The aims of the BLS provider courses are to enable each candidate to gain competency in both basic life support techniques and the use of an AED. 

BLS courses are appropriate for a wide range of providers. These may include clinical and non-clinical healthcare professionals (particularly those who are less likely to be faced with having to manage a cardiac arrest), general practitioners, dentists, medical students, first aid workers, lifeguards, those with a duty of care for others (such as school teachers and care workers), and community responders, as well as members of the general public.

The ILS course aims to train healthcare providers in the ABCDE approach to the deteriorating patient, Basic Life Support, simple airway management and safe defibrillation (manual and/or AED), enabling them to manage patients in cardiac arrest until the arrival of a resuscitation team and to participate as members of that team.

The ALS course aims to train candidates to highlight the causes of cardiac arrest, identify patients in danger of deterioration and manage cardiac arrest and the immediate peri-arrest problems encountered in and around the first hour or so of the event. The target candidates for this course are doctors, nurses and paramedics working in emergency areas of the hospital or Emergency Medical Systems, and those who attend cardiac arrests on a regular basis or may be expected to lead a cardiac arrest team. It can also be suitable for individuals who are regularly members of resuscitation teams or regularly working in the EMSs. The course is also suitable for senior paramedics and specialist hospital technicians.

EPILS is aimed at training healthcare providers to recognise and manage critically ill children and children in cardiorespiratory arrest whilst awaiting the arrival of a resuscitation team (1 to 5 minutes). EPILS will also train the candidate to participate as members of that team.

The EPALS course is designed for healthcare professionals who are involved in the resuscitation of a child, infant or newborn whether in or out of hospital. The course aims to provide caregivers with the knowledge and skills for the management of the critically ill child during the first hour of illness, and to prevent progression of diseases to cardiac arrest.

The NLS course aims to provide the detailed knowledge and practical instruction in resuscitation of babies at birth. It is designed for all health workers, regardless of their discipline or status, who may be called upon to resuscitate a newborn baby.

Many candidates attending a BLS/AED Provider Course are laypeople, and some subsequently want to become instructors themselves. For this reason, the ERC has developed a one-day BLS/AED Instructor Course. Candidates for this course must be healthcare professionals or laypeople who hold the ERC BLS/AED provider certificate, and have been designated as IP (see below).

This course is for candidates who have attended ALS, EPALS, ILS, EPILS, NLS or ETC (European Trauma Course) provider courses and been recommended as having Instructor Potential (IP) by the course faculty. The course concentrates on teaching technical and non-technical skills, leading team-work, providing feedback, assessing knowledge, skills and attitudes.

The Educator Master Class trains selected Instructor Trainers or Medical Educators in the field of Resuscitation (e.g. resuscitation officers or members in a BLS training centre) to become Educator Candidates.

  • Refresher Seminar (RS)

A Refresher Seminar is a short modular skills training, organised for participants with prior experience in the Seminar topic.

  • Recertification Course (RC)

A recertification course is one of the three ways a provider can re-certify their provider skills.

  • Conversion Course

A Conversion Course is part of the conversion process of instructors who were trained by other organisations. It focuses on the educational aspects of the ERC courses and is instructed by ERC senior Instructor Trainers (ITs) chosen by the International Course Committee (ICC) chair of the relevant course type.



NB: the European Trauma Course (ETC) - albeit supported by the ERC, registered in the ERC CoSy, the ERC being one of the founding fathers of the European Trauma Course Organisation (ETCO) and a member of the ETCO Board and General Assembly - is not an ERC course. The ETC is organised by the ETCO ivzw and may be subject to different rules than the ERC courses. For more information about the ETCO, check www.europeantraumacourse.org