 years to get a place as a technician anyway so you don't really have a lot to lose by going the University route. Plus after a year in a placement you have the option to go back and continue your studies for another year and change the FdSc into a ful BSc (hons). Of course you don't have to go back, opon graduationg with the FdSc, you could be eligable to register with the HPC (Health Professional Council) as a paramedic.

I will be applying for a place in University the end of this year through UCAS so hopefully this time in 2/3 years i will be getting ready for my graduation.

Speak to somebody from UCAS, they don't just offer help to people who want to go to University, they also give help to people who need information on work entry routes etc. If there are any special qualifications you may need they will steer you in the right direction to get the training etc.

When i did research into becoming a paramedic i was told that i would have to become a Ambulance Care Assistant first then work my way up after that, which meant working a minimum of a year as an ACA, then applying for a job as an AmulancE Technician (if there were any places, it is not a guarantee) then work my way up to a paramedic after a minimum of another year and after training and exams etc.

Also, if you try to become a paramedic theough the work based route and start as a technician, you stand a chance of not being too involved with some of the serious yet educational call outs, because you will be driving the ambulance while the paramedic sorts out the patient. Whereas, if you go through the university route you will always be involved in the training. As another forum member said, the work based route does not offer training in hospitals etc, which is very valuable, whereas the University route does offer this. You will get to work in A+E, maternity, in some of the wards including cardiac etc, so overall ou get a wide range of training.

So as you can see, i found that the University route would be a lot less time consuming and a lot more educational. As long as you get a place on the University course you are guaranteed proper on the job training without having to wait and/or apply for job vacancies.

Hope this helped and good luck.
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New Member

Hi mate,

just to answer your question i have a friend who is in the PTS and from what i know and what he has told me that you can no longer start as a pts and work your way through to technitian and then paramedic the nhs has stopped this but you can get more information of the nhs website were you will get all the information.

on the point of your licences c1 means you can drive a van upto a certain weight like an ambulance.

and a d1 means you can drive a minibus upto 16 seats this licence the d1 you need for the PTS without the d1 you will not get into the nhs or PTS.

my advice to you is to join st john ambulance this is what iam going to do.

Paramedic training.. the long and winding road

Just been reading a few posts on here about Paramedic training. Seems people are quite confused about entry routes, training etc.
I'm a Student Ambulance Paramedic (SAP), working in Essex. 'SAP' part of the new initiative to ensure a good Paramedic-to-Technician ratio (in terms of crew on the road).
The course involved 3 weeks driving (D2), 10 weeks clinical. (Pre-course entry exams 2-3, fitness and manual dexterity).
Success completion of the course (including a mamoth of assessments)gained operational status - where it's all at.
If anyone would like any help or advice about the job, training, applying etc, I will do my best.

On a final note - I thought being a Student Para would bring me a huge amount of job satisfaction. I couldn't have imagined how much!


New Member
Hi all you lovely lovely people....

Ok now you are all buttered up I have a simple question that no-one can seem to help me with! I'm looking to become an ACA (I know, starting at the bottom of the pile) but I don't have a full drivers license. Is one need for an Ambulance Care Assistant?

ta in advance :)