Technician Application FAQ’s

The Recruitment Process
Becoming an Ambulance Technician
Driving Requirements
After Appointment

The Recruitment Process

How do I become an Ambulance Technician or Ambulance Paramedic?

To become a Paramedic with the Scottish Ambulance Service, you first need to apply to be a Trainee Ambulance Technician.

When applying, you are applying for a post with the Service rather than a training course and therefore if successful through the recruitment process, you will be employed by the Scottish Ambulance Service as a Trainee Ambulance Technician from the start of your training.

Once you have qualified as an Ambulance Technician you can then go onto apply for a Paramedic post and to undertake a further training programme.

Please note the process is different in England than Scotland where you can apply to become an Ambulance Paramedic through a college or university programme.

What qualifications do I need?

You will need a minimum of National 4 or Standard Grade pass Level 3 or above in Maths and English.

Are there any age restrictions to become an Ambulance Technician?

There are no lower or upper age restrictions on becoming an Ambulance Technician however you will need to hold a full UK driving licence with category C1, for which DVLA require you to be 18 years old.

What is involved in the assessment / interview process?

Applications go through several stages before the interview stage. They are first reviewed against the essential criteria of the person specification. If successful at this stage, applications are then reviewed against the desirable criteria and the competencies requested in the application stage. 

Once through a shortlist, candidates will be invited to a fitness test and face to face interview. This is the final stage of the application process after which a decision as to whether an offer can be made.

When will I hear if my application has been successful?

The while process can be quite lengthy, depending upon the number of applications we receive and the number of vacancies we have. It can therefore take several months to complete the process. However, you will be contacted throughout with an update on the progress of your application.

How many intakes are there each year?

We have around 20 intakes throughout the year across our three clinical training centres.

Therefore, if you are successful, you will be offered a start date on the next available intake in your region. In some case this may be up to 10 months in advance.

Becoming an Ambulance Technician

What training is involved?

See full details of our Ambulance Technician Training Programme.

To qualify as an Ambulance Technician, you undertake two qualifications, firstly the Diploma in Emergency Care Support and then the Diploma for Associate Ambulance Practitioners. Once you have successfully completed these two qualifications, you will be a qualified Ambulance Technician.

As part of your initial training, you will also undertake an Emergency Response Ambulance Driving qualification which will provide the knowledge and skills required to drive an ambulance under emergency conditions.

Where does the Trainee Ambulance Technician training take place?

As this is a vocational programme you will undertake a mix of classroom based learning and practical “on the job” placements. The programme is delivered by our own education team at one of our Clinical Education Centres across the country and your placements will be at your base station.

How long does it take to become a Qualified Ambulance Technician?

It takes a minimum of 16 months to complete the two Diploma qualifications, although some people might take longer (up to a maximum of two years). We will provide you with all the support you at every step through the training ensure that you are developing at the right pace for you.

How much does Ambulance Technician training cost?

An offer to train to become an Ambulance Technician is a permanent offer of employment. Therefore, there is no cost to you of undertaking the training, including the Emergency Response Driving.

Will I be eligible for accommodation while I’m training to become an Ambulance Technician?

Accommodation is allocated depending on how far you live from our training centre. There is limited accommodation therefore applications are considered on an individual basis. Accommodation is free for Trainee Ambulance Technicians.

Driving Requirements

Do I need a driving license to apply to become a Technician?

Both the Technician and Paramedic roles must be able to drive the response vehicle to ensure that we are providing safe and effective care to the patient, Therefore, you must hold a full UK driving licence, with no more than three penalty points.

Do I need to have the C1 category on my license before I apply?

No. You do not need C1 license to apply for an Ambulance Technician post and we do not use this as part of our selection criteria.

However, if you are made an offer of employment, you must have the C1 category on your driving licence six weeks before your start date. Therefore, your start date will depend upon when you can achieve this. Gaining C1 can take significant time and therefore, we encourage candidates to at least have your C1 provisional licence in place

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer a start date to anyone without C1 category on their licence.

Do I have to pay to complete the C1 category?

Yes. Although, if you are made an offer of employment we do offer a loan facility to help with these costs. This is deducted from your salary over the first 12 months of employment.

After Appointment

If successful, where will I be based?

When completing your application, you where you would want to work. Once interviews have been completed and the Service decide who they wish to appoint, they cross-reference it with workforce arrangements and where vacancies exist. We can only offer posts where there are vacancies and if we do not have vacancies where you want to work, you may be offered an alternative location.

What hours / shift pattern will I work?

A full-time Ambulance Technician is contracted to work 37.5 hours a week, inclusive of meal breaks. The majority of posts are offered on a 24 hour / 365 day shift pattern. Most Trainee Ambulance Technicians will initially be placed on a relief roster which means the number and pattern of hours they work each week may vary, but will average 37.5 hours. We aim to give members of staff as much notice as possible about their shift patterns to ensure a positive work life balance.

Can I work as an Ambulance Technician part time?

There may be the opportunity to work as a part time Ambulance Technician depending upon the workforce plans for your area, however, you will need to complete the classroom training parts on a full-time basis.

How do I move from Technician to Paramedic?

Once you have qualified as a Technician, you may wish to progress to become a qualified paramedic. To do this you will need to apply through our internal recruitment process for a place on year 2 of the Diploma Higher Education in Paramedic Practice.

Paramedc training is delivered by our Education team based at our bespoke Ambulance Academy based at Glasgow Caledonia University.

Find out more about Paramedic training

What other opportunities are there for career progression?

We support all members of staff’s professional development and each member of staff has a personal professional development plan.

There are various opportunities for career progression, although these are usually once you have qualified as Paramedic. For example, you might want to use your skills differently and apply to become a Team Leader or join our Education team or you may choose to diversify your clinical experience by working for our Special Operations , Air Wing, or Clinical Teams.

Later one there are opportunities to focus on management based roles such as Area Service Manager or progress to becoming a Head of Service or even a General Manager.