Is Virtual BLS training suitable for my practice at this time?

Basic Life Support (BLS), AED, Anaphylaxis and Oxygen training during COVID-19


Is Virtual BLS training suitable for my practice at this time?

The BLS Virtual training should not be confused with online training. Online training is a computer package that is usually not intuitive and cannot answer questions from delegates or respond to groups or individual delegates needs. Virtual training, is live, instructor led, interactive training session. Our Virtual training is up-to-date with Resuscitation Council UK statements, PPE requirements, Paediatric resuscitation during COVID19, Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs) the role of NERVTAG and how to keep yourself safe during BLS during the COVID19 pandemic. To be eligible for certification on our Virtual BLS delegates need to attend the entire session and complete and pass the post course multi-choice assessment, which checks for and reinforces understanding.

Our Virtual and face to face BLS courses have been updated to refect the Resuscitation Council UK 2021 Guidelines.

Our BLS courses, whether delivered face to face or Virtually cover BLS, AED, COVID-19 statements, PPE, Choking, Recovery Position, Adult and Paediatric and recognising and reacting to the deteriorating patient. Additionally modules for Anaphylaxis or Emergency Administration of Oxygen can be added, dependent on local need.

To ensure delegates are present for the entire session we insist that all delegates must have a working microphone and camera on their devices and that they must be present and remain visible on camera for the entire session.


The course meets all the requirements for delivering effective, compliant, and safe training for those who require an update. This training allows us to provide up-to-date information and ensure understanding and to refresh and enhance core skills that are already known by the delegate.


What is the Care Quality Commission (CQC) guidance on BLS training?

The CQC state “All GP practices must be equipped to deal with a medical emergency. All staff should be suitably trained. Online training may be considered acceptable especially given the constraints of the pandemic. They must understand their responsibilities in the event of an emergency. This includes the location of equipment, medicines and how to get help.”


Link for Source: Nigel's surgery 1: Resuscitation in GP surgeries | Care Quality Commission (


What is the Resuscitation Council UK (RCUK) guidance on BLS training?

The Resuscitation Council state “For all staff, various methods to acquire, maintain and assess resuscitation skills and knowledge can be used for updates (e.g. life support courses, manikin/simulation training, mock-drills, ‘rolling refreshers’, e-learning, video-based training/self-instruction). The choice should be determined locally. For example, training materials such as Lifesaver developed by Resuscitation Council UK, or very brief videos aimed at lay people may be appropriate for non-clinical staff. Hands-on training using simulation and including assessment is recommended for clinical staff.”

Link for source: Quality Standards: Primary care | Resuscitation Council UK


Many Local Medical Committee’s (LMCs) and Practice managers have determined that our Virtual BLS training is suitable as an update for clinical staff within GP surgeries.


What is the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) guidance on BLS training?

The RCGP are using live Virtual webinar based training sessions themselves to keep General Practitioners (GPs) up-to-date with BLS. The first such session organised by them on 13 November 2020, was delivered by Dr Michael Mulholland Vice Chair RCGP, Dr Jonathan Leach, NHS England Associate Medical Director and Hon Secretary RCGP,  Dr Andrew Lockey Vice President Resuscitation Council UK, Mrs Sue Hampshire Director of Clinical & Service Development Resuscitation Council UK and Dr Sophie Skellett, Lead Consultant for Paediatric Intensive Care at Great Ormond Street Hospital and Chair of the European Paediatric Advance Life Support committee of the Resuscitation Council UK. At the start of this session Dr Michael Mulholland who is responsible for Professional Development and Standards at the RCUK clearly states ……“Our webinar tonight has been reviewed by CQC who are prepare to approve this webinar as a BLS update for those already trained during this period of the COVID pandemic.”

A recording of this session is still avaible for reference online at

The content of Sirius Business Services Ltd Virtual BLS training which we started to deliver in May 2020 is constantly under review and is very similar to the content the RCGP have used in their sessions and their session last approximately the same time as our session.


Is Virtual BLS training suitable for new to post staff?

This will depend on whether they have any practical experience of BLS or First Aid training previously, in particular previous experience of undertaking Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on a training manikin. If they have not, we would not recommend Virtual training (without a practical element) for them.


Can we have BLS training with manikins?

The Resuscitation Council recommends the use of manikins for clinical staff, however this recommendation is not mandatory. Instead, we use context appropriate videos, up-to-date information and reference to appropriate material from the RCUK and NERVTAG etc. We also use a multi-choice post course assessment in place of this recommendation. This reduces risk at this time where our instructors could become “super spreaders” of COVID19 by delivering multiple group sessions in many practices across an arear each week, therefore potentially putting NHS services at risk.


For new staff that have no previous practical CPR training we can arrange to provide Virtual one-to-one practical instruction and assessment. We do this by arranging to courier a CPR manikin to the practice. Our instructor will then link up Virtually with the delegate and provide instruction and  demonstration, the delegate can then practice CPR technique whilst being observed by the instructor and corrective instruction given if necessary. We recommend this practical element should be undertaken in advance of attending the practice Virtual BLS session.

Face to face or in-house session can still be run, an individual Risk Assesment is required to ensure that suitable control measures are in place to reduce "so far as is reasonably practicable" the risk from, and spread of COVID-19. In practical terms this means a suitably sized space to allow a level of social distancing, adequate ventilation (windows or doors allowing fresh air in), pre testing of staff and isntructors, good hygiene before and during the session. The space available may significantly limit numbers.

Please contact us on to discuss your requirements.

Most importantly it is up to individual practice to decide locally what is appropriate and meets the needs of the practice and their delegates.



Gary Hepburn

Managing Director, Sirius Business Services Ltd

July 2021



About Gary Hepburn

Gary Hepburn is Managing Director of Sirius Business Services Ltd who are approved suppliers of the Practice Index and offer, Basic Life Support, AED and Anaphylaxis, Fire Safety and Health & Safety consultancy and training to GP Practices, Dental Practices and Private Hospitals. Visit their page on The Practice Index. Gary is happy to discuss any issues, or concerns Practice Managers may have with existing providers, or to give advice on how the standard of training can be checked, email him at or Telephone 01305 769969