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Paediatric Advanced Life Support Standards

29 September 2020 - Crystal Smith

Most clinicians are well informed of their own requirements to complete basic life support education annually, but are not always aware of the standards supporting specialised resuscitation education.

In 2014 the Australian Resuscitation Council and the New Zealand Resuscitation Council released the Standards for Resuscitation: Clinical Practice and Education, A Resource for Healthcare. This document aids healthcare professionals and organisations understand what organisational support, equipment and education should be implemented to maintain the highest standards of patient care during a resuscitation event.

This is also supported by Standard 8: Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality of Healthcare which aims to ensure that escalation and response systems are in place to ensure that all patients who acutely deteriorate receive a timely and appropriate response.

In order to achieve these standards, it is essential that medical and nursing staff who work with paediatric patients receive specialised education to manage a paediatric cardiopulmonary arrest. At a minimum, the team leader should have expertise in the resuscitation of newborns, infants and/or children, as determined by the age of their patients. Ideally all members of a resuscitation team working with paediatric patients will have expertise in these specific patient groups. This facilitates greater collaboration between colleagues, who will be able to deliver high quality resuscitation during a stressful situation. 

Further to this, action 8.11 states that hospitals should:

“Establish competence in paediatric advanced life support for responders in services that provide care to children. More clinicians may require training so this level of care can be provided 24 hours a day and when key clinicians are absent.”


If you are interested in enhancing or maintaining your skills in managing paediatric arrests, our nationally accredited Paediatric Advanced Life Support workshops are held regularly throughout the year. These workshops utilise a problem-solving approach and are based upon the current Australian Resuscitation Council guidelines. 


If you are interested in updating your knowledge and confidence in paediatric nursing check out our new online course, Paediatric Assessment of Clinical Emergencies & Deterioration - PACED. It explores childhood emergencies and outlines the physiological differences and pathways to deterioration in children. 


For a full list of events and courses please visit


Australian Resuscitation Council & New Zealand Resuscitation Council, Standards for Resuscitation: Clinical Practice and Education, A Resource for Healthcare, published 3 September 2014. 

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards. Standard 8: Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration Standard, 2nd ed. Sydney: ACSQHC; 2017.

Crystal Smith
Crystal Smith

Crystal Smith is a Senior Education Consultant for Critical Care Education Services (part of the Medcast Group). She has a clinical background in critical care, paediatrics and education.

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