Nexus | August 2022

News, views, and information for APLS members. 


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The new normal, PAC is back and strategic plans

Dear Members of the APLS Community, 

As many of us are still dealing with the remnants of our COVID-19 pandemic, I recognise that the current waves of Influenza, RSV and Rhinovirus are placing extra pressures on many members of our APLS Community. 

Jason Acworth - Whats New In .00_05_27_14.Still008

In this setting, I am very grateful for the enthusiasm exhibited by so many of our instructors on recent APLS courses. You are probably, like me, keen to get back to some teaching and some sense of normality … or, at least, our “new normal”.

In line with government regulations, we have wound back some of our COVID-19 measures and introduced some new safeguards to keep our courses running. We still offer PPE and have not returned to teaching mouth-to mouth BLS, but we have removed the need for pre-course RATs. We have also allocated extra instructors to each course to prevent the need for last minute course cancellations should instructors fall ill.

The safety of our staff, our instructors, and our learners remains our greatest concern. We will continue to employ risk minimisation strategies and will continue to ask that all instructors and learners are fully vaccinated before coming onto our courses.

Despite another COVID ‘blip’ early this year, we have only had to cancel one APLS course so far in 2022. The ongoing strong demand for our courses means that we will now be focusing on how we can start to grow our course numbers again over the next few years.

APLS 7th Edition Manual – a further delay

Jacquie Schutz and I have been working with other clinicians from around the world to finalise the 7th Edition of our International APLS Manual.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has resulted in further delays and I expect that the updated manual will now be released in the first half of 2023. Our local ANZ version will then follow soon after.

Paediatric Acute Care (PAC) Conference 2022 – PAC in Business

This year we celebrate the 25th anniversary of APLS being established in Australia.

After a two year hiatus, we will again be hosting a PAC Conference this year and have chosen Melbourne as our host venue – back to where it all began in 1997!

We have already secured some great speakers & topics. Registrations will open soon, so please keep these dates free and read on below for more on PAC 2022:

APLS PAC Conference 21-22 October 2022

Pre-PAC Instructor Day 20 October 2022

APLS Annual General Meeting and Strategic Plan

The APLS Board recently met to update our APLS Strategic Plan. It was a very productive day and we hope to send out a summary of the plan in the near future.

Thanks to those who attended our APLS AGM on Friday 17 June. We will now be holding our AGMs regularly in the first half of each year. At the next AGM in early 2023, several of our Board positions will be up for re-election, so I would encourage interested people to consider joining our Board and taking an even more active role in the future of our organisation.

We are always looking for new enthusiastic members to join our APLS committees – Instructor Development Committee (IDC), Course Development Committee (CDC), PLS Committee and International Course Committee. Please contact the APLS Office if you are interested in joining or to find out more.

And finally, I thank you all for your ongoing efforts and your commitment. It feels like we have turned a corner and I look forward to what the year brings.

Please stay safe.

Jason Acworth
President & Board Chair  


Delegate registrations open for PAC 2022

Back after a three year hiatus, we're so happy to announce that bookings are now open for our 25th anniversary conference. 

Join the APLS family at PAC 2022, 20th-22nd October at the Pullman on the Park, Melbourne. 

This Paediatric Acute Care Conference will see us celebrate our silver jubilee with the theme 'PAC in Business'. 

The first day of the conference is designed especially for instructors and directors, with education-focused workshops, strategy discussions and updates on all things APLS. Instructor Day is Thurs 20th Oct, which will take place at APLS HQ and is free of charge to all instructors. 

The conference proper kicks off Fri 21st October at the Pullman on the Park, a beautiful hotel a stone's throw from the MCG, and is open to anyone with an interest in paediatric acute care. 

The program features lots of great content from the world of paediatric resus and beyond, with presentations from international and local experts in the field, workshops and sessions throughout the two days.  

All this, plus social events, presentations for some of APLS' longest serving members and the friendly, collegiate atmosphere PAC is known for. It will be a special celebration for our 25th year, and we'd love to see you there. 

Delegate prices are $350 / $180 for APLS instructors, and $850 / $380 for non-member delegates. 

You can find out more about PAC 2022 and book your delegate spot here

Here's a full conference program to whet your appetite. 

PAC 2022 - A5 program


PAC 2022 banner


Sepsis: systems of care

New to PAC Conferences? Here's a taster from our last conference in 2019. 

How do we improve paediatric sepsis outcomes? Are our systems and standards of care all they could be? 

Luregn Schlapbach, medical lead of the Paediatric Critical Care Research Group at the Child Health Research Centre, introduces the Stopping Sepsis: National Action Plan in this outstanding presentation from PAC 2019. 


2023 courses open in September

Join our mailing list to be the first to hear when 2023 courses launch.  

First, the good news: our 2023 course calendar will launch in early September, and APLS is on track to deliver 78 courses in 2023. 

The calendar currently has 62 APLS and 11 APLS Refresher courses for candidates, plus one ESDC and four GIC courses for instructor development. 

If you would like an email as soon as the calendar goes live, you can join our 2023 priority mailing list here. 


As many of you know, 2022 has been a year of unprecedented demand for APLS course places as we catch up from the pandemic. Most courses have been sold out for months, with waiting lists oversubscribed for the majority of 2022 dates. 

So secondly, we'd like to apologise to any candidates who have struggled to find a spot on a course in 2022.

We understand how frustrating it is not to be able to find an available place, and please be assured we are running our course calendar at the maximum possible capacity whilst juggling instructor availability, equipment and availability of venues. 

The surge in demand was mostly caused by candidates transferring from courses in 2020 and 2021 which were cancelled due to pandemic restrictions. Thankfully, due to some tweaks in how faculties are put together, fantastic work by our admin team and the flexibility of our instructors, we've only had to cancel one course so far in 2022 due to COVID. So the backlog of candidates is easing, and we hope 2023 will be much more straightforward. 

We've also invested in the rollout of our 2 Day Refresher program, which is available via invitation to candidates who have previously completed APLS and are due to renew their 5 year validity. 

Thanks for your patience and we look forward to seeing you on an APLS course in 2023. 


APLS in Fiji

International courses resumed in March with an Australian faculty supporting local instructors in the South Pacific. Chris Webber reports. 

The email, which landed in our inboxes from a newly minted APLS candidate a few weeks after our course in Fiji, read: 

"Good afternoon team, 

Just wish to share feedback from events after APLS. 

A week after our APLS course, I was called in at 2am to assist with a very sick child with septic shock, pneumonia and severe respiratory distress. 

APLS definitely equipped me with the skills and confidence to tube, resuscitate and stabilise this child before safe transfer to PICU. 

Would humbly like to thank our instructors and mentors for conducting APLS and teaching us so well." 


There are many reasons why teaching APLS internationally is so rewarding - the comradeship, the chance to support such talented local colleagues, and of course the food! - but this was a wonderful reminder of the difference our training can make. 

Australian APLS instructors have been supporting our Fijian colleagues since 2007 with APLS and instructor training. The Generic Instructor and APLS courses held in Fiji have always maintained the same standard as in Australia and New Zealand. The APLS and PLS courses generally run autonomously without any need for support from Australia.

After a COVID hiatus, course training in Fiji recommenced. This year, supported by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Global Health Program, an expanded program was held with both the GIC with 11 candidates and  APLS course with 24 candidates. These were facilitated in April 2022. These were  the largest groups ever held in Fiji. Nurses attending the 3-day program are now APLS providers, supporting the PLS program in Fiji which is a new initiative and will undoubtedly be constructive and support the emergency care of sick kids. 

The ongoing collaboration and relationship between Australia and Fiji is productive, cooperative and collaborative, which builds great relationships between our clinical staff.

APLS International would like to thank the following teams: 

Educators from APLS Fiji: Laila Sauduadua, Ranu Anjali, Rigamoto Taito, Kenton Biriboo, Lisepa Tabaka, Shivani Shailin, Oripa Bune, Ashwin Sundar, Savenaca Seduadua. Educators from APLS Australia: Chris Webber, Julie McEniery, Chris O'Brien, Jane Cichero, Jane Stanford. 



Committee vacancies, update your details and thanks to a dedicated instructor

  • As international travel restrictions ease, we’re starting to plan more overseas APLS courses. Perhaps you’re interested in being involved! 

  • To be considered, you need to have at least 5 years’ experience as an APLS instructor and ideally be a GIC instructor or have done the ESDC. Some international teaching experience is helpful. If you’re interested, please complete this international instructor application form and/or contact Mike Starr, Chair, APLS International Committee,

  • There’s also a vacancy on the APLS International Committee. If you’ve been involved in APLS and overseas education and think you may be able to contribute as a member of this committee, feel free to contact Mike Starr via the contact details above. We’ll be asking for a formal EOI soon.

  • All the APLS family would like to send our gratitude and best wishes to Ian Shellshear for his many years of dedication to APLS. Ian has recently stepped back from instructing, and we'll miss him. Thanks for everything Ian!

  • For much of this year we have increased our faculty numbers on courses from 13 to 16. This gives us an extra safety net in case of last minute positive COVID-19 tests or withdrawals, and has helped us to avoid cancelling courses, our worst case scenario. We are aware, however, that this leaves a few spare instructors if all 16 faculty members make it. The IDC/CDC and APLS admin staff will keep monitoring this policy as we go and the COVID-19 situation evolves. 
  • We have recently relaxed our Rapid Antigen Testing policy for course faculties and candidates. A negative RAT test is no longer mandated before commencing the course. We continue to recommend that anyone attending an APLS course takes a RAT before Day 1, and closely monitors themselves for COVID-19 symptoms. 
  • Before you nominate for 2023 courses when the calendar is released in early September, please check that we've still got all your correct details as it makes a difference when planning faculties. Click 'My Profile' in My APLS to make sure we've got your correct job title, place of work and contact info. 

  • You will also notice a new section in 'My Profile' regarding instructor qualities and clinical credibility. The qualities of an APLS instructor will be familiar to most of you: clinical credibility, openness to learning, being a supportive team member, excellent communication skills and enthusiasm for APLS. 
  • Based on guidance from the Instructor Development Committee, we have codified these attributes and are asking all instructors to confirm their clinical credibility via this profile section before nominating for courses in the coming year.
  • So, when updating your profile before nominating for 2023 courses, please tick this box to confirm that your current roles maintain your clinical credibility. For example: 1. Current or recent clinical involvement 2. Active roles in clinical education or clinical simulation. If you're not sure feel free to contact the Instructor Development Committee for guidance.
  • Thankyou for your commitment to APLS education and we look forward to seeing you on a course soon.