ACLS – Advanced Cardiac Life Support

Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Course Description


Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) is an advanced, instructor led classroom course that highlights the importance of team management of a cardiac arrest, team dynamics and communication, systems of care and immediate post cardiac arrest care. Specific skills in airway management and related pharmacology are also featured. Skills are taught through discussion and group learning, while testing stations offer case based scenarios using simulators.

Target GroupACLS

ACLS is designed for healthcare professionals who either direct or participate in the management of cardiopulmonary arrest and other cardiovascular emergencies. This includes personnel in emergency response, emergency medicine, intensive care and critical care units.

The prerequisite for ACLS is a current HSF BLS for Healthcare Provider (C) card.

ACLS Course Content

  • Key changes in advanced cardiovascular life support, reflecting the 2010 Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC).
  • Basic life support skills, including effective chest compressions, use of a bag mask device and an automated external defibrillator (AED).
  • Recognition and early management of respiratory and cardiac arrest using a manual defibrillator and equipment commonly found on a crash cart.
  • Recognition and early management of peri-arrest conditions such as symptomatic bradycardia.
  • Airway management.
  • Related pharmacology.
  • Management of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and stroke.
  • Effective communication as a member and leader of a resuscitation team.
  • Effective resuscitation team dynamics.

Skills are taught in large group sessions, as well as in small group, learning and testing stations, where case based scenarios are presented.


  • Successful completion of the HSF BLS for Healthcare Provider (C) provider status dated within 12 months prior to the ACLS provider course.
  • Must be familiar with rhythm interpretation and basic resuscitation pharmacology.

Maintaining Status:

  • Successful completion of a certification or recertification course every 2 years.

Approximate course length: 11 hours.

Approximate course length for renewal course: 5 to 6.5 hours.