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Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support Guide


Participants on all RACGP pathways to Fellowship must complete BLS training as per the relevant pathway or program policy.

All GPs in training who apply for Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP) must have valid and current certification in BLS and ALS. An ALS course must have been completed within the four years prior to applying for Fellowship. Refer to the relevant Requirements for Fellowship Policy for more information.

An ALS certificate will be accepted as evidence of BLS certification only if the course includes basic life support, including assessment in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

A GP working in anaesthetics or emergency medicine must supply current evidence of training in both BLS and ALS.

If a GP is physically unable to perform BLS, they will need to:

  • provide a medical certificate or declaration stating that they have a disability or medical condition that prevents them from physically being able to perform CPR
  • inform the RACGP in writing about the measures that have been put in place in their medical practice to ensure that the GP is prepared for a situation requiring CPR.

Approved instructors and course centres

BLS and ALS certification must be gained from a course centre that meets the guidelines of the Australian Resuscitation Council and New Zealand Committee on Resuscitation (ANZCOR) and/or the United Kingdom Resuscitation Council (RCUK) to be considered valid.

Instructors who deliver BLS training to GPs must either:

  • hold a valid and current BLS instructor certificate that complies with the ANZCOR guidelines and the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) (unit HLTAID009). BLS courses delivered by instructors who do not hold a current and valid instructor’s certificate will not be accepted.


  • be a Fellow of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) and/or the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) and currently work in an Australian emergency or anaesthetic hospital department.

A BLS course must:

  • be a minimum of one hour and cover basic life support of adults
  • assess CPR competence. Participants must be able to demonstrate CPR on a mannequin on the floor on completion of the course.

An ALS course must include management of adults and not solely children.

Approved BLS and ALS course centres include training delivered by:

  • organisations that are RTOs credentialed to deliver and provide CPR
  • Fellows of ACEM and/or ANZCA who are currently working in an Australian emergency or anaesthetic department
  • hospitals accredited by the Australian Medical Council
  • the organisations listed in the table below.

Australasian College of Emergency Medicine

Australasian College of Paramedicine

Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists

Australian College of Critical Care Nurses

Australian College of Nursing

Australian Defence Force

Australian Red Cross

Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand

College of Emergency Nursing Australasia

Council of Ambulance Authorities

Heart Foundation

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

Royal Life Saving Australia

St John Ambulance Australia

Surf Lifesaving Australia


Advanced life support (ALS)

The provision of effective airway management, ventilation of the lungs and production of a circulation by means of techniques additional to those of BLS. These techniques may include, but are not limited to, advanced airway management, vascular access/drug therapy and defibrillation.

Basic life support (BLS)

The preservation of life by the initial establishment of, and/or maintenance of, airway, breathing, circulation and related emergency care, including use of an automated external defibrillator.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

The technique of chest compressions combined with rescue breathing.

Registered training organisation (RTO)

Refers to an RTO credentialed to deliver BLS training.


Related documents


Version Date of effect Amended by
1 8/12/2022 Education Policy and Guidance Lead
Amendment details
  • This guidance document has been amended to continue to allow online and blended models of CPR courses.