How to enter or progress in the ambulance sector?

What training should you do to work in the Ambulance sector?

Currently, there are around 17 000 paramedic and ambulance staff employed in the UK. Though those employed in the ambulance sector work under a lot of pressure, their role is unlike any other. There are few careers as rewarding as assisting in saving lives. You may feel like helping others is your calling. Read this article for further help and guidance on what to do and which training to undertake to pursue a role in the ambulance sector or progress further in your current career.

Getting the correct training is intrinsic to pursuing the role you’d like to do and opening up further employment opportunities. To do this, you need to know the training you need to undertake. To do this, you need to know the training you need to undertake. Here is an overview of how our courses can help you pursue and work in different roles relating to the ambulance sector and prehospital care. Apart from training, participating in voluntary work may also help you gain relevant experience.

An ambulance worker smiling in front of a bright sky background. What training did he do to work in the Ambulance sector?

Where are you in your journey?

For those wanting to enter this sector: Are you wondering whether this is the correct path for you? Are you looking for guidance on how to work in the ambulance sector? While there is no way to tell for certain if anybody is the perfect match for working in an ambulance-related role (or any role, for that matter), individuals with a caring nature, who are able to communicate well and stay level-headed in difficult situations may thrive in an ambulance environment. You can work for an NHS Trust or for a private ambulance organisation. Though there are daily jobs to complete, no day in the life of an ambulance worker is the same. If you are a person who hates being stuck in a routine, a career in the medical sector may be perfect for you. See which qualifications you can help you enter this sector below.

For those currently working in the medical or ambulance sector: Are you looking to develop your career as an ambulance worker further? Additional qualifications can open up further employment opportunities and take your career to the next level. This article will provide you with further insight and guidance on what training should you do to work in the Ambulance sector and pursue your desired role.

Here are some of the ambulance courses we offer – and further down below, we will discuss more about the roles that you can pursue.

Ambulance vehicle at Jeremy Clarkson's Diddly Squat Farm Shop. What training can we provide for you to work in the ambulance sector? This is an image of CERAD training.

Courses to Help You Progress

FREC 3 (QA Level 3 First Response Emergency Care RQF)

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Duration: 1 week
Price: £333.33 + VAT
About: This qualification covers the administration of emergency oxygen, management of trauma patients, major illnesses and much more. It is intended for those who first arrive at an emergency scene. Qualsafe regulates our FREC courses.
Career opportunities: If you were wondering what training you should do to begin to work in the Ambulance sector, the FREC 3 may be your first step forward. You are a qualified First Responder after completion of the Qualsafe FREC level 3. You can work on event medical cover or in an ambulance as an Emergency Care Support Worker. The FREC 3 is also a requirement to work as a Security Guard. If you work in Law Enforcement or Fire & Rescue, the FREC 3 is suitable also.
The FREC 3 course can serve as a first step into a progression onto Ambulance Technician level.

If you’d like to book onto FREC 3 + another course(s) in order to become an ECA/EMT, get in touch and if you are eligible we will send you a voucher code to receive a discount up to £340 as part of one of our packages (conditions apply).

This is FREC 3 training in action (Sheffield). FREC 3 is the first training you need to work in the Ambulance sector and qualifies learners to be first responders.

FREC 4 (QA Level 4 First Response Emergency Care RQF)

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Duration: 1 week (+ workbooks)
Price: £450 + VAT
About: This qualification opens up your scope of employment opportunities even further. It covers a further range of prehospital emergencies. This includes major incidents, fracture immobilisation and sick and injured children. It is also the second step to becoming a Paramedic – read more below.
Career opportunities: Upon completion of the FREC 4, candidates are qualified Urgent Care Assistants. They can combine the FREC 4 with our CERAD course (see below) to become Emergency Care Assistants.

If you’d like to book on both FREC 3, FREC 4 and CERAD, you may be eligible for a discount of up to £230 (conditions apply). Get in touch.

Ambulance workers pictured with ambulance vehicles and airplanes. This is on a CERAD course - the training you need in the Ambulance sector to drive with blue ligths.

CERAD (Level 3 Certificate in Emergency Response Ambulance Driving)

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Duration: 4 weeks
Price: £2995 + VAT
About: We are one of the few providers in the country offering this course. This course will teach learners everything about driving under emergency conditions, including carrying out inspection and checks, complying with regulations, driving on motorways and dual carriageways, braking, steering and using safe systems, use the vehicle’s transmission systems and more. It is covered in the Level 3 Apprenticeship in Ambulance Support Work. The Blue Light Driving Course is regulated by FutureQuals, who are the preferred awarding body by the NHS. It is included in our Level 3 Apprenticeship in Ambulance Support Work (see below).
Career opportunities: When combined with the FREC 4, candidates are qualified Emergency Care Assistants, working alongside Paramedics and Ambulance Technicians. Get in touch if you’d like to find out if you’re eligible for a discount.

Female ambulance worker smiling in an ambulance vehicle. What Training Do You Need in the Ambulance Sector to work as an ECA?

FREUC 5 (QA Level 3 First Response Emergency and Urgent Care RQF)

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Duration: 3 weeks (+ workbooks and 750 clinical hours)
Price: £1850 + VAT
About: The 5th level of FREC courses covers prehospital emergencies even further, for example acute conditions, life-threatening infections and childbirth.
Career opportunities: FREC 5 qualified candidates are trained up to Emergency Medical Technician standard. This is the training you need in the ambulance sector to meet the skills, knowledge and behaviours to be an EMT (recognised mainly by private providers).
It’s also the last step before completing a Level 6 Diploma in Paramedic practice – after which you can apply at HCPC and you are set for your Paramedic career. We don’t currently offer this Diploma – but if Paramedic is where you are headed, we are more than happy to support you and advise the next steps.

What Training Do You Need to Drive an Ambulance Vehicle?

AAP (Level 4 Diploma for Associate Ambulance Practitioners RQF)

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Duration: 10 weeks
Price: £4750 + VAT
About: The 5th level of FREC courses covers prehospital emergencies even further, for example acute conditions, life-threatening infections and childbirth. It’s the last step before completing a Level 6 Diploma in Paramedic practice – after which you can apply at HCPC and you are set for your Paramedic career.
Career opportunities: The AAP course also trains candidates up to Ambulance Technician level. In addition to this, it recognised by the NHS nationally and no previous qualifications are required.

Ambulance workers having a conversation. What Training Do You Need to Work in the Ambulance Sector Too?

ECA/ACA Apprenticeship (Level 3 Apprenticeship in Ambulance Support Work)

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Duration: 12-18 months
Price: Can be partially or fully funded, or paid for by employer
About: This apprenticeship includes:
> Diploma in Ambulance Emergency and Urgent Care Support
> Level 3 Certificate in Ambulance Response Driving
> Care Certificate
> Safeguarding Qualifications
During this apprenticeship, you will respond to emergency, urgent and/or unscheduled care calls from the public or wider health and social care communities, or provide scheduled non-urgent transport for people with specific health needs. Most of the time, Level 3 Apprentice Ambulance Support Workers will work alongside Paramedics or other experienced members of staff, whom they will be assisting, and providing a basic level of life saving techniques to patients. They will transport patients with care, tending to their specific needs. To undertake this apprenticeship, some experience in healthcare is needed, as well as a kind and compassionate nature, and good communication skills. We provide this Apprenticeship in partnership with Apprenticeship Connect.
Career opportunities: Depending on the route of the apprenticeships, candidates either become Emergency Care Assistants or Ambulance Care Assistants (Patient Transport Drivers). They can undertake additional training to progress even further. For example, Emergency Care Assistants will have completed a QA recognised equivalent of the FREC 4, and can complete the FREUC 5 to progress onto EMT level.

C1 Driving Licence

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Duration: Can last about 4 weeks – but it depends how quickly documents are processed
Price: £720-£847 + VAT (depending on the stage your require)
About: We can also provide you with all the training necessary to complete a C1 Driving Licence, which you will need in order to drive your ambulance vehicle weighing 3.5+ tonnes. Our C1 Driving Licence training lasts 4 weeks, and will help you complete your licence successfully. We will meet you at any stage of your learning journey, whether you need to complete your full course, or just need to complete your practical test.
Career opportunities:

A Learner's plate on a C1 Ambulance Vehicle (weighing between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes). What Training Should You do o Drive a C1 Vehicle in the Ambulance Sector?

SALM (Level 3 Award in the Safe Administration of Life Saving Medication):

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Duration: 2 Days
Price: £150 + VAT
About: This qualification is for those employed by a Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered organisation, who need to administer and monitor the effects of life saving medication.
Career opportunities: This qualification is ideal for Emergency Care Assistants.

Ambulance worker smiling in front of a bright sky. What Training Do You Need to Start Working in the Ambulance Sector?

Jobs in the Ambulance Sector

Now that you’ve seen the brief overview of some of the ambulance courses Basegreen Academy provides, take a look at a few job opportunities in the ambulance sector and the qualifications you need to work in these roles:

The following roles are quite alike, and are grouped together on the NHS website. If you’d like to, you can see it here.

A FREC 4 qualified ambulance worker in a field. What Training Do You Need to Become ECA Qualified?

Emergency Care Assistant (ECA)

The role: Working alongside a paramedic, you will be responding to emergency calls. You will treat patients with life-saving and prehospital care, and attending cases of people suddenly needing your help. You will be driving an ambulance vehicle in emergency situations, sometimes using high speeds to provide them with hospital treatment as soon as possible.

Salary: According to the UK Government as of May 2022, ECA salary ranges between £20 329 for starters and £24 881 for experienced staff.

Typical working hours: Between 37 and 42 hours each week (according to the Government website).

If you’d like to know more information about this occupation from the UK Government, you can do so by clicking here.
You can also read more by viewing the NHS website.

What training should you do to work in the Ambulance sector as an ECA? What qualifications do you need? You can do the FREC 3, FREC 4 and our CERAD course to become an Emergency Care Assistant. If you book all 3 courses at once with Basegreen in Sheffield or Manchester, you may be eligible for a £230 discount (conditions apply). Get in touch to receive your voucher code.

Another option is the Level 3 Apprenticeship in Ambulance Support Work. Conditions apply to be able to complete an apprenticeships. Candidates need to be employed by an organisation that is willing and able to put them through the apprenticeship programme.

An ambulance worker smiling in an emergency transport vehicle. What Training Do You Need to Start Working in Pre-Hospital Care?

Ambulance Care Assistant/Patient Transport Service (PTS) driver:

The role: You will be responsible for transporting passengers in non-emergency situations, to for example attend their hospital appointments. This may involve lifting patients, settling them back home after their appointments, maintaining your ambulance vehicle and keeping in touch with the ambulance control room via a radio, as well as keeping accurate records. To be an Ambulance Care Assistant, you will need to have life-saving skills in case an emergency does occur, and always take great care in looking after your patience. You should also have driving experience, good knowledge of your local area, and experience of working with elderly or disabled individuals. You will need to have a full driving licence, pass background checks and be in good health.

Salary: As of May 2022, the UK Government states that Ambulance Care Assistant payrate ranges between £18545 (starter) and £21 776 (experienced).

Typical working hours: According to the UK Government, typical hours range between 43 and 45 hours per week.

View more information about the Ambulance Care Assistant position from the Government.
You can also read about this role on the NHS website.

How to become a Patient Transport Service Driver? Do you need training to be an Ambulance Care Assistant? If you have a driving licence, you can apply for this position without other qualifications. However, a FREC 3 may be an advantage. Basegreen can also arrange a PTS Driving Course for a group of candidates. Enquire now.

You can also complete the Level 3 Apprenticeship in Ambulance Support Work. You must be employed by an organisation who is willing to and has the capacity to put you through the programme.

An ambulance worker wearing glasses stood with a colleague. We use this image to advertise our AAP course. What qualifications do you need to be trained as an EMT or AAP in the Ambulance sector?

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) – Also Called Associate Ambulance Practitioner

The role: You will respond to 999 calls and provide emergency and urgent care. You may also be required to drive at high speed, so most EMTs will need to be able to drive ambulance vehicles with emergency blue lights on. You may act as a single responder or work alongside a Paramedic. Emergency Medical Technicians have the same skills as Paramedics – assessing, triaging and providing emergency treatment.


Salary: According to the NHS as of May 2022, EMT payrate is band 4 – between £22,549 (< 3 years’ experience) and £24,882 (3+ years of experience).

Typical working hours: Around 37.5 hours per week according to the NHS.

View more information on the NHS website.

How to become an EMT? What training should you do to work as an EMT in the Ambulance sector? The first step to becoming a paramedic can be our 1 week FREC 3 course. After completion you can further complete FREC 4 and FREC 5. The final qualification you will need is the QA Level 6 Diploma in Paramedic Practice , and then you can apply at HCPC. The Diploma is not currently offered at Basegreen, but if this is your career goal, we are happy to provide you with guidance and support.
In addition to this, most Paramedics will have achieved the emergency blue light driving course (Level 3 Certificate in Emergency Response Driving). Our C1 Driving Licence course may also be of interest to you.

Ambulance vehicle in front of fireworks. Event medical staff needs to be trained.

Paramedic

The role: You will be the first person to help anyone in an emergency situation. Though it carries great responsibility, and requires you to work under pressure, the Paramedic role is extremely rewarding. You will be responding to 999 calls and getting to emergency situations as fast as possible, and quickly providing pre-hospital care to those in need, further also transporting them to hospital as necessary.

Salary: According to the Government, the Paramedic salary may range between £25 655 (starter) and £39 027 (experienced Paramedic).

Typical working hours: Typically between 36-38 according to the UK Government.

More information about the role of a Paramedic can be viewed on the Government website.
You can also view more information from the NHS.

Which training do I need to be a Paramedic? The first training you can do to work in the Ambulance sector to become a Paramedic can be our 1 week FREC 3 course. After completion you can further complete FREC 4 and FREC 5. The final qualification you will need is the QA Level 6 Diploma in Paramedic Practice , and then you can apply at HCPC. The Diploma is not currently offered at Basegreen, but if this is your career goal, we are happy to provide you with guidance and support.
In addition to this, most Paramedics will have achieved the emergency blue light driving course (Level 3 Certificate in Emergency Response Driving). Our C1 Driving Licence course may also be of interest to you.

Tutor performing CPR on a mannequin. What Training Do You Need to be a First Responder in the Ambulance Sector?

Conclusion

These are just few of the roles which you can pursue in the ambulance/medical sector. You can view a list of careers provided by the NHS here. As you grow in experience, knowledge and skills, your employment opportunities will grow with you.

If you are not yet employed in this sector, we hope this article was insightful about what to expect and which training you might consider completing. We wish you all the best in deciding whether this is the correct route for you. If you are already an ambulance worker and wish to develop your career further, we hope this article gave a good idea on the direction you might consider and provided guidance on what training you should do to work in the Ambulance sector.

We at Basegreen Academy have many members of staff who are highly experienced and able to provide you with advice on which course to undertake and what job route to take. Our at Basegreen Academy are accredited and will support you on your journey to pursue your career.

If you’d like to be trained in the ambulance sector give us a call or fill in our enquiry form, and we will be more than happy to help you with your steps in entering or progressing in the ambulance sector successfully.

0114 212 5910

Article by Judith Gallova