Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS)

Key Facts

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Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS)

This highly interactive course, combines lectures, discussions, interactive tutorials, skills teaching and simulated patient management scenarios (moulage). Participants complete a pre-course MCQ and are assessed throughout the course. The programme provides systematic and concise training for the early care of trauma patients. Recommended during first or second year of specialist training. ST1-2. This course was developed and quality assured by The Royal College of Surgeons of England, for delivery within the UK. Please note our priority is to provide training for NHS doctors working in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  We are no longer accepting participants from outside of the UK.


Recommended during first or second year of specialist training. FY2, CT1-2 (ST1-2) and SAS Grades. FY1 are not eligible to attend this course.

Relevant Grades: FY2, CT1, CT2, ST1, ST2, SAS

Course Format

ATLS is a highly interactive course, taught using a variety of practical techniques including simulated patient scenarios, unfolding scenario stations and group discussion

You will receive continual feedback and assessment throughout the course.

Before the course, you will be required to complete the pre-course online learning consisting of an Overview chapter, ATLS student course manual, 13 modules and quizzes, pre and post module MCQs and it takes approximately 1-2 hrs to complete each module (this could take you 26+ hours). Full completion of the pre-course learning is a mandatory requirement to attend the course. Delegates who have not completed the eLearning in full by 7am on the day before the course will not be allowed to participate in the course and will forfeit their course fee. Course participants are also required to read the ATLS course manual in full to prepare for the assessments on the course. 

Course participants will receive access to pre-course learning resources on the RCS VLE via a notification with log in details six weeks before the course.

Course Objectives

This program provides systemic and concise training for the early care of trauma patients. The ATLS program provides participants with a safe, reliable method for immediate management of the injured patient and the basic knowledge necessary to:

  • Assess the patient’s condition rapidly and accurately;
  • Resuscitate and stabilize the patient according to priority;
  • Determine if the patient’s needs exceed a facility’s capacity;
  • Arrange appropriately for the patient’s inter-hospital transfer (who, what, when, and how);
  • Assure that optimum care is provided and that the level of care does not deteriorate at any point during the evaluation, resuscitation, or transfer process.

Learning Outcomes

After attending this course, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate the concepts and principles of the primary and secondary patient assessments.
  • Establish management priorities in a trauma situation
  • Initiate primary and secondary management necessary for the emergency management of acute life threatening conditions in a timely manner
  • In a given simulation, demonstrate the skills related to ABCD which are often required during initial assessment and treatment of patients with multiple injuries


£800.00 Course Fee

£720.00 Course Fee for RCSEd Members

£720.00 Course Fee for RCSEd Affiliate Members

Course Directors

Mr Paul Leonard, Emergency Medicine Consultant

Mr Graham Dall, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Simon Bolton, Consultant Anaesthesia

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I contact the Education Section?

The Education Section is open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.  If you wish to contact a member of the team please see contact details below:

Education mailbox:

Phone number:  0131 527 1600

Will I receive CPD?

All RCSEd educational activity is awarded CPD hours. Please see individual course for specific award.

Will I receive a Certificate?

Yes, RCSEd Certificates of Attendance are awarded for all educational courses and are handed out at the end of the course (however, please note that where an event has a PASS or FAIL this will be posted to you after the event). 

What is RCSEd’s course cancellation policy?
  1. What happens if RCSEd cancels a course I am booked on?
  2. On occasion, RCSEd may need to cancel a course, for example if we are affected by an event out with our control or if it is not financially viable for us to deliver the course. If we do need to cancel, we will let you know as soon as possible and provide you with a full refund of course fees paid.

RCSEd shall incur no further liability (eg. travel or accommodation costs). You may wish to consider taking out appropriate travel insurance for any non-refundable costs you may incur when arranging to attend the course.

  1. What happens if I need to cancel my place on a course I am booked?
  2. If you cancel your place more than four weeks before the event date, you will incur an administration fee of 10% (or £50, whichever is greater) of the total course fee. NB: For course fees £250 and under, the cancellation fee is £30)

If you cancel your place less than four weeks before the course date, once the course has started, or you do not notify us, the total course fee will be charged, and no refund will be given.

Please also note that you cannot transfer your place on a Course to someone else.  This is because many of our courses have a waiting list, and we have an obligation to honour this.

  1. Can I cancel a course booking online?
  2. NO, cancellations must be made directly with the education team by email (
  3. Can I transfer to another date for the same course?
  4. YES, you can transfer to another date by contacting the Education section directly ( Please note that you can transfer only once and transfers can only be made if more than 4 weeks prior to the start of the course, without incurring additional costs.  Should you cancel again, no refund shall be given.

Should you have any further questions, the Education Team can be contacted on 0131 527 1600 or by email to

How do I book a place on an RCSEd course?

You can book a place for all our courses by visiting the RCSEd website, and selecting the course you wish to book.  Please note that you will need to register with the website in order to book.

For some regional and international courses you will need to book directly with the centre.  Please check individual courses for details.

You can also contact the Education Section by phone to book (0131 527 1600).

What payment methods do RCSEd accept?

Visa and MasterCard are accepted on the RCSEd website and over the phone to the education team.

All course bookings will receive a booking confirmation email:  this email acts as your receipt.

Request an Invoice:  If your course fees will be paid by a third party (eg trust, hospital, charitable fund) and they wish to be invoiced then they must provide us with an official purchase order.  We are unable to process applications without this.

The purchase order should be submitted with the application form and can be emailed to  Please note that we can only invoice organisations and not individuals.  Please check with your hospital or trust, as some may require you to pay yourself and then claim the money back.

Do I receive a discount if I am a Member of RCSEd?

A 10% discount is applied to all educational courses and events organised directly through RCSEd, for Members, Fellows, Associates and Affiliates.

Are you able to help me with my VISA application?

YES, RCSEd can provide you with a Visa support letter confirming the course details and fees paid by you.  This is only possible once you have booked your place on a course and RCSEd have received the full course fee.

If a course is fully booked what can I do? Is there a waiting list?

If a course appears full and you wish to be placed on a waiting list then please contact the education team directly by email or phone 0131 527 1600.

Do you provide lunch or refreshments?

YES, for all educational courses, refreshments are served throughout the day and lunch is provided if the duration is one day or more.

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Get in touch

If you have any questions about this course, please contact us and a member of our Education team will be happy to help you.

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
Education Section

Phone: +44 (0)131 527 1600
Fax: +44 (0)131 557 6406