On Thursday 16th May James Briggs had a great day at the RCUK’s  annual Instructor Day at The Vox Conference Centre in Birmingham…

This was my first time at this event, so I was keen to meet fellow instructors and see what the day involved.

After registering and grabbing a coffee, there was the opportunity to look around the exhibitions to see the latest advances in resuscitation equipment and technology.

It was also a chance to see some familiar faces, and it was good to see some of the GIC candidates that I had taught a few months previously, who had since gone on to successfully complete their ICs and become full instructors.

An engaging morning session

The morning session delivered both interesting and useful presentations from RCUK speakers along with the opportunity to ask questions after each presentation.

Dr Siba Paul’s presentation on inequity in learning outcomes was particularly interesting. His personal experiences of how international medical graduates had been treated on RCUK courses where he’d been one of the faculty, and his own treatment as an instructor by his fellow faculty, was certainly an eye opener.

While the audience showed their appreciation for all the morning presentations, the biggest cheer came when Kevin Mackie announced that the RCUK were considering scrapping the MCQ paper on ALS courses!

As for the structure of future courses the traditional, “Environment, Set, Dialogue, Closure,” format will be replaced with, “Prepare, Open, Facilitate, Close”. The four-stage approach will also be replaced by, “Teach it, Facilitate it, Assess it”.

The morning was nicely rounded off by a short awards ceremony where worthy recipients received recognition for their achievements in the field of resuscitation.

The lengthy lunch break provided a good opportunity for more networking and the chance to renew old acquaintances.

Instructor focus

The afternoon consisted of a series of concurrent workshops/presentations for  ILS/PILS/ALS/EPALS/NLS instructors. Subject matter included acquiring and maintaining resuscitation skills, future guidelines and what makes a good instructor were discussed and facilitated.

The day was rounded off by an interactive resuscitation education roundtable where delegates were afforded the opportunity to ask questions to the RCUK Clinical Leads, Educators and Subcommittee Chairs.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable day, which was varied, interesting and provided the opportunity to meet like-minded people. The highlight for me was bumping into my old mentor Simon who I’d not seen for over 20 years.


Simon hadn’t changed much and I instantly recognised him. Why is this relevant? Well, when I was a fresh-faced Trainee Paramedic 22 years ago, there were several qualified staff at my station who simply could not be bothered to take the time to educate, “80 percenters”, as we were known back then.

Simon, though, was different. He was friendly, patient, knowledgeable, encouraging, supportive and always took the time to explain things to me whenever I needed guidance.

The very qualities that a RCUK instructor should possess.