The National Skill Development Corporation, which has identified 29 job profiles for paramedics, will allow students to complete their training programmes at their convenience.
The National Development Skill Corporation (NSDC) is trying to enhance the skills of people training as paramedics. It will set standards and draw a curriculum for paramedical training in India. As of now, NSDC has approved the Healthcare Sector Skill Council (HSSC), one of the 31 sector skill councils across different sectors in India, which has devised a national occupational standard of training of paramedics in consultation with top hospitals, doctors and other stakeholders of the health sector.
Says Dilip Chenoy, MD and CEO, NSDC, “Till date, the NSDC Board has approved 150 training proposals, creating the capacity to train 80 million people by 2022. The courses offered by our training partners are affiliated to the HSSC, which will set standards and ensure quality assurance in line with the industry requirement.”
So far, HSSC has identified 29 job profiles in the paramedics category, which include assistant physiotherapist, anaesthesia technician, dialysis technician, medical laboratory technician, operating theatre technician etc. “We have set national occupational standards for each job profile and have given the affiliating training partners freedom to frame their own curriculum. The curriculum has to include all the elements of national occupational standards. These institutes should either give us an undertaking that they are following national occupational standards or they can get their curriculum vetted by us,” says Rajiv Mathur, head, standards and QA, NSDC.
“Once a candidate completes any training course from an institute affiliated to HSSC, he/she has to be assessed by a panel (comprising of mainly experts from the health sector) appointed by HSSC. The assessment report can be used by the candidate to seek jobs in the health sector. From fixing standards for training to assessing the skill of a candidate, everything has been done with the involvement of the industry so that the skills of candidates from these institutes can’t be questioned.”
One of the important features of NSDC’s plan is that there is no mandatory duration for completing any courses. “We believe that there can’t be a fixed time period to skill a person. Some persons can be skilled early while some take more time. So whenever the candidate or the institutes feel that a candidate or a group of candidates are ready for assessment, HSSC will send the assessor,” says Chenoy. HSSC has recently signed an MOU with Pune University to enable the latter to skill students.
However,Chenoy feels that NSDC and HSSC have key challenges to overcome to implement skill development courses. “Student mobilisation is one of the key issues that our partners are facing currently. This issue is mainly due to two factors — ability to pay and willingness of the students,” he says.
NSDC is also working on several innovative models to develop the skilling eco-system. The various technological interventions such as simulators, satellite training centres etc will help in ensuring quality and reducing cost.
The Council is also engaging with its counterparts in other countries like Germany, UK, Australia and others, to implement the best practices in the skilling space from all across the world.