Basic Life Support (BLS)

Course Overview
Target Audience
Course Objectives

The Basic Life Support course teaches a comprehensive suite of non-invasive, non-pharmacological interventions and algorithms to assess and manage a patient in extremis where advanced life support is not available, or not yet present.

Faculty: Emergency Medicine
Course Name: Basic Life Support
Course Code:  BLS
8 Hours
Mode: Face-to-face or Hybrid
Level: BLS

Prerequisites: We recommend participants be at least 16 years of age to participate in this course. Younger participants may be considered upon application. There are no hard and fast pre-requisites for this course, however the prior completion of a lay-person CPR course, or having a college level knowledge of anatomy & physiology will be highly advantageous.

Packaging: The course is delivered over one (1) full-time day. A hybrid course may be delivered in 5 hours in combination with the pre-work available in the learning management system.

Instructional Strategies:
This course combines lecture-based instruction with practical application. Instructional strategies include pre-reading, lectures, discussions, demonstrations, practical application, simulation, and presentations.

Effort Breakdown: 3 lecture hours, 3 practical hours, 2 assessment hours

Certification: Upon successful completion of the course, participants receive an internationally recognised certification from Austere & Emergency Medicine International in Basic Life Support (BLS), valid for three years*. Re-certification can be achieved by attending a refresher course.

*In some markets due to regulations the certification is valid for two years only.


  1. Introduction to BLS
  2. The Emergency Response Plan
  3. Medicolegal Considerations
  4. Patient Assessment
  5. Infection Prevention & PPE
  6. Haemorrhage Control
  7. Assessing Responsiveness using the AVPU scale
  8. BLS Equipment
  9. Oxygen Administration
  10. Positive Pressure Ventilaton
  11. Airway Adjuncts
  12. The Chain of Survival
  13. The BLS Algorithm
  14. High Performance CPR
  15. Safe and Effective use of AEDs
  16. Choking Management
  17. Special Cases in Resuscitation
  18. The Secondary Assessment
  19. Preventable & Reversible Causes of Cardiopulmonary Arrest

The Course Outline may change as determined by the curriculum committee from time to time.

The Basic Life Support (BLS) course is tailored for a diverse range of individuals, primarily focusing on allied healthcare providers and medical professionals. This includes:

  1. Medical Professionals: Doctors, nurses, paramedics, and other healthcare professionals seeking to refresh or enhance their skills in basic life support.

  2. Allied Healthcare Providers: Professionals working in allied health fields, such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, and respiratory therapists, who benefit from comprehensive BLS training.

  3. Sports Coaches: Coaches involved in various sports, where the knowledge of basic life support is crucial for immediate response to emergencies during athletic activities.

  4. Personal Trainers: Fitness trainers and instructors who work closely with individuals in physical training environments, ensuring they have the skills to respond promptly to health emergencies.

  5. Educational Background: Individuals with pre-university biology knowledge or college-level anatomy and physiology understanding, facilitating a deeper comprehension of the life support principles taught in the course.

  6. Open to Others on a Case-by-Case Basis: The course is also open to individuals from diverse backgrounds who may not fall directly into the aforementioned categories. Acceptance will be considered on a case-by-case basis, ensuring that participants are well-suited for the content covered.

This BLS course is designed to equip participants with essential life-saving skills, focusing on high-quality CPR, AED usage, and immediate response to common medical emergencies. The inclusive approach welcomes a variety of professionals and individuals with a keen interest in acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary for effective basic life support.

On successful completion of the course, participants should be able to:

  1. Introduction to BLS: Develop a comprehensive understanding of the principles and key components of Basic Life Support (BLS), setting the foundation for advanced life-saving techniques.

  2. The Emergency Response Plan: Master the skills required to formulate and implement an effective emergency response plan, ensuring a systematic approach to managing medical emergencies.

  3. Medicolegal Considerations: Explore advanced concepts of legal considerations in the context of BLS interventions, incorporating ethical practices and compliance with regulations.

  4. Patient Assessment: Acquire advanced skills in patient assessment, focusing on systematic evaluation to identify life-threatening conditions and prioritize interventions.

  5. Infection Prevention & PPE: Demonstrate proficiency in infection prevention and the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during BLS procedures to ensure the safety of both rescuer and patient.

  6. Haemorrhage Control: Master advanced techniques for controlling hemorrhage, incorporating a variety of methods to address different types of bleeding in emergency situations.

  7. Assessing Responsiveness using the AVPU scale: Develop advanced proficiency in assessing patient responsiveness using the AVPU scale, ensuring accurate and timely evaluation in dynamic emergency scenarios.

  8. BLS Equipment: Demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills in the use of BLS equipment, including automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and other essential tools.

  9. Airway Adjuncts: Develop proficiency in the use of basic airway adjuncts, including the use of nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal airways during BLS interventions.

  10. Oxygen Administration: Acquire advanced skills in administering oxygen therapy, understanding the indications and techniques for optimal delivery in various medical emergencies.

  11. Positive Pressure Ventilation: Master the safe and effective application of positive pressure ventilation techniques, ensuring adequate oxygenation in patients requiring respiratory support.

  12. The Chain of Survival: Understand and apply the principles of the Chain of Survival, emphasizing the critical steps for improving outcomes in cardiac arrest situations.

  13. The BLS Algorithm: Demonstrate advanced knowledge of the BLS algorithm, incorporating a systematic approach to resuscitation that enhances decision-making and intervention effectiveness.

  14. High-Performance CPR: Master the techniques of high-performance CPR, focusing on quality compressions, minimal interruptions, and optimal ventilation for improved patient outcomes.

  15. Safe and Effective use of AEDs: Develop advanced skills in the safe and effective use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), incorporating timely defibrillation into the BLS algorithm.

  16. Choking Management: Acquire advanced proficiency in managing choking emergencies, employing both abdominal thrusts and alternative methods based on patient needs.

  17. Special Cases in Resuscitation: Gain advanced knowledge and skills for resuscitating special patient populations, including infants, children, and pregnant individuals, adapting interventions accordingly.

  18. The Secondary Assessment: Master the techniques of secondary patient assessment, focusing on a more detailed evaluation of medical conditions and identification of associated factors.

  19. Preventable & Reversible Causes of Cardiopulmonary Arrest: Explore advanced concepts related to the identification and management of preventable and reversible causes of cardiopulmonary arrest, emphasizing proactive measures in BLS interventions.


  1. Attendance Requirement: 100% attendance is mandatory to pass the course. Reasonable adjustments will be made where practicable.

  2. Physical Fitness Requirement: A certain level of fitness and strength is necessary to fulfill the duties of a first responder in emergency situations. Failure based on physical criteria is not discriminatory but practical for the role's demands.

  3. Written Exam: The written exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. A pass mark of 80% is required to successfully complete the written component.

  4. Practical Assessments: Formative and summative practical assessments are conducted throughout the course. Summative assessments include simulations and mini-codes. Competent performance of all skills is essential to pass.

  5. Exam and Class Outcome: It is possible to pass the written exam and fail the class if practical competency is not achieved. Conversely, it is possible to fail the written exam and pass the class if exceptional practical performance is demonstrated, and adequate knowledge of the curriculum can be demonstrated through other assessment activities.

  6. Re-exam Opportunity: If a participant fails the written exam, a verbal re-exam will be provided to offer an opportunity to showcase their knowledge.

  7. Special Accommodations: Participants with language difficulties or divergent learning needs can request a verbal or alternative style of exam. Reasonable accommodations will be made to facilitate a fair assessment process.

Note: The assessment criteria aim to ensure a comprehensive evaluation of both theoretical and practical competencies, promoting a well-rounded and capable BLS Provider.

Preview Video

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