Early Management of Severe Trauma (EMST)


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Course overview
Schedule and fees

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 concepts and principles of primary and secondary patient assessment
  • establish management priorities in a trauma situation
  • initiate primary and secondary management of unstable patients
  • demonstrate skills used in initial assessment and management


The EMST course covers the following:

  • Initial assessment & management
  • Airway & ventilatory management
  • Shock assessment & management
  • Thoracic trauma
  • Head & neck trauma management
  • Abdominal & pelvic trauma management
  • Practical surgical skills
  • Spinal trauma & spinal cord assessment
  • Musculoskeletal trauma
  • Thermal injuries
  • Trauma in pregnancy and  intimate partner violence
  • Paediatric trauma & geriatric trauma
  • Transport 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 lectures, practical skill stations, case scenarios and discussions. 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 already taught.  It runs over 1.5 days.

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.

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 entire Provider course (PDF 36 KB) and Refresher course (PDF 170 KB) programs.

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, 9th Edition, American College of Surgeons, 2012

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

Course assessment and certification

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.

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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 2017 EMST Course Schedule (PDF 168KB)

Courses with places available

Enrol today in one of the following EMST Provider courses:

 Enrol today in one of the following EMST Refresher courses:

Surgical skills practicum key:

A - Anaesthetised non‐human patient
H - Hybrid simulation using animal tissue and task trainers (no live tissue used)
M - Manikins only

Please note: EMST provider courses are run using three different types of simulation models to teach life-saving surgical skills. If you wish to know which simulation model is used at particular courses please refer to the above schedule.



  • Provider course - $3,260.00 (incl. GST)
  • Refresher course - $2,085.00 (incl. GST)

New Zealand

  • Provider course - $3,715.00 (incl. GST)
  • Refresher course - $2,375.00 (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.

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 Skills courses no longer use a waiting list. Online enrolment is now open 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
  • 2018 course release will be published in September 2017
  • 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.

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.

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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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