How to Become a Paramedic in Scotland

Updated April 17, 2017

Paramedics in Scotland work mainly in the Scottish Ambulance Service, dealing with accidents and emergencies and transporting patients to hospital. They have taken additional training to immediately administer life-saving care or set up advanced life-support equipment.

Community Paramedics also deal with emergency situations and may also administer treatment in the patient's own home.

Scottish Paramedics also work on Scotland's air ambulances, which deal with accidents and medical emergencies in remote rural locations such as the Highlands and Islands. Air ambulances also transport patients from the Scottish Islands to scheduled medical care on the mainland.

Get a job as an ambulance technician with the Scottish Ambulance Service and gain one year's experience in this role.

The Scottish Ambulance Service lists as "desirable" that applicants for an ambulance technician's post should have "Three Standard Grades or equivalent (English, a numerical subject and a science subject.)"

Qualified paramedics from other ambulance services within the U.K. may apply directly to the Scottish Ambulance Service.

After one year's experience as an ambulance technician, apply to take the pre-entry paramedic tests--oral, written and practical examinations.

If successful at interview, where you will be required to demonstrate that you meet "the requirements for the role," take the specialised training to become a paramedic. This training will be provided by the Scottish Ambulance Service to successful applicants.

Apply for and secure Disclosure Scotland. This is required by everyone who works with vulnerable groups and checks out any criminal record or listing on the Sex Offenders' Register.


Careers Scotland advises that Paramedics must be both compassionate and practical. They must enjoy working with the public and have the ability to get on well with their colleagues. Paramedics and ambulance staff work in pairs and can spend a lot of time together, often out on the road in the confined space of an ambulance. Paramedics must also have an organised and technical turn of mind, keeping a running check on drugs and life-saving equipment and also regularly checking oil, water and tire pressures to ensure that their ambulances are roadworthy and ready to answer calls at a moment's notice.


Don't become a paramedic if you're at all squeamish. This is not a career for the faint-hearted.

Things You'll Need

  • One year's experience as a qualified ambulance technician
  • Specialised training once appointed as a paramedic
  • Good verbal communication skills
  • Cool head in a crisis
  • Common sense and initiative
  • Physical fitness and ability to lift patients
  • Qualified and able to drive an ambulance
  • Disclosure Scotland
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Maggie Craig is a Scottish writer who published her first book 13 years ago. She now has seven novels and two works of full-length non-fiction to her name, as well as hundreds of articles, which have appeared in Scottish newspapers and magazines and on the Internet.