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Primary Care Paramedic

Open for Fall 2022

Length: 10 months Credential: Certificate Delivery: Full Time Classroom

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Next information session

There are no events scheduled for this program. Please visit the link below to see all upcoming and on-demand information sessions.

Upcoming Information Sessions

This program will be delivered in a blended format (OA, OS, OR and OF/CLAS) for the Fall 2021 semester.
Some courses will be delivered online while others occur on-campus.
Learn more about our course delivery options


Train in all aspects of pre-hospital emergency care, including patient assessment and treatment of medical and traumatic emergencies, for a career in emergency medical services.

The Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) program provides education and training for pre-hospital care professionals and prepares them to work within a multi-discipline healthcare team.

This program is taught by experienced practitioners and covers all aspects of pre-hospital emergency care including Advanced Life Support (ALS) and International Trauma Life Support (ITLS) assistance, patient assessment, diagnostics, treatment and critical interventions.

This program is competency based and provides applied theory as well as hands-on learning through high fidelity human patient simulation education in the Centre for Advanced Patient Care Simulation as well as during practicum rotations. Working under the direct supervision of a preceptor, practicums occur in both hospital or urgent care and ambulance settings.

Completion of the program is a requirement for continuing into the Advanced Care Paramedic program.

Is this the right fit for me?

This program is fast-paced, and requires a significant contribution of time and energy.

Students with higher secondary or post-secondary marks and effective communication skills in English usually experience greater success in SAIT’s programs.

Students who experience success in this program and profession:

  • have higher secondary or post-secondary grades
  • possess effective communication skills in both written and spoken English
  • are self-directed, detail-oriented, highly motivated, and well organized
  • are disciplined for learning in classroom, online, and professional settings, as well as through self-study required of all courses
  • enjoy working in a team environment
  • anticipate the emotional toll that the role can take on the paramedic professional, and actively pursue strategies to bolster personal resilience and preserve mental health

Students are strongly encouraged to refer to the Paramedicine  National Competency Profile and  Alberta Health Service’s F.A.R.E.- Paramedic requirements to ensure that they are able to successfully demonstrate the functional ability skills required to achieve all the competency-based objectives and bona fide occupational requirements for the program and profession.

Some examples include:

  • lift a stretcher with a 95.5 kg (210 lbs)  patient with a partner from a lower level to the load position and back down
  • lift and carry a long spine board with 95.5 kg (210 lbs) and ascend and descend 10 stairs with a partner
  • push a stair chair 10 m with 95.5 kg (210 lbs) and ascend and descend 20 stairs with a partner
  • lift a bilateral side carry of 9 kg (20 lbs) of weight in each hand
  • front carry 18 kg (40 lbs)
  • repetitively kneel, crouch, bend, reach, carry, push and pull
  • perform CPR for 2 min


The Primary Care Paramedic program delivered by SAIT is accredited by Accreditation Canada at the Primary Care Paramedic level and meets the Alberta College of Paramedics' core competency requirements.


After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT Primacy Care Paramedic certificate. All graduates are eligible and required to register with the Alberta College of Paramedics to work in Alberta as a PCP.

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Career opportunities

Graduates can pursue job opportunities in: 

  • emergency medical services
  • industrial sites 

Related careers include: 

  • firefighter 
  • police officer 
  • audiometric technician 

Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $6,045

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change

Full costs
Tuition and financial aid


You will be offered admission to this program through direct entry if you meet the admission requirements and achieve at least 50% on the scoring rubric for the School of Health and Public Safety’s Entrance Testing Process. Admission is offered on a first-qualified, first offered basis, until the program is full.

Admission requirements

When can you apply?

  • Applications for fall 2022 are accepted Oct. 6, 2021, to March 1, 2021.
Classes begin Year start date Year end date
Fall 2021 Sept. 7, 2021  Aug. 19, 2022
Fall 2022 Sept. 6, 2022 Aug. 18, 2023

How to apply

Chief in charge of Calgary's battle against COVID-19

Tom Sampson’s workday starts exactly when his feet hit the floor (sometimes even before) at about 6:15 in the morning. “I start reviewing emails and developments overnight and anything that is unfolding in the world,” says the man leading Calgary’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Admission requirements

Admission and selection

  • Fall 2022 start: applications are accepted Oct. 6, 2021, to March 1, 2022.

*This program does not accept international students

Admission requirements

At least 50% in each of the following courses or their equivalents:

        Entrance testing process

Admission is offered on a first-qualified, first-offered basis until the program is full.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission. If you don't meet the requirements, consider  Academic Upgrading.

SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you've applied, consider our international document assessment service if your education is from outside of Canada. 

*ANPH 209 (Anatomy and Physiology) can be used in place of the Biology 30 or Science 30 requirement. This course is available through Open Studies.

Direct entry: five-step process

Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.

Step 2: Review the information related to the necessary components of the School of Health and Public Safety Entrance Testing Process

Step 3:  Complete the School of Health and Public Safety Entrance Testing Process non-academic admission requirement. Ensure that you meet all of the academic admission requirements listed above.

Step 4: Apply to the Primary Care Paramedic program and submit your transcripts and/or anticipated final grades.

  • Admission is offered on a first-qualified, first offered basis, until the program is full. 

Step 5: Log in to mySAIT.ca to check your admission status. Find out how to monitor your application status.

Failure to meet anticipated final grades for the admission pre-requisites will result in offers being rescinded.

Communication during admission

Email is the primary source of communication during the admission process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add hps.info@sait.ca and the sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages.

Paramedicine National Competency profile

Students are strongly encouraged to refer to the Paramedicine National Competency Profile and Alberta Health Services' F.A.R.E Paramedic requirements to ensure that they are able to successfully demonstrate the skills required to achieve all the competency-based objectives and bona fide occupational requirements for the program/profession.

Some examples include:

  • lift a stretcher with 95.5 kg (210 lbs) patient with a partner from a lower level to the load position and back down
  • lifting and carrying a long spine board with 95.5 kg (210 lbs) and ascend and descend 10 stairs with a partner
  • push a stair chair 10 m with 95.5 kg (210 lbs) and ascend and descend 20 stairs with a partner
  • able to lift a bilateral side carry of 9 kg (20 lbs) of weight in each hand
  • able to front carry of 18 kg (40 lbs)
  • able to repetitively kneel, crouch, bend, reach, carry, push and pull
  • able to perform CPR for two mins.

Practicum requirements

The School of Health and Public Safety has many practica partners located within Alberta and across Canada. Practicum placements in Calgary are limited and students may be required to relocate outside of Calgary for practicum. Due to limited practicum spots for the paramedicine programs provincially, some of the practica may not end until August.

Successful candidates will be informed of the allocation of their practicum placement by the program. There is no guarantee that students will be placed at their desired practicum location. Special considerations of personal circumstances will not be given in regards to assigning practicum placements. Students will be responsible for fees associated with practica such as entrance requirements, relocation and travel costs. 

In compliance with the practica agreements with our clinical partners, successful candidates will be requested to provide proof of the following requirements:

  • current Heart and Stroke Foundation BLS Provider course
  • updated immunization records
  • security clearance - Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check
  • N95 respiratory mask fitting
  • health and wellness status

Please Note: If a practicum student cannot obtain a tight facial seal due to the presence of facial hair and has refused to shave for religious reasons, the PCP practicum student is considered unfit by AHS standards and will not be allowed on an ambulance practicum.

As practicum is an essential component to graduate from the program, the student will not be able to successfully complete the Primary Care Paramedic program.

Learn more


    Program outline

    Looking for course descriptions and requisites? Visit the course catalogue

    Semester 1

    Course code Course name Credit
    ANPH-201 Physiology & Physical Assessment 1.5
    EMRG-223 Basic Pharmacology 1.5
    EMRG-230 Community Integration 1.5
    EMRG-233 Respiratory Emergencies 3.0
    EMRG-236 Primary Care Paramedic Lab I 3.0
    EMRG-244 Professional Practice I 1.5
    EMRG-262 Cardiac Emergencies 3.0
    Semester 1 total 15.0

    Semester 2

    Course code Course name Credit
    EMRG-227 Traumatic Emergencies 3.0
    EMRG-249 Medical Emergencies  3.0
    EMRG-251 Special Populations 3.0
    EMRG-266 Primary Care Paramedic Lab II 3.0
    FTNS-202 Fitness and Wellness 1.5
    PRAC-242 Clinical Practicum 1.5
    Semester 2 - 3 (spans two semesters)
    PRAC-252 Ambulance Practicum  3.0
    Semester 2 total 18.0

    Semester 3

    Course code Course name Credit
    EMRG-265 Professional Practice II 1.5
    Semester 3 total 1.5
    Program total 34.5


    Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

    Transfer options

    Once completed, this SAIT credential may be eligible for transfer credit at another post-secondary institution. Visit Transfer Options to learn more about the transfer agreements currently available to SAIT graduates and incoming students.

    Have questions? Write to us at transfer.options@sait.ca.


    2021/22 Domestic Tuition and Fees*

    Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2021/22 total
    1 $4,412 $1,069.20 $312 $252 $6,045

    *Fees and tuition are based on a two-semester full course load structure. There may be additional fees for practicums and terms held outside this time frame. 

    SAIT Fees

    Campus athletic and recreation Fee: $183.20
    Universal transit pass (UPass): $310 - Check eligibility here.
    Student support fee: $150
    Student technology fee: $150

    Health and Dental Fees

    Domestic Students 

    • Health Plan: $122
    • Dental Plan: $130
    • For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the Saitsa website for information on opting out.

    Books and supplies*

    • Books and supplies cost approximately $1,900 for the program.
    • For an estimate of the costs associated with purchasing a device that meets the standard hardware and software requirements, see our computers and laptops page.
    • There is a $75 CompTracker user fee per semester.
    • Heart and Stroke BLS Provider Course.
    • There is a fee for the Alberta College of Paramedics (ACP) provincial exam and an annual registration fee.  ACP annual registration fees are approximately $425 (initial registration fee is approximately $475).
    • Students are responsible for any additional expenses related to their practica (i.e. relocation costs if placed outside of Calgary, food, housing, transportation, etc.). 
    • There is a fee associated with obtaining a Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check and is payable to the Police or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
    • Students must have their immunizations reviewed by the SAIT Health Clinic. There is a $75 charge to review vaccine history. Any vaccines to be administered will result in additional charges.
    • There is a fee, approximately $50-$100, associated with an Electronic Student Permit Checking submission which is required for clinical practicum placements, payable to Synergy Gateway through the Verified software platform. 

    Find out about tuition and financial aid.

    * Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.

    Next steps for incoming students

    Have you been accepted to this program? Here's what you'll need for your first day of classes.

    ✅ Plan ahead ❗️

    You are required to complete several health, confidentiality and consent forms before starting your program. All completed and signed paperwork is needed on orientation day. 

    Ensure you complete all three steps below ahead of orientation.

    Get started on pre-orientation requirements

    Fall 2021


    Your program orientation will take place on Sept. 1 on campus. Check your schedule in mySAIT for the time and location details.

    Learn more about your orientation.

    We are expecting to meet you at new student orientation. Important program information is discussed to ensure you are prepared to begin classes which start on day one. Orientation is a mandatory part of your learning experience to ensure student success.

    How to register for classes

    You'll follow an open registration process to enrol in your classes. Learn how to register on our registration and schedules page.

    Computers and laptops

    This is a bring your own device program with a standard hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page

    Required equipment/tools

    You will be evaluated on your level of competency performance using a tracking system called CompTracker. You will require a wi-fi enabled Apple tablet with the ability to run the most up to date operating system to support the CompTracker system. Any size tablet is acceptable. Keyboards are advisable but not mandatory. Smartphones are not acceptable devices for CompTracker. There is a required user license fee billed on a per semester basis. Each program will have a different student fee depending on how the system is used within the program. More information will be shared at orientation.

    Required personal protective equipment (PPE) and uniform

    Uniforms and PPE are to be purchased prior to Orientation Day, and worn to Orientation.

    Print and take the uniform order form to Trademark Workwear Inc. to order your SAIT uniforms. Refer to the form for details and ensure you order your uniform early. CSA approved safety glasses and CSA approved black steel-toed duty boots may be purchased where available.


    Ballistic Vests:

    Ballistic vests are not required by the SAIT PCP or ACP programs. Currently, many practitioners have the option of being issued a ballistic vest by their employer as PPE.  This is an employee decision if they want the ballistic vest or not.  As best practice for scene safety, police deem the situation safe before EMS crews enter, and students are not first into any situation where this type of PPE is required.  If a student wishes to purchase their own ballistic vest for use on practicum they can do so through the AHS approved vendor ( Urban Tactical, Winnipeg) who has the required minimum specifications for a ballistic vest. If a student decides to purchase and wear the vest, they must ensure that their SAIT crest and student identification are clearly visible on the vest without compromising the integrity of the vest. >

    Please note: If a student has a ballistic vest from an employer, they are not allowed to wear that employer’s issue as part of the SAIT uniform.  If a student chooses to wear a ballistic vest during their program they must purchase a personal ballistic vest.  Ballistic vests are personally fitted, have a finite lifespan, and are not resalable as they do not provide the appropriate protection second hand. If a student chooses to wear a personal ballistic vest, they will be required to wear it for every call during their practicum rotations.

    Other requirements

    • Class 4 Driver's license is required for employment as a PCP or ACP. You will need to check with the Alberta government for requirements. 
    • Heart and Stroke BLS Provider Course
    • N95 Mask-fit testing
    • Police Information Clearance (Criminal Records Check) with Vulnerable Sector Check
    • Up to date immunizations record
    • Health and Wellness Status

    Preparation courses

    To support your success, you’ll be automatically registered in two short courses to prepare you for the academic year: 

    PERS 050: Student Rights and Responsibilities

    This course is designed to introduce you to student rights and responsibilities at SAIT. You will learn about SAIT's rich and diverse community, become familiar with guidelines and procedures that create a safe, respectful learning experience for you, and gain practical tips for how you can engage in the SAIT community in a positive and responsible way. PRES-050 must be completed within 30 days from the start of the semester.

    PREP 100: The SAIT Experience

    Get tips and insider information on time management, exam preparation, effective notetaking and more through this free, online short course for new students. Plus, learn about discussion boards, online communication and submitting assignments online. Course completion is recommended by the end of your first semester.

    Both courses can be accessed through  Brightspace (D2L) before the first day of classes.

    Required textbooks

    Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore's website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date.

    Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck, no textbook purchase required this term.


    Phone: 403.284.8481
    Email: hps.info@sait.ca

    Next steps for all students

    Here's what else you'll need to do to get ready!

    Next steps for accepted students

    Important dates and deadlines

    Find important dates applicable to all students, including your transcript and tuition payment deadlines on our Important Dates page.

    Important Dates

    Have questions about this program?

    Contact us at

    School of Health and Public Safety

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