If you were a candidate for the Key Feature Problem and Applied Knowledge Test on Friday and Saturday, October 9 to 10, Click here for updates
Important information for RCE candidates on the day of the exam. Read more

Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support Guidance Document


This guidance document details RACGP’s requirements for basic life support (BLS) courses and advanced life support (ALS) courses. 


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/drug therapy and defibrillation (ARC)



Australian Resuscitation Council


Basic Life Support (BLS)

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


Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

The technique of chest compressions combined with rescue breathing (ARC)



A medical practitioner who is enrolled in the Vocational Training Pathway


Registered Training Organisation credentialed to deliver BLS training



 3.1 Basic Life Support (BLS) Requirements

  1. All BLS courses must meet Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) guidelines in order to be recognised by the RACGP.
  2. Participants of all RACGP pathways to Fellowship are required to complete BLS courses as outlined in the relevant pathway or program policies.
  3. BLS courses must be a minimum of one hour and must cover basic life support of adults.
  4. BLS courses are required to assess CPR competence. Participants must be able to demonstrate CPR on a mannequin on the floor upon completion of the course.
  5. GPs working in anaesthetics or emergency medicine must supply current evidence of training in both BLS and Advanced Life Support (ALS).
  6. GPs who cannot physically perform BLS will need to:
    1. Provide a medical certificate or declaration stating that the GP has a disability or medical condition that prevents the GP from physically being able to perform CPR
    2. Inform the RACGP in writing about measures undertaken within the GPs medical practice to ensure that the GP is prepared for a situation requiring CPR.

3.2 Trainers

3.2.1 Instructors who deliver BLS training to GPs must either:

  • Hold a current and valid BLS trainer certificate that complies with the policies of the ARC and RTO standard HLTAID001. BLS courses delivered by instructors who do not hold a current valid trainer’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) currently working in Australian Emergency/Anaesthetic Departments.

3.2.2 Approved courses include training delivered by:

  1. The following organisations:

Australasian College of Emergency Medicine

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

Paramedics Australasia

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

Royal Life Saving Society Australia

St John Ambulance Australia

Surf Lifesaving Australia

  1. Organisations that are Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) credentialed to deliver and provide CPR.
  2. Fellows of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) and/or the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) who are currently working in Australian Emergency/Anaesthetic Departments.

3.3 Advanced life support (ALS) Requirements

  1. Participants of some pathways are required to complete an ALS course within the four years prior to applying for Fellowship. Please see the relevant Requirements for Fellowship Policy for more information.
  2. Demonstration of current ALS skills requires evidence of successful completion of an ALS course that meets the guidelines and protocols of:
    1. The Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC); and/or
    2. The New Zealand Resuscitation Council (NZRC); and/or
    3. The United Kingdom Resuscitation Council (RCUK).
  3. There must be an assessment of competency using observation of clinical performance in simulated scenarios
  4. ALS certificates will be accepted as evidence of BLS only if the course includes basic life support including assessment in CPR.
  5. Acceptable ALS courses must include management of adults, and must not be paediatric only.


RACGP Standards for General Practice Training Criterion

Vocational Training Pathway Requirements for Fellowship Policy