Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about resuscitation or training? We might have answered it already.

Whether you're a resuscitation instructor, course participant or member of the public, we might have answered your question already under one of these headings: 

Alternatively send us your question.

Sales and queries 

How do I make a purchase?

Customers purchasing resources for courses and training can place their order through the Resources page of our website. Course providers are encouraged to contact us. Account holders must use a Purchase Order reference. See our full Terms and Conditions.

Can you help with my query?

Yes. If you have searched our website and our Guidelines do not answer your question, then email your query to us using the Web form below.

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Is CORE Advanced the same as ACLS?

CORE Advanced has those elements required of an ACLS course but is the New Zealand Resuscitation Council's course. CORE is the standard of resuscitation training recognised by many of New Zealand's medical colleges and required by most District Health Boards. To find out which level might be right for you, see our Rescuer Framework.

Do you recognise other courses for the purpose of cross-crediting?

The New Zealand Resuscitation Council and Australian Resuscitation Council recognise the certification provided from the courses of each council as equivalent for the purposes of professional/workplace credentialing. While there are some differences, these differences are minor and have no impact on the quality or outcomes of resuscitation in practice.

No provision for recognising other resuscitation courses exist at this time. Determining qualification equivalence is frequently a professional concern, and individuals and organisations can use our Rescuer Framework to help assess equivalence with CORE.

Are Trainee Interns allowed to do CORE Advanced?

It is within the Medical Council's Policy for New Zealand and Australian Graduates that Trainee Interns in their first postgraduate year hold an Advanced Cardiac Life Support certificate that is less than 12 months old and commensurate to the skills and knowledge of CORE Advanced.

For how long is the NZRC Certificate of Resuscitation and Emergency Care valid?

The New Zealand Resuscitation Council recognises certificates for one year upon successful completion of CORE assessments, although employers and Continuing Medical Education accreditation bodies may recognise CORE certification for longer. Due to fall-off in skill retention, the New Zealand Resuscitation Council would not support any recognition period of more than three years.

What is CORE Skills?

CORE Skills enables a learner to complete parts of a CORE course without being assessed on knowledge or skills. The learner receives a Confirmation of Attendance. The Confirmation of Attendance is not equivalent to a CORE certificate.

Who sets training requirements?

The New Zealand Resuscitation Council does not have a mandate to set training requirements. Training requirements are set by colleges, professional bodies and employers. Our training programmes are frequently used by such bodies to set professional standards but this is not mandated by us.

Our Rescuer Framework suggest resuscitation training provided by us which might be suitable for different rescuers.

Does holding a valid CORE certificate deem me competent to practice?

No. Successful completion of certification does not qualify the student to perform, or indicate that the student is competent to perfrom, the skills of resuscitation in the clincial setting. The application of certifcation to indicate clincial competence must be decided solely by the clincial institution within which the student practices.

Moreover, the material taught as part of CORE may not corespond exactly to that which the student is permitted to pratice in his or her own clincial isntitution. The final clincial application of these skills is solely at the discretion of the clinical institution concerned.

I've lost my certificate and need another. What should I do?

Your Course Director should be able to provide this. Please contact them in the first instance. If your Course Director is unable to provide you with a replacement certificate then we can do this for a fee.

Is CORE recognised in Australia?

Yes. The New Zealand Resuscitation Council and Australian Resuscitation Council recognise the certification provided from each council's course as equivalent for the purposes of professional or workplace credentialing. Although each council's courses teach slightly different material to reflect differences in national resuscitation guidelines, the differences are minor and have no impact on the qulaity or outcomes of resuscitation in practice.

How do I become a CORE Instructor?

You first need to check that you meet the pre-requisites for nomination as a CORE Instructor. If you have been nominated as an instructor candidate, please see the Pathway to CORE Instructor Status.

How do I become a First Aid Instructor?

We do not set the requirements for First Aid and do not offer First Aid training. However, we do have a service for NZQA accredited Emergency Care instructors who wish to demonstrate that they teach First Aid unit standards following our resuscitation guidelines. For more, see Emergency Care Instructor Level 2.

Why is trauma management included in CORE?

For most resuscitation councils internationally, the focus of training and education is regarding the management of cardiac arrest (for example with ALS, BLS and ACLS courses), while training related to the management of severe trauma is left largely to other bodies.

In New Zealand, the rate of trauma related morbidity and mortality is very high – especially road trauma related. For this reason the NZRC continues to include introductory education related to the early management of severe trauma in the CORE programme. For those exposed more regularly to the management of severe trauma, the depth of knowledge and breadth of skills required will significantly exceed that covered in this manual and in the CORE programme. Attendance of trauma related courses - such as EMST or ATLS - is recommended.

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Clinical queries 

What do you suggest for administering amiodarone in the event of cardiac arrest?

In the case of cardiac arrest, standard guidelines for giving IV amiodarone, diluted, may not be feasible. A practical approach in the case of cardiac arrest is to administer a 300mg bolus, undiluted, as a push followed by a large flush. See Guideline 11.5 (Guidelines).

Is it acceptable to administer adrenaline (IM) in cases of cardiac arrest where there is no IV access?

Currently the evidence that supports using vasopressors during cardiac arrest management is not strong. The key to a successful outcome from cardiac arrest is quality CPR, early defibrillation, and a systems approach to overall management. While early administration of (IM) adrenaline into a large muscle is the mainstay of anaphylaxis treatment, it is not recommended during cardiac arrest management.

Is it okay not to do rescue breathing?

Current guidelines promote rescue breathing as routine in resuscitation events, and the New Zealand Resuscitation Council advocates the use of rescue breathing. Rescuers should be trained to provide rescue breathing as part of the DRS ABCD whereby the ratio of compressions to rescue breaths is 30:2. Rescue breathing is particularly important in drownings. See Guideline 5 (Guidelines).

If a rescuer cannot perform chest thrusts or back blows to clear the choking patient's airway, is it okay to perform abdominal thrust as long as the person seeks medical attention afterwards?

We don't recommend the use of abdominal thrusts for treating choking. Wherever possible, we encourage the rescuer to attempt back blows and chest thrusts in preference to abdominal thrusts, as abdominal thrusts have the potential to lead to life-threatening complications. Medical attention should always be sought after an event involving Foreign Body Airway Obstruction where there remains concern that foreign material is still in the airway or injury has occurred. See Guideline 4 (Guidelines).

Are there any age groups in which an AED should not be used, or is less beneficial than CPR alone, to improve outcomes for victims of cardiac arrest?

Where an adult or child is unresponsive and not breathing normally, an automatic external defibrillator (AED) should be used to assess whether a shock can be delivered. In most situations, a shock may be the victim’s only chance of survival following cardiac arrest.

For children between 1 and 8 years of age, use child electrodes if these are available. For children under 1 year of age, there is no scientific data to support the use or non-use of AEDs in children under 1 year of age. Find out more about AEDs in Guideline 7 (see Guidelines).

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Social, cultural and legal concerns 

Can the decision to resuscitate me be left to family or friends?

It is important that you and your next of kin’s wishes are taken into account as much as possible but, in some clinical situations resuscitation is not in the patient’s best interest. In these situations, the decision to continue resuscitation is usually made by a health professional.

The legal means whereby New Zealanders can have others make decisions regarding their welfare is through Enduring Power of Attorney (EOP). There are criteria for EOP to be initiated and limitations on the type of decisions that the person appointed to act with EOP can make. For instance, the person with EOP cannot refuse consent to standard or life-saving medical treatment for the patient.

Are family allowed to be present during in-hospital resuscitations?

In New Zealand hospitals, family are usually allowed to be present. Our recommendation is that family members of adults and children undergoing cardiac or trauma resuscitation should be given the option to be present – ideally with a hospital-assigned support person – and that each hospital should have a Family Presence policy and staff education.

Legal, cultural, religious and other concerns should be factored into the decision as to whether family might be present during in-hospital resuscitation efforts. You can find out more in Guideline 10.5 (see Guidelines).

Does the New Zealand Resuscitation Council have any guidelines and resources on Maori cultural and spiritual beliefs around CPR?

We don’t have anything particular to Maori. Our guidelines are generally about how scientific evidence on resuscitation can be applied to the New Zealand environment, and do not apply a particular cultural lens.

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Send us your question! 

If none of these are the questions or answers that you're looking for, then submit your question below. Your question may help others, too.

By sending us your question you acknowledge that your query may be published to our website. We will protect your confidentiality and references to specific situations will be generalised.

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