Early Management of Severe Trauma (EMST)


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On this page:

EMST 10th Edition launch
Course overview
Schedule and fees
Further information

EMST 10th Edition launch 

RACS launched the 10th Edition of the Early Management of Severe Trauma (EMST) course in February 2018 across Australia and New Zealand.


Below are the key changes to the EMST program:

  • EMST has been significantly revised, with lectures and didactic teaching removed in favour of interactive discussions and scenario-based teaching
  • Participants have more time at new skill stations and are able to apply their knowledge in a hands-on setting
  • 2018 course fees have been reduced, as fit-for-purpose manikins have replaced the use of live tissue with the cost savings passed on to participants
  • eLearning module including pre-course test and course resources available to course participants upon enrolment


The EMST program offers participants the following benefits:

  • Opportunity to network with your peers and local leaders in trauma
  • High teacher student ratio (1:2), with a volunteer faculty of six to eight doctors who are experts in trauma
  • A mentor system whereby course participants connect with faculty members prior to and throughout the course
  • A program that is highly reflective of Australian and New Zealand clinical practice and standards 
  • Opportunity to be considered a potential instructor (nominated at course by the faculty)
  • The RACS EMST program is recognised internationally for its high quality and provides unique instructor training and support programs to faculty

View the EMST 10th Edition Provider course program

Course overview


EMST is a 2.5 day course that teaches a systematic, concise approach to the care of a trauma patient, providing a safe and reliable method for immediate management of injured patients in the first 1 to 2 hours following injury.  It has been tailored from the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS®) course of the American College of Surgeons.  EMST is considered equivalent to ATLS® internationally. 


 After completing the EMST course, a participant will be able to:

  • demonstrate the concepts and principles of primary and secondary patient assessment
  • establish management priorities in the initial management of a trauma patient
  • initiate primary and secondary management of a simulated trauma patient in a timely manner
  • in a given trauma situation, demonstrate skills that are often required in the initial assessment and treatment of patients with multiple injuries


The EMST course covers the following:

  • Initial assessment and management
  • Airway and ventilatory management
  • Shock 
  • Thoracic trauma
  • Head trauma
  • Abdominal and pelvic trauma 
  • Practical surgical skills
  • Spine and spinal cord trauma
  • Musculoskeletal trauma
  • Thermal injuries
  • Trauma in pregnancy and  intimate partner violence
  • Paediatric trauma & geriatric trauma
  • Transfer to definitive care
  • Role of FAST

Information regarding assessment can be found in the EMST Course Participant Assessment Policy.

Types of courses

There are three different EMST courses available.  

Provider course

The provider course caters for first-time applicants and runs over 2.5 days. The course program includes interactive discussions, practical skill stations and case scenarios. Assessment is continuous throughout each stage of the course and includes pre-course and post-course MCQ tests.  

Refresher course

The refresher course has been developed primarily for those who have completed a provider course within the last five to six years, refreshing and building on the knowledge and skills acquired in the previous course.  It runs over 1.5 days and combines facilitated discussions with interactive case scenarios to create a uniquely interactive, learner-focussed experience.

If it has been longer than six years since you completed your provider course, you may wish to consider completing another provider course instead of a refresher.

 After completing the EMST Refresher course, a participant will be able to:

  • Revise EMST Principles
  • Practice applying EMST principles to patient scenarios
  • Practice key EMST skills
  • Discuss specific topical trauma concepts including FAST, intubation drugs, massive transfusion and trauma teams

ADF provider course

RACS conducts a number of EMST courses in co-operation with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) each year.  This course runs similarly to a standard provider course, and is only available to ADF personnel.

ADF personnel interested in nominating for this course can do so by contacting:

HOCU Training Flight - AMB.HOCUTRGFLT@defence.gov.au

Course program

View the Provider course (PDF 36 KB) and Refresher course (PDF 90 KB) programs.

Please note: Refresher course program will be updated in line with 10th Edition changes in February 2018

Target audience

This course is designed for all doctors who are involved in the early treatment of serious injuries in urban or rural areas, whether or not sophisticated emergency facilities are available:

  • Trainees of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (mandatory)
  • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery trainees (mandatory)
  • Post-graduate year (PGY) 2+ registered medical graduates (e.g. MBBS) working and training across the range of medical disciplines 

Course materials

The EMST course materials include a pre-course multiple choice questionnaire, a comprehensive manual and a PC/tablet/smartphone application. Course participants receive access to these course materials prior to attending an EMST course.

Current manual: ATLS Student Course Manual: Advanced Trauma Life Support, 10th Edition, American College of Surgeons, 2018

RACS does not sell the manual directly.  Copies may be purchased online from the  American College of Surgeons

Course assessment and certification

Participants must attend and engage in each session of the course. Participants will be assessed on both a written multiple choice questionnaire and practical exam (initial assessment). Each component must be completed successfully in order to achieve EMST certification, which is valid for four years.

Course faculty

The EMST course is taught by a multi-disciplinary faculty of over 500 medical practitioners from the disciplines of surgery, emergency medicine, anaesthetics, intensive care and general practice.

Each course is led by a senior clinician (course director) with the support of 6-7 faculty with extensive trauma experience who have completed the EMST Instructor course. Each course is coordinated by 1-2 experienced nurses who have responsibility for course organisation prior to, during and after the course.

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To attend EMST you must be a medical graduate.  Places will only be available to doctors post-graduate year 2+.

You must be eligible at the time of enrolment.

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Schedule and fees

Course schedule

EMST courses are held on various dates and locations across Australia and New Zealand.

2019 EMST Course Schedule (PDF 224KB)

Please note: A full list of available courses will be displayed upon entering the course enrolment site.

Courses running soon with places available



2019 Fees


  • Provider course - $2,990.00 (incl. GST)
  • Refresher course - $2,225.00 (incl. GST)

New Zealand

  • Provider course - $3,375.00 (incl. GST)
  • Refresher course - $2,510.00 (incl. GST)

In Australia, the EMST course is an approved course under the tax system. This exempts surgical Trainees of the College from having 10% GST levied on their course fees. Australian fees for all other EMST course participants are subject to 10% GST.

Courses conducted in New Zealand will be invoiced in NZ dollars, regardless of residential country of applicant.

What is included in the course fee

  • 2.5 day course (Provider) or 1.5 day course (Refresher)
  • Fully catered with morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea
  • Course dinner for faculty and participants
  • All course materials

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Skills courses no longer use a waiting list. Online enrolment is now open for 2019 courses to all  eligible applicants.

Candidates are encouraged to enrol in the course at least six weeks prior to course commencement to ensure adequate preparation. Enrolments close four weeks prior to course commencement.

(Note: evidence of prior attendance required to enrol in a Refresher course, please have document available to upload)

How to enrol

  • Select the Provider or Refresher course button at top of page
  • Log in or create a College account 
  • Have your medical registration number and date of graduation details on hand
  • Full payment is required at the time of enrolment
  • You may nominate up to six reserve places for courses that are already full (please note: six reserve places are across all programs)
  • Join the Skills Training mailing list to be kept up to date with release dates
  • Please note that if the minimum number of enrolments required for this course to run is not met, courses may be cancelled.

Cancellation policy

  • Cancellations of more than 10 weeks prior to course: 95% refund of course fee
  • Cancellations of less than 10 weeks prior to course: 50% refund of course fee
  • Cancellations of less than 6 weeks prior to course: No refund of course fee

This policy also applies should you elect to enrol in an alternative course within this time frame.

Cancelled courses

In the unlikely event that a course is cancelled, RACS will not be held responsible for reimbursing airfare, hotel or other costs incurred by the registrant. A course can be cancelled up to 3 weeks prior to course commencement, whereby candidates are issued a 100% refund.

Withdrawals and transfers

  • To withdraw from your allocated course, please complete the 
  • Unfortunately transfers to alternative courses are not possible. Applicants are required to withdraw from their original course then enrol in another course.
  • Please refer to the cancellation policy for details regarding course refunds.

Advanced access

SET Trainees and International Medical Graduates required to complete skills courses are given priority access four weeks prior to release dates.  All other eligible applicants are then able to enrol for skills courses.

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Further information

Please visit  Frequently Asked Questions for further information.

For information about course governance please visit  EMST Committee.

For information about course policies please visit Skills Training Policies.

Surgical trainees are eligible to compete in the Damian McMahon 2018 trauma research paper competition. For more information, please visit Damian McMahon Prize.

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EMST Program Administrator
Skills Training Department
Division of Education Development and Assessment
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
College of Surgeons' Gardens
250-290 Spring Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002

Telephone: +61 3 9249 1145
Fax: +61 3 9249 1298
Email: emst@surgeons.org

New Zealand

Administration Officer
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
PO Box 7451
Wellington South Wellington 6242
New Zealand

Telephone: +64 4 385 8247
Fax: +64 4 385 8873

Email:  emst.nz@surgeons.org

Advanced Trauma Life Support® (ATLS)®

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