ATLS/CALS Training Requirements Modified and Clarified
At their September 2012 meeting the STAC modified the trauma training requirement for medical providers to offer additional flexibility for recertification of ATLS and CALS. Previously, providers had to have taken an ATLS or CALS course within the last four years. Now providers must re-take their ATLS or CALS training before or during the month in which it expires. Furthermore, the CALS lab component, be it the Trauma Module or Benchmark Lab, must also be taken before or during the month in which it expires. The added flexibility allows providers that are accustomed to taking their training at the same venue at the same time of year to continue to do so without falling out of compliance with trauma system criteria because of variations in the course dates within any given month from year to year.
At the same time, the STAC restated their position that, notwithstanding the above modification, they do not recognize a grace period for the required ATLS/CALS training. This distinguishes trauma system criteria from the American College of Surgeonsí policy of allowing providers to take a one-day ATLS refresher course (rather than the two-day ATLS provider course) within six months of the expiration of the credential.
The System ATLS/CALS training requirement applies to all providers who work in the emergency department at a designated level 3 or 4 trauma center, including physician extenders and those working as a second provider in the presence of another physician who also meets the ATLS/CALS training requirement. Hospitals should be prepared to demonstrate evidence of current ATLS/CALS training to reviewers at their site visit.
View the changes and clarifications to the criteria. (PDF: 11 pages/ 362 KB)
If you have questions or comments about the ATLS or CALS training requirement, contact the designation coordinator.