This revised Terms of Reference version 3 were adopted in April, 2016, following the vote of the membership.


Canadian Emergency Medical Services Research Network ‐ Réseau Canadien de Recherche en Soins Préhospitalier (CERN‐RCRSP). In this document, the term 'network' is also used to refer to CERN‐RCRSP.


Emergency medical services (EMS) and paramedic practice have experienced significant development over the last few decades. The development of research to support EMS and paramedic practice has been seen as a high priority in Canada, and as a result, the Canadian National EMS Research Agenda study was conducted. The landmark 2013 Canadian National EMS Research Agenda included among its recommendations the creation of opportunities for EMS research, a dissemination strategy and a strengthening of the EMS research network across Canada.
From the implementation meeting of the EMS Research Agenda, a group of interested individuals representing the various stakeholders involved in Canadian prehospital care convened and after a series of meetings formalized a network and steering committee. After the first term the Steering Committee transitioned to an Executive Board.


A Canadian national research network to advance the science of EMS and Paramedicine.


1. Knowledge transfer and exchange of EMS and paramedic research.
2. Collaboration on a national level for EMS and paramedic research.
3. Mentorship.


1. Collaboration.
2. Scholarly freedom and excellence.
3. Leadership.
4. Profession advancement.
5. Innovation.


CERN‐RCRSP will serve as a nexus among EMS and paramedic researchers, and between researchers and users of research evidence. Activities associated with the network will be to enhance knowledge transfer and exchange of EMS and paramedic research, collaborate on a national level for EMS and paramedic research, and promote mentorship. CERN‐RCRSP will not attempt to direct or control the research activities of any specific individual, groups, stakeholders or research programs, nor will it favour or exclude any particular areas of EMS or paramedic research.

Network Structure and Membership

The network will be a nonpartisan, autonomous network that will link members for the purposes of collaboration, mentorship and knowledge translation.
The network will be comprised of a general membership, from which members will be selected to serve on an Executive Board. Sub‐committees of the Executive Board may be formed as appropriate from the general membership under the supervision of the appropriate member of the Executive Board.
The general membership is open to anyone interested in EMS and paramedic research.
Members will renew annually and pay fees as appropriate (outlined in the Finance section).

Executive Board Membership

The CERN‐RCRSP Executive Board consists of the following positions:

General Positions (voting):

  • Co‐Chairs: two Co‐Chairs will share responsibilities for chairing meetings, external communication, and will have the overall responsibility for ensuring the network continues to fulfill and align the vision and goals. While not mandatory, it will be important for the Co‐Chairs to have a diversity of background and experience (e.g., paramedic, physician, etc.) to appropriately reflect the views of the membership.
  • Communications: maintain website, coordinate written and electronic communications including website, social media, email, etc., and oversee the production of the annual report.
  • Treasurer: maintain transparent and up to date financial records, produce annual financial summary and budget projections, and coordinate the application for new funds as they align to the set goals.
  • Physician at large: bring forward the physician perspective.
  • Paramedic at large: bring forward the paramedic perspective

Stakeholder Liaison Positions (voting):

  • Society for Prehospital Educators in Canada (SPEC) liaison: facilitate ongoing two way communication with SPEC.
  • Paramedic Association of Canada (PAC) liaison: facilitate ongoing two way communication with PAC.
  • Paramedic Chiefs of Canada (PCC) liaison: facilitate ongoing two way communication with PCC.
  • Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) liaison: facilitate ongoing two way communication with CAEP.
  • Support Positions (non‐voting):
  • Secretary: provide support as required for creating meeting agendas, taking minutes, general meeting organization, report production, and other support duties as required.
  • Immediate Past Co‐Chair: provide continuity of experience and support for the co‐chairs and to focus on a specific project of their choosing, stays on for one year after the end of term.

Executive Board Appointment/Election

General Positions
Members holding one of these positions serve a term of two years with the opportunity for reelection for one additional term for that position. Members can subsequently run for another position (e.g., a member can serve two terms as Treasurer, and then two terms as Co‐Chair, etc.). One individual cannot hold more than one position on the Executive Board at the same time.
To preserve leadership experience and continuity of effort, renewal of half of the non‐stakeholder liaison positions on the Executive Board occurs each year according to the renewal schedule set at the AGM. Selection of non‐stakeholder liaison Executive Board members will be by simple majority vote of the registered membership. Voting occurs by the most up to date process in use by the Executive Board for general membership votes.
In the event of a resignation prior to the end of term, a special vote will be held to fill the position. Co‐chair positions: co‐chairs also serve a two‐year term, and can serve two consecutive terms. At the end of their term, the co‐chair who is completing their term will remain in a non‐voting support position for one year until the next co‐chair completes their term.

Stakeholder Liaison Positions
Stakeholder liaison members are named by the respective stakeholder organizations and can be changed at the discretion of those organizations. Stakeholder organizations will be encouraged to have their members serve complimentary terms to non‐stakeholder liaison members for continuity of experience and effort.
Support Positions (non‐voting): The term and appointment of the secretary position is at the discretion of the Co‐Chairs in consultation with the Executive Board.
The Executive Board selects an elections officer who is a non‐member of CERN‐RCRSP to oversee the election process and report back to the membership.

Responsibilities and authority of the Executive Board

The CERN‐RCRSP Executive Board has been formed for the express purpose of leading the network, which includes the initial development of the structure and process of the network and its day to day operations. In these capacities it will have the responsibility to take action in the best interest of the general membership as required, and where it deems appropriate seek input from the general membership. The CERN‐RCRSP Executive Board is ultimately accountable to the general membership for its actions and decisions.


The CERN‐RCRSP Executive Board will meet monthly or at the call of the Co‐Chairs as required. The general membership will meet at least once per year at the annual general meeting. Electronic meetings are permissible.

Decision making

Adoption of action by the CERN‐RCRSP Executive Board will be permitted by unanimous consent of Executive Board voting members for cases where there seems to be no opposition in routine business or questions of little importance. In cases where the matter is put to a vote, a simple majority of Executive Board voting members will be sufficient to adopt a motion, unless otherwise specified in the rules of order. Quorum for the Executive Board will be the majority of the fixed voting membership of the Executive Board positions that have been filled.
Adoption of action by the general membership will be by simple majority. Quorum for meetings of the general membership constitutes those present at the meeting.

Record of meetings

The agenda and minutes of all meetings will be made publicly available.
Records will be maintained by the secretariat.

Rules of order

The Executive Board will follow Robert's Rules of Order 11th edition, as appropriate for small boards and committees. The general assembly will follow Robert's Rules of Order 11th edition as appropriate for organized societies.


Administrative Financial Management

CERN‐RCRSP will have an administrative account at an appropriate host institution as outlined in the financial memorandum of understanding, for fees and other revenue generating activities.

Financial Management of Donations to CERN‐RCRSP

The network may seek or receive funds from various organizations over time and pursue non‐profit revenue generation provided those funds are for the advancement of the set identified goals. To maintain the integrity of CERN‐RCRSP, all funds received will be accompanied by a signed declaration stating conflicts of interest.

Financial Reporting

The CERN‐RCRSP Executive Board will provide annual financial reporting as part of an annual report. This report will include all revenues and expenditures in a transparent fashion, including membership and conference fees, funding donated or awarded to CERN‐RCRSP for infrastructure and operations, and in‐kind contributions.

Financial Management of Research and team/infrastructure grants

Principal Investigators will hold research and team/infrastructure grants in accounts within their academic institution and will be accountable for those funds, as normally occurs with typical research funding scenarios.

General Membership Annual Fee

The decision to implement an annual fee will be determined by a vote of the general membership and the result entered here. At such time as an annual fee will be instituted, regulations concerning the payment of fees, late penalties and penalties for non‐payment will be decided.


The CERN‐RCRSP Executive Board will be accountable to the general membership of the network and thereby to the larger EMS and paramedic research community. Activities of the CERN‐RCRSP Executive Board will be summarized by the co‐chairs and reported as required to the general membership.

CERN‐RCRSP will accept financial and in‐kind support (e.g., infrastructure, secretariat, etc); however will retain independent oversight and accountability for its operations.

The CERN‐RCRSP Executive Board will purposefully ensure ongoing communication and collaboration with stakeholder organizations through deliberate inclusion of voting positions on the Executive Board for a liaison to each organization. Stakeholder organizations include the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP), the Paramedic Association of Canada (PAC), the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada (PCC), and the Society for Prehospital Educators in Canada (SPEC).


CERN‐RCRSP, through the Executive Board, will produce an annual report which will be openly available. Specifically this report will be provided to all general members, stakeholder organizations and funders, as well as any partner organizations.


External communication with the CERN‐RCRSP Executive Board will be through the co‐chairs. Stakeholder group liaison members will also maintain two‐way communication with their organizations as needed. Specific aspects of communication may be delegated by the co‐chairs.
Communication within the Executive Board and with the network general membership will be by email and through teleconferences as scheduled.


The terms of reference will be reviewed by the membership annually.