APLS Course Director


For APLS Course Completion Cards to be issued to course participants, the APLS Course must be led by an approved APLS Course Director. The following information outlines the role, qualifications, responsibilities, and procedures for becoming an APLS Course Director.


Please click a link below to learn more.

The Role and Qualifications of the APLS Course Director
Applying for APLS Course Director Status
Maintaining Status as an APLS Course Director
Responsibilities of APLS Course Directors
Application for Course Director


The Role and Qualifications of the APLS Course Director


In order for an APLS Course to be approved by AAP or ACEP, or for APLS Course Completion Cards to be issued to students, the course must be led by a physician who is an approved APLS Course Director. Recruiting a Course Director should be the first priority.

There are experienced APLS Course Directors across the United States and in Canada. Many of them are willing to travel to conduct APLS Courses. To review the current list, click here.

You also have the option of applying for Course Director status-it is very likely that you already qualify-or asking a local physician to apply. The Application for Course Director Status can be found on the Instructor's ToolKit CD-ROM or by clicking here.

APLS Course Directors must meet the following qualifications:
Have board certification in emergency medicine, pediatrics, pediatric emergency medicine, pediatric surgery, or family practice.
Have a practice in which care provided involves treating pediatric patients.
Have participated in two AAP/ACEP APLS Courses and served as a Faculty member in at least one of those courses.
Or
Have participated in one AAP/ACEP APLS Course and have a current AAP/American Heart Association (AHA) Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) instructor card.
Or
Be a residency/fellowship director. In this case, it is recommended that the applicant observe an APLS Course before serving as a Course Director.
Or
Have had an equivalent teaching experience, or be a course director of an equivalent course.
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Applying for APLS Course Director Status


To apply for APLS Course Director Status, follow these steps:

  • Complete the Application for Course Director Status. The Application for Course Director Status can be found on the Instructor's ToolKit CD-ROM or by clicking here.
  • Provide a curriculum vitae that includes APLS (or equivalent) teaching experience, or a copy of your current AAP/AHA PALS instructor card.


Mail the completed application and materials to:

American Academy of Pediatrics
Division of Life Support Programs
141 Northwest Point Blvd.
Elk Grove Village, IL 60009-0927
Fax: 847-228-1350

Application materials will be reviewed on receipt. The APLS Steering Committee may review applications that do not clearly meet the APLS Course Director qualifications. In such cases, an APLS Steering Committee member or staff member may contact the applicant directly with questions about the application materials submitted. Applicants will receive written notification of the decision within 1 month after receipt of complete application materials.

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Maintaining Status as an APLS Course Director

APLS Course Director status is valid for 4 years.


To maintain Course Director status, physicians must be involved in teaching at least two APLS Courses within 4 years.

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Responsibilities of APLS Course Directors


The APLS Course Director is responsible for oversight of all aspects of APLS Course implementation. The Course Director may wish to recruit an APLS Equipment Manager and Support Staff to help with the details of course planning and implementation, but is still ultimately responsible for ensuring that the course meets all AAP/ACEP requirements.


Specific responsibilities include:

  • Establish the Course Schedule: The Course Director will decide whether to conduct the traditional 2-day APLS Course, or the new 1-day APLS Course with prescribed self-study. Then, the Course Director will design the course schedule based on the educational needs of his or her students. The course schedule will include core elements as designated by the APLS Steering Committee, as well as other selections from the APLS curriculum that are left to the Course Director's discretion.
  • Identify and Recruit Faculty Members: The Course Director will select appropriately qualified Faculty members. The APLS Steering Committee strongly recommends that the Faculty include at least one board-certified pediatrician and one board-certified emergency physician.
  • Get the Course Approved: The Course Director will submit the Application for Course Implementation to the AAP for approval. This step is required to ensure that the course meets all of the requirements established by the APLS Steering Committee. The application must be accompanied by a copy of the proposed course schedule, a complete Faculty list, and, if continuing medical education (CME) credits will be offered, verification of sponsorship or joint sponsorship by an organization that is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide CME credit to physicians. The Course Director should submit the application and materials at least 90 days before the course to allow enough time for processing and review. The Application for Course Implementation can be found on the Instructor's ToolKit CD-ROM or by clicking here.
  • Identify and Recruit Support Staff and Equipment Manager: The Course Director will need help with course planning and implementation. For example, Support Staff can help with registration, catering, and other onsite activities. Appointing an Equipment Manager is very helpful; this person can be charged with purchasing or borrowing all of the equipment needed for the course, making sure that it is set up correctly, as well as the break-down and clean-up of all equipment used.
  • Establish Course Fees: The Course Director will determine any fees to be charged for the course.
  • Direct the Course Onsite: The Course Director will make sure that the course runs smoothly. In addition to teaching, the Course Director will be responsible for:
    • Conducting the Faculty meeting before the course begins
    • Checking equipment and room setups
    • Serving as the course spokesperson
    • Keeping the sessions on schedule
    • Arranging coverage for any possible Faculty cancellations
    • Responding to students' questions and concerns
    • Resolving problems related to logistics, Faculty, course content
    • Administering the APLS Course Completion Examination
  • Collect Course Evaluations: Evaluation is an essential component of the APLS Course. The Course Director will make sure that students complete evaluations. Evaluation forms can be found on the Instructor's ToolKit CD-ROM or by clicking here.
  • Grade the APLS Course Completion Examination: If the Course Director opts to administer the examination, he or she may wish to enlist the assistance of Faculty to grade them at the end of the course while students are still present. For students who do not receive a grade of 80% or better, the Course Director may remediate immediately by giving a different examination (two are provided on the Instructor's ToolKit CD-ROM) or by requesting the student return to complete the examination at a later date.
  • Submit Course Roster: The Course Director will complete a course roster at the end of the course and submit it to the AAP. The course roster can be submitted for no extra charge online. For course rosters submitted by mail, a $20 processing fee will be charged and must be submitted with the course roster. The course roster can be found on the Instructor's ToolKit CD-ROM or by visiting the Course Directors Only section.
  • Distribute APLS Course Completion Cards: After the course roster has been reviewed, Course Completion Cards will be sent to the Course Director, and the Course Director will sign individual cards and send them to students who scored 80% or better on the APLS Course Completion Examination.


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