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Short courses
Nursing & Health

Clinical Assessment and Referral Skills for Paramedics
University Certificate in Professional Development


Course overview

  • HEENE-funded places are available for eligible applicants.
  • Standard University fee applies once all funded places have been allocated.

Developed for registered paramedics, this award enhances your knowledge and skills in managing patients presenting to the ambulance service following non-urgent 999/111 calls, and focuses on areas of clinical reasoning and problem solving.You develop clinical assessment skills to improve the management and referral of patients who don’t require immediate acute care. You gain a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of assessing and managing minor injuries and illnesses.


Course details

What you study

Delivered over 10 weeks:

  • Weeks 1 - 4: Two-day study blocks, either face to face or online delivery.
  • Weeks 5 - 9: Placement within a minor injury unit or walk-in centre for 37.5 hours (arranged by your employing trust)
  • Week 10: One two-day study block

You study the following:

  • principles and techniques of history taking and consultations skills
  • decision-making based on clinical judgement - red flags and when to refer
  • clinical guidelines
  • communication skills
  • care planning and referring
  • anatomy and pathophysiology relating to common minor injuries in children and adults
  • systems examination techniques including respiratory, ear, nose and throat, cardiac, abdominal and musculoskeletal
  • clinical management of common conditions - headaches, urinary tract infections, cough, backache, diarrhoea and vomiting
  • clinical management of minor injuries to include sprains, strains, fractures, wounds closure options and burns across the lifespan
  • assessing common childhood conditions and recognition of the acutely ill child
  • sepsis
  • rashes and allergies
  • pharmacology and patient group directions
  • multidisciplinary teamwork and referral pathways professional accountability in practice
  • transition to Level 6 study.

How you learn

You engage in a variety of learning activities including key lectures, skills workshops, where possible due to social distancing restrictions and self-directed learning. The virtual learning environment (VLE) facilitates independent guided study in between study blocks and acts as a repository for all learning materials.

How you are assessed

You are assessed by two separate objective structured clinical examinations – each is worth 50% and lasts 25 minutes. These are conducted in week 10.

Objective structured clinical examination 1 (minor injury) involves an adult or child over two years of age, presenting to you in the pre-hospital environment with a minor injury.

Objective structured clinical examination 2 (minor Illness) involves an adult or child over two years of age, presenting to you in the pre-hospital environment with a minor illness. 

There is one adult and one child objective structured clinical examination scenario to ensure learning outcomes are assessed across the lifespan. You are required to demonstrate your ability to gather information using appropriate communication tools to attain a comprehensive clinical history from the patient and/or carer as appropriate (10 minutes). You then complete a physical examination appropriate to the condition and systematically analyse and evaluate this information, formulating intervention decisions and management options based on best available evidence (10 minutes). The exam concludes with five minutes for the examiner to ask questions appropriate to the scenario to assess your underpinning knowledge, critical thinking and decision-making skills. 


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Health and Care Professions Council-registered paramedic. 

You need sponsorship from your employer to complete the award. Your placements must be arranged and agreed by your employing trust before starting the module.



Work placement

You complete 37.5 hours in practice in a minor injury unit or walk-in centre to consolidate learning.

Career opportunities

This award enables you to further develop your knowledge and understanding of minor injury and illness which may be encountered in practice.

You enhance and develop your clinical assessment decision-making skills to ensure your accountability and professionalism when making an autonomous referral in practice.



2021/22 entry

Fee for applicants:

  • Length: 10 weeks
  • Level: Degree
  • Credits: 20

Apply online