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Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support Guide


Requirements for all pathways to Fellowship

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

Requirements when applying for Fellowship

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 advanced life support (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.

Requirements for continuing professional development (CPD)

Specialist general practitioners (GPs) are required to complete training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), e.g. HLTAID009 once in the triennium (e.g., once within the CPD 2023-25 triennium).

CPR training (e.g. HLTHAID009) must be undertaken by specialist general practitioners (GPs) within the RACGP Continuing Professional Development (CPD) triennium as per the Medical Board of Australia’s high-level continuing professional development (CPD) requirement for GPs. This requirement aligns with criterion GP3.1 of the RACGP Standards for general practices. We will also accept other courses that meet the Australian Resuscitation Council guidelines such as BLS and ALS courses which include CPR.

The Medical Board of Australia has determined CPR courses will only be eligible to contribute to CPD hours under the Educational CPD Activities type.

Special circumstances

An ALS certificate will be accepted as evidence of BLS certification only if the course includes basic life support, including assessment in 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/CPR, 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, and
  • 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 courses, 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.

For CPD requirements, certification may also be accepted from other members of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR).

Instructors who deliver BLS training to GPs must either:

  • 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 registered training organisations* 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 Council,
  • the organisations listed in Appendix 1, or
  • for the CPD requirement only, BLS or CPR courses delivered by RACGP CPD providers.

Appendix 1.

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

*Registered training organisations (RTOs) for the purposes of ALS/BLS certification are not specifically the regional training organisations previously responsible for delivery of the AGPT program prior to 1 February 2023.


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
2 21/12/2023 Education Policy and Guidance Lead
Amendment details
  • Broadening of scope of document to include Continuing Professional Requirements (CPD)
1 08/12/2022 Education Policy and Guidance Lead
Amendment details
  • This guidance document has been amended to continue to allow online and blended models of CPR courses.