Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support Guidance Document

1. Introduction

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

2. Context

It is a requirement for all GPs in Training applying for Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners (FRACGP) to hold a valid qualifications in BLS and ALS courses.

3. Guidance

  1. 1 BLS requirements
    1. All BLS courses must meet Australian and New Zealand Committee on Resuscitation (ANZCOR) or United Kingdom Resuscitation Council (RCUK) 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 cardiopulmonary resuscitation (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 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.
  2. 2 Trainers
    1. Instructors who deliver BLS training to GPs must either:
      1. Hold a current and valid BLS trainer certificate that complies with the policies of the ANZCOR and RTO standard HLTAID009. BLS courses delivered by instructors who do not hold a current valid trainer’s certificate will not be accepted.
  1. 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.
    1. 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 ACEM and/or the ANZCA who are currently working in Australian Emergency/Anaesthetic Departments.
  3. Australian Medical Council (AMC) accredited hospitals.
  1. 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 and New Zealand Committee on Resuscitation (ANZCOR), and/or
    2. 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.

4. Glossaries

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 (ANZCOR)
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.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) The technique of chest compressions combined with rescue breathing (ANZCOR)
Resuscitation 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) (ANZCOR)
RTO Registered Training Organisation credentialed to deliver BLS training

5. References

  1. RACGP Standards for General Practice Training Criterion
  2. Vocational Training Pathway Requirements for Fellowship Policy
  3. GPE Pathway Requirements for Fellowship
  4. PEP – Specialist Stream Partially Comparable Requirements for Fellowship
  5. PEP – Specialist Stream Substantially Comparable Requirements for Fellowship

Version History

Release Notice
Version Date of effect Amendment details Amended by
1 10/12/2020 Updated 3.2.a.i to reflect new RTO standard Policy Advisor, Strategy and Development
Record no.:  
Guidance Document owner: Board
Approved by: Censor-in-Chief Approved on: 08/12/2020
Next Review Due: 1/2022