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Advanced Life Support Courses & The NHS

  • November 13, 2019

An effective Resuscitation Service is an operational priority and obligation within every single NHS hospital, with employers expected ensure that their staff receive training and regular updates. They also have a responsibility to provide equipment, managerial support and continual reappraisals of expected standards and results.

In order to achieve this, NHS hospitals will each have a set of standards for resuscitation training in both basic and advanced life support.

The general guidelines are stated below:

  • To ensure patients receive safe, current and evidenced-based, effective resuscitation, when appropriate.
  • To provide staff with guidance on the resuscitation courses that are most appropriate to them depending on their clinical role
  • To implement and develop prevention strategies to reduce the number of preventable cardiac arrests
  • To reduce cardiac arrest morbidity and mortality through education
  • To ensure relevant staff are updated and adequately supported to deal with resuscitation situations
  • To ensure relevant staff are updated and adequately supported to deal with resuscitation situations
  • Reduce clinical risk

Your Training

Each NHS hospital will have to adhere to an Annual Training Schedule.

Courses offered by each hospital should include:

  • Basic Life Support – Adult (BLS)
  • Paediatric Basic Life Support – (PBLS)
  • Adult BLS Cascade Training
  • Paediatric BLS Cascade Training
  • Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Training
  • AED Cascade Training
  • Recognition and Treatment of Anaphylaxis
  • Recognition of the Sick Patient for Health Care Support Workers
  • Paediatric Emergency Ward-Based Scenarios
  • Ward-based sick patient and mock-arrest scenarios (Adult)
  • Immediate Life Support (ILS)
  • Advanced Life Support (ALS)
  • Advanced Life Support Recert
  • Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS)
  • Advanced Trauma Life Support
  • Paediatric Life Support (PLS)
  • Acute Life-Threatening Events – Recognition and Treatment (ALERT)
  • Ill Medical Patients
  • Acute Care and Treatment (IMPACT)
  • Neonatal Life Support

Which international life support courses are accepted by the NHS?

Advanced life support courses look fantastic on your CV, however, since the NHS has no information or control over the standards of the courses conducted outside of the EU – there are only a few international courses that are recognised as equivalents to UK life support courses.

Does the NHS recognise the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) qualifications?

The European Resuscitation Council courses are recognised and accepted as equivocal by the RC (UK).

Does the NHS recognise the Australian Resuscitation Council qualifications?

The NHS only recognises the Australian Resuscitation Council Advanced Life Support and Immediate Life courses as equivalent.

Does the NHS recognise the American Heart Association (AHA) qualifications?

Unfortunately, the NHS does not accept any courses from the American Heart Association as they are not able to examine the information or standards for these courses.

What happens when I join my NHS Trust?

Once you start working for your NHS hospital, they will arrange the relevant course for you. Most hospitals will offer a study budget of £400 which can be used to purchase the course.

You are advised to complete your course within the first six months of joining.

How long is my certificate valid for?

Most certificates are valid for one year, however, there are some exceptions. Check the expiry date when you receive it.

The Resuscitation Council (UK) states that you have one year from the expiry date of your certificate within which to recertify your qualification.

Relocation to the UK

If you are an international doctor who has decided that the UK is for you, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to the UK today.

Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 35 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS!


Resuscitation Training. (2019). 19th ed. [ebook] Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. Available at: [Accessed 6 Nov. 2019]. (2019). FAQs for Candidates. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Nov. 2019].


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