Covid-19 Provisional EMS Certificate

Provisional Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Certificates are NOT an Illinois Department of Public Health IDPH) state license. This is only an EMS system approval recognized by the state.

Who is eligible for a Provisional EMS Certificate?

EMS personnel whose licenses have been expired for less than 60 months as of March 23, 20200 and based on the EMS medical director’s recommendation.

  • Paramedic students in the last semester of class are eligible to take the system paramedic entrance requirements.
  • All other paramedic students are eligible to take the system emergency medical technician (EMT) entrance requirements.
  • EMT students in the last semester of class are eligible to take the system EMT entrance requirements.
  • All other EMT students are eligible to take the system emergency medical responder (EMR) entrance requirements.
  • EMR at any stage of class completion with successful completion of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  • Emergency medical dispatcher (EMD) at any stage of class completion.
  • Emergency communications registered nurse (ECRN) seeking provisional certification (without completing required field ride time).
  • Prehospital registered nurse (PHRN), prehospital physician (PHPA), prehospital advance practice nurse (PHAPN) seeking provisional certification (without completing required advanced life support (ALS) calls as required in the rule).

If I’m eligible for a Provisional EMS Certificate, how do I get my certificate?

Contact your EMS system coordinator (EMSSC) or regional EMS system coordinator (REMSC). A list of EMS systems can be found at: http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/emergency-preparedness-response/ems/res_sysListing

I’m an EMS system coordinator. How do I get expired personnel or students a Provisional EMS Certificate? (EMT, Paramedic, EMR, EMD)

  • Candidates eligible for a Provisional EMS Certificate must pass EMS system entrance requirements.
  •  If they cannot successfully complete the system entrance exam for the level of licensure, then they may function at the level of entrance requirements they can successfully pass (e.g, a person with an expired paramedic license can only successfully complete the EMT entrance requirements, then may only function at the EMT level). The applicant’s IDPH EMS license has been expired for less than 60 months and must have been in good standing at the time it expired, i.e., not suspended or revoked.
  • The applicant must not have been suspended from any Illinois EMS system as of the IDPH license expiration.
  • The applicant must demonstrate current CPR certification (or with an expiration date reflecting the current policies based on COVID-19) from either the American Hospital Association or  or American Red Cross.
  • Attest to no felony conviction: Section 515.190.
  • Anyone granted a certificate under this special waiver shall only practice with another state-licensed EMS professional at or above the level of the licensee. Two individuals granted a certificate under this special waiver shall not practice together and must be paired with a regular licensee.

EMS system entrance requirements. (EMT, Paramedic, EMR, EMD)

  • EMSSC are responsible for creating system specific entrance requirements.
  • Candidates must pass a refresher course and pass a system exam.  The refresher course consists of didactic material, no skills.
  • EMSSC must validate the person is knowledgeable and has the skills to perform based on the level of certification. The system should test for any skills needed.

Required Documentation EMSSC must submit to REMSC for Approval (EMT, Paramedic, EMR, EMD)

  • System amendment presented to REMSC for approval.
  • System submits a roster with names of expired licensed personnel who successfully complete the system entrance requirements. (Rosters can be found on the IDPH web portal.)
  • The class roster will include:
    1. Name of expired licensee, expired license number, phone number, social security number, level of function approved by EMS system for this individual, and date approved.
    2. Name of student, class site code (if applicable), phone number, social security number, level of function approved by EMS system for this individual, and date approved
    3. Name, system number, EMS medical director signature from the EMS system
  • Valid CPR for all levels or a CPR recognition with a grace period of 60 days post expiration.

How to obtain a provisional certificate for PHRNs, PHPA, PHAPN (without completing required ALS calls as required in the rule)?

  • Must have completed the didactic portion of the pre-hospital course.
  • Must complete and pass a final pre-hospital or paramedic examination approved by the EMS system medical director
  • May seek provisional certification after completing course work and testing as approved by the EMS medical director.
  • All PHRNs, PHPA, and PHAPNs must operate in an Illinois EMS system. 
  • The PHRN, PHPA, or PHAPN may only operate with another Illinois licensed paramedic or PHRN with at least 1-year experience. 
  • All care provided at the ALS level may be used towards completion of the required ALS calls for Illinois licensure. 
  • Once the pandemic is over and the EMS system returns to normal operations, the PHRN, PHPA, or PHAPN must provide proof of ALS calls in which they provided care, as required, and take the assessment test through the National Registry to receive an Illinois License. 
  • The EMS system must maintain a quality improvement (QI)  program that includes:
    • The reviews of at least five calls per month that include “provisionally certified” personnel.
    • Reviews the care provided based on system protocols and standards of care.
    • Identifies areas of improvement that are communicated to providers and personnel.

How to obtain an ECRN provisional certification (without completing required field ride time)

  • Must have completed the didactic portion of the ECRN course.
  • Must complete and pass a final ECRN examination approved by the EMS system medical director.
  • May seek provisional certification after completing course work and testing as approved by the EMS medical director.
  • The ECRN must have a co-sign by an Illinois licensed ECRN for any medical calls received.
  • Once the pandemic is over and the EMS system returns to normal operations, the ECRN may provide proof of all ECRN calls and field ride time hourly requirements, as required, and submit for Illinois ECRN licensure. 
  • The EMS system must maintain a QI program that includes:
    • The reviews of at least five calls per month that include “provisionally certified” personnel.
    • Reviews of the care provided based on system protocols and standards of care.
    • Identifies areas of improvement communicated to providers and personnel. 

Additional Information

  • All certificates granted under this special waiver shall automatically expire June 30, 2020. If expiration extensions are needed due to a prolonged pandemic response, information will be sent to EMSSC before June 30, 2020.
  • Provisional certificate approval shall require full compliance with all: (i) IDPH and (ii) EMS system requirements.
  • Expired and student EMS personnel may only function with licensed EMS personnel at the same or higher level. (consider a P level to function as a lead B by EMSMD)

Last Updated:  6/18/2020