Carl Smith's Experience at the Diploma in Immediate Medical Care Exam


Carl Smith, head of clinical development for emergency and critical care here at the College, recently returned from a week in Scotland, where he had the privilege of supporting the Diploma in Immediate Medical Care exam at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Carl shares his experience;

"Witnessing College of Paramedics members willingly subject themselves to scrutiny by sitting this exam for the sake of improving their skills to be able to deliver optimal patient care was truly inspiring. Having personally taken the exam, I fully appreciate the pressure they faced. For those thinking about sitting the exam, with a disciplined and structured revision plan, any Paramedic can pass it.

In my capacity as a current examiner for the Diploma in Immediate Medical Care exam, I was invited to sit the newly developed Major Incident Management exam that has been in development for the past two years. I accepted the opportunity and sat the exam as a test of concept which was examined over a day. Recognising that many College members may be interested in taking this exam, I wanted to share my experience with you.

Although I wasn't completely prepared, drawing from years of experience operating at both Operational and Tactical level within the Ambulance Service provided a solid foundation. A study guide is available, and my recommendation is to plan well in advance and dedicate time to thoroughly cover the full syllabus. The exam encompasses a broad spectrum, including emergency preparedness, scene management and mass casualty triage, among other topics. The exam is geared more towards Tactical level and those wanting to progress to Strategic Commanders than those who respond as the first responder. The exam consists of 180 single best answer questions. Although challenging, sufficient time is provided to work through them, with no negative marking, allowing participants to answer every question.

Credit goes to the college for maintaining a rigorous exam environment with no exception for those who were current examiners for the college. The process closely mirrored a proper exam, which can be demanding when your colleagues are the ones examining you. Following the written part of the exam, there are 12 structured oral stations. Participants have two minutes to review scenarios, such as a plane crash and the capacity they are responding in, before answering specific questions posed by examiners. Each scenario challenges your overall knowledge of incident management, presenting various situations such as taking over from an existing commander or addressing different phases of an incident, such as being the first on the scene or discussing the recovery phase.

It's crucial to have a solid understanding of the JESIP principles and to revise recent and past reports from inquiries, such as those from the Manchester Arena Inquiry. For more information on the Diploma in Major Incident Management, you can follow the link below."

You can find out more about the Diploma in Major Incident Management here: Diploma in Major Incident Management - The Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care (