Conference 2020 FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions about annual NCEMSF conferences that might be helpful to others:

Q: I don't see a way to register for the conference.  Where can I find the link to registration?

A: You must log into the NCEMSF site to register for the conference.  Once you log in, you will see a "Conference Registration" link under the Conference menu item.  If you have previously attended an NCEMSF conference, you already have an account.  If you forgot your account password, you can have it sent to you.  If you are new to NCEMSF, just create a new personal account and then log in to the site.

Q: Our school is going to pay for our conference registration. How can we register as a group and pay together?

A: While each conference attendee must individually register for the conference, it is still possible to pay as a group. You have two choices:

1. At the end of the conference registration process, each attendee can indicate that they are mailing payment. Then you can total everybody's individual registration fees and send us a single check or a purchase order for the total amount. Please make certain to indicate the names and registration numbers of each attendee on the check or purchase order so that the payment may be appropriately credited. Keep in mind there is a 14-day window between when a person registers and when they will be automatically cancelled if we have not received payment.

2. Log in to the Web site as your group's NCEMSF institutional user and purchase registration tokens (via credit card, check, money order, or purchase order). This allows an organization to pre-pay for a set number of attendees without specifying who will be attending. Once we receive payment for the tokens, you will be supplied with a limited-use token code that you'll give to each of your attendees to use when registering. As they register for the conference, they will enter that code, which will debit your account and set their individual balance to $0.

Please refer to the Fees and Policies page as well as the online registration utility for further details.

Q: Does every member of our organization who is wishing to attend have to become an NCEMSF personal member prior to registering for the conference?

A: Every member of your organization who wishes to attend the conference must register on the NCEMSF Web site prior to registering for the conference. Whether they pay personal membership dues as part of their NCEMSF Web site registration is up to the individual. There is a conference pricing differential for members vs. non-members. All conference attendees will become NCEMSF members for the remainder of the academic year as a result of conference attendance. See the Membership section of the Web site for further details.

Q: Must you be a certified (or licensed) EMS provider to attend the NCEMSF conference?

A: No. We welcome anybody with a relationship to collegiate EMS.  You do not have to be a first responder, EMT, or paramedic to attend, though much of our educational content is geared towards EMS providers.  We do offer administrative content that would be suited for collegiate EMS groupies without a strong EMS background.

Q: Can I earn continuing education credits (con-ed, CME, etc.) by attending the NCEMSF conference?

A: Yes. Following the conference, you will be able to logon to the NCEMSF website, claim credit for sessions attended, and print out your personalized conference con-ed report. That report may then be submitted along with any other necessary identifiers (address, certification number, date of birth, etc.) to NREMT or your state's EMS regulatory agency for credit by endorsement. Some states may require a copy of the conference program or other information as well. Because the membership of NCEMSF comes from across North America, it is exceedingly difficult and cost prohibitive to set up a system where credit can be directly transmitted to the states and automatically issued for attending a lecture; however, we provide assistance in obtaining credit by certifying attendance and providing supporting documentation that most EMS regulatory agencies accept.

Q: One delegate from our group can't make it. Can we swap out a different person in their place?

A: Yes. If they don't already have an account from attending a previous NCEMSF conference or being a personal member of NCEMSF, please have the second person register for an account on the NCEMSF Web site. After registering for an account, the person should register for the Annual Conference.  When prompted for payment type, they should select "Mail in Payment" or something similar.  Once the person is registered for the conference, please send an e-mail to confinfo@ncemsf.org asking for the swap.  Please provide the names of both the person who won't be attending and the person who will be attending instead.  It would make the attendee's check-in experience much more enjoyable if the swap is performed PRIOR to arriving at the conference.

Q: Can I change from an offline payment method (check, money order, or institutional purchase order) to PayPal?

A: Yes. Check and institutional purchase order payments must be received within 14 days of registration, or the registration will be cancelled. If you wish to change from an offline payment method to PayPal, please perform the following steps:

  1. View your Conference Invoices.
  2. Look for the unpaid invoice (with an Order Status of "created").
  3. Next to the order status of "created," look for an "Actions" drop-down.
  4. Select "Pay Now" from the drop-down.
    Example unpaid invoice
  5. On the following page, pick "PayPal" from the Payment Method list, then click the "Next" button.
    Example change of payment method
  6. You will be redirected to PayPal to finish payment.

If your offline payment order was not paid within fourteen days of creation, it will have been automatically cancelled and the Conference Invoices page will list the order as "cancelled" instead of "created." Please see the following question for how to proceed in that case.

Q: I didn't pay within the 14-day window and I received an e-mail telling me I was cancelled. What do I do now?

A: If your existing registration shows as "Cancelled," you may re-register without issue. If your existing registration is still unpaid but not yet cancelled, the system will not let you register again. Instead, please follow the directions above to pay the order. 

Q: I sent my check or purchase order prior to the deadline, but I received an email saying my order was cancelled. What do I do?

A: The cancellation emails are sent automatically by our system, but our staff will use the actual receipt date of your check or purchase order in determining whether payment was received on time. If your Purchase Order or check was sent by the deadline, our staff can reinstate your order and set it to paid, even after the 14-day deadline. If you are concerned about meeting the deadline and are paying by Purchase Order, you may also send a scanned copy to confinfo@ncemsf.org to meet the deadline, so long as the scanned copy has all required signatures and you also mail the original to our mailing address. 

Q: How can I see how many unspent tokens my organization has?

A: You must log into the NCEMSF site as the organization. Once logged in, you should see an item under the Conference menu item for "Token Administration." Click on that link and you will see your history of token purchases and their usage.

Q: I am having issues paying with PayPal. Why might this be?

A: There are several potential causes for PayPal issues. Please see below for some suggestions.

  • University-imposed limits on the card: While a college/university purchasing card can be used at places that accept credit cards (including PayPal), it is not exactly the same as a credit card. Your institution may have limits on the card. These can include a daily spending limit, a per-vendor daily limit, a limit on the number of transactions per day, as well as restrictions on specific vendors (like PayPal). If your card is rejected, you should contact your school's department that issues the cards (often the purchasing department or controller's office). They can help you identify the cause of the declined payment, and potentially adjust the card limits to let your register or provide information on alternate methods of payment. If purchasing tokens, you can also try breaking your token purchase into several smaller purchases. Please note that each smaller order will have its own token code, so keep track of how many students register with each code so as to avoid a registration being rejected because the token code has reached its maximum number of uses. Also, be aware that some Universities specifically prohibit splitting purchasing card transactions to get around a spending limit, so work with your school's purchasing department to find out what will work. 
  • Card not associated with a PayPal account: In an effort to prevent fraud, PayPal may not allow you to pay with a credit card and not log in. To fix this, create a PayPal account associated with the purchasing card, and verify the account prior to trying to make the token purchase. Be sure to associate the account with a squad email address (not your personal email) so that other members of your group can access it (see next issue).
  • Card is associated with another PayPal account: PayPal may prevent one card from being used with multiple accounts. If a PayPal account was previously created by someone from your institution and associated with the card you are trying to use, you will need to log into the existing account first. You may need to contact past officers to find that information.
  • Card is associated with a cancelled PayPal account: If a past officer created a PayPal account for the credit card you're trying to use, PayPal may not let you use the card without logging in, even if the original account was cancelled. Creating a new account and verifying the card may fix the issue, or you may need to work with your institution's purchasing department to get a new card issued. 

Q: Why is my PayPal order still marked as "created" on the order status page, or why did PayPal send me an email saying my order could take several days to complete?

A: PayPal normally uses an Instant Transfer for funds, meaning that NCEMSF receives notification of payment almost immediately upon completion of the PayPal checkout process. However, PayPal will only offer the Instant Transfer method if the PayPal account is linked with a credit or debit card. If your PayPal account is only linked to a bank account, then PayPal will send funds via eCheck. This is an electronic payment which requires that PayPal contact your bank and request a transfer that is then routed to NCEMSF via PayPal. This process takes several days, and PayPal's system will only notify us that payment is complete once your bank confirms the funds are sent (this is to prevent fraud). Once NCEMSF is notified by PayPal that the funds were received, your order status will be automatically updated and processed by our system. This process normally takes three to six business days, and for eCheck orders placed near a registration deadline, NCEMSF will honor the price of items at the time of purchase, meaning you will not be charged a higher rate even if the funds arrive after a registration deadline has passed. However, our Policies state that all orders must be paid in full by the start of the Conference, so if ordering in the week before the Conference starts, please ensure that your PayPal account has a credit card as a backup funding source to avoid funds being sent as an eCheck. Further details can be found on PayPal's site by using the Help link and searching for "eCheck."

If your PayPal account has a credit card linked to it, you will not be shown the eCheck option during PayPal checkout and all funds will be sent via Instant Transfer. In this case, if your PayPal order is delayed or not showing as confirmed/shipped on our site, please forward your PayPal confirmation email to confinfo@ncemsf.org and we will follow up to ensure the order is properly processed. 

Q: What is an "Institutional Purchase Order"?

A: A purchase order is an agreement from your college/university to a vendor (like NCEMSF) to pay for certain goods or services in a specified period of time. The purchase order process typically proceeds as follows:

  1. You tell your purchasing department or other appropriate university department that you wish to purchase a certain quantity of registration tokens from NCEMSF at a specified price.
  2. The purchasing department issues a purchase order.
  3. You purchase the tokens, selecting "Purchase Order" as the payment type. Enter the PO Number in the appropriate field.
  4. You send the purchase order to NCEMSF, via mail, email, or fax.
  5. Upon receipt of the purchase order document, we approve the order and the tokens are issued.
  6. NCEMSF sends an invoice to your school's purchasing department for the total amount of the order.
  7. You coordinate with your school's purchasing department to confirm that the goods you requested (tokens) were received, and the purchasing department pays NCEMSF.

This method allows NCEMSF to work with your school's purchasing department, saving you from having to deal with checks or credit cards. And it gives the purchasing department assurances that the money was spent on the requested goods and that the goods were received prior to them releasing funds. Please note that the purchase order process may take time to set up, and you may need to work with NCEMSF and your purchasing department to set NCEMSF up as an approved vendor, so please allow time if you chose to pay via purchase order (the time needed depends on your institution). If your purchasing department requires NCEMSF's W-9 or other tax documentation, it can be found here. All purchase orders sent to NCEMSF must be complete in order to be accepted (including all necessary signatures). If you send us your purchase order via email or fax in order to meet the 14-day deadline, please also mail us a hard copy (which does not need to arrive prior to the 14-day deadline, so long as we did receive the electronic copy within the allowed time). 

Q: How do I pay with a token code?

A: Token codes are entered during registration checkout. To register with a token code:

  1. Log in to the NCEMSF website.
  2. In the Conference menu, select Individual Registration.
  3. Select "Add to Cart" on the registration option for the current registration period (you should only have one choice).
  4. On the checkout page, enter your name and address, if necessary.
  5. After entering your name and address (if applicable), look below the menu bar, but above the cart contents and payment options, for a box for your token code. Enter the token code in that box, then click the "Add" button to the right of the box. Please see below for an example of what this looks like.
  6. The cart will refresh, and if your token code is valid, the cart will show a zero balance and you will no longer be given a choice of payment options.
  7. To submit the registration, click the "Finish" button at the bottom right of the screen.
  8. You will receive an email from us letting you know your order was created, and then within a minute you should receive a second email confirming your registration. The registration confirmation email will contain a registration number starting with "DT-".

Image of Registration screen showing area to enter Token Code

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