Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. I want to work in an ambulance, what course do I have to do to do this?

Some of you may know them as 'ambulance drivers', but this term is no longer used. The days when the ambulance turned up at the scene and was there to just transport the sick to hospital have long gone and all emergency care practitioners are now put through intensive training. Emergency Medical Technician, or EMT, training in Ireland is regulated by the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC). To be certified as an EMT, an individual must first complete a PHECC-recognized training program, then pass the National Qualification in Emergency Medical Technology, or NQEMT. This is an exam that tests both theory and skills. This course is provided by us in the IATI to the public as well as many private, public and volunteer groups. For further course information on our EMT course please click here.

Q2.Where exactly can I work once I receive my EMT qualification?

When you receive your NQEMT (National Qualification in Emergency Medical Technology) upon completion of your course and exams you are eligible to apply for a licence to practice in Ireland as an EMT under a CPG compliant organisation (see PHECC for full list). Currently EMTs are qualified to work on non-emergency ambulances only as the standard for working on an emergency ambulance is a 2 paramedic crew. EMTs are also eligible to apply for work with the numerous private ambulance services in Ireland and also to the HSE for patient transfer jobs.

Q3.How do I become a Paramedic?

In order to work in Ireland at the moment in an emergency ambulance you must be qualified at Paramedic level which is the next level up from the EMT level. We do not provide this training as this is currently only available through the HSE National Ambulance Service Training College. The HSE advertise open recruitment calls publicly online when they wish to recruit. You can set up email alerts by going registering for an account on ( 

Q4. How will the EMT qualification with you benefit me if I want to go for the HSE Paramedic Trainee program?

While we have no affiliation with the HSE Paramedic program or their recruitment criteria, recruitment, we have observed some of their criteria for the initial application and we have listed them in the below box. However this is subject to change depending on the criteria set out by the HSE.

After sending off your application form, (with copies of your full C1 and D1 licence) applicants had to sit an aptitude test. The top 200 scorers for this were then brought forward for an interview. The EMT qualification is an excellent stepping stone for all who wish to go forward for the Paramedic Trainee Program as this shows your ability to study, your commitment to learning, your basic knowledge of the job and service and also your commitment to the job. It has been proven that the NQEMT helps applicants get into the HSE Paramedic trainee program.


  1. The Leaving Certificate (or equivalent)

Candidates must have obtained a pass (minimum of Grade D) in at least Five subjects at Pass or Honours level in their Leaving Certificate examination which must include a Maths and a Science subject (Biology, Chemistry or Physics)


A qualification equivalent to same. Please note:-

  • A primary degree from a recognised third level institution is acceptable in lieu of Leaving Certificate.

  • Where candidates hold a Leaving Certificate with five passes, at pass or honours level, including Mathematics but excluding Science: A valid PHECC EMT certificate is acceptable in the absence of a science subject.

  • Educational qualifications obtained from other jurisdictions will be assessed on an individual basis.

A candidate for and any person holding the office must be fully competent and capable of undertaking the duties attached to the office and be in a state of health such as would indicate a reasonable prospect of ability to render regular and efficient service.



Each candidate for and any person holding the office must be of good character.

If you require any further information in applying for the HSE Paramedic Trainee Program please contact the HSE directly.

For a full list of our upcoming course dates at IATI and venues please go to our Upcoming Courses Page.

If you have any further queries or questions please don't hesitate to ask us by using our contact page.