American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

COVID-19: Trauma Education Resources

Gaining access to American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (ACS COT) Trauma Education courses and resources has been challenging in the wake of the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and that lack of access to courses has a reverberating affect on programs and hospitals. This page contains the latest information about Advanced Trauma Life Support® (ATLS®) Provider and Faculty status extensions, information for new providers who require a current ATLS card but cannot locate a course, and guidelines for resuming and/or modifying courses. In addition, we have provided links to a variety of Trauma Education resources for health care providers.

ATLS Status Extensions

2020 Extensions

Early in the pandemic, the ATLS program made the following extensions:

  • Providers and Faculty expiring between 7/1/2019 and 12/31/2019 (and in their grace periods at the onset of the pandemic): Extended to 12/31/2020. Providers and Faculty expiring in 2020: Extended by one calendar year from their original expiration date.

If you are an ATLS-verified provider/faculty who falls into one of the categories above, you were automatically extended and a copy of your updated card is available from your local Site Coordinator or from the ACS ATLS office. ATLS Verified Faculty can log into the Faculty Portal to retrieve a digital copy of their card. Instructions for accessing the Faculty Portal.

2021 Extensions

The following extensions take effect January 1, 2021

  • Providers expiring between 12/31/2020 and 12/31/2021 are eligible for a one-year extension upon completion of a mandatory Content Review.
  • Faculty whose status now expires between 12/31/2020 and 12/31/2021 will receive an additional, automatic extension of one year. Updated Faculty Cards will be available through the Faculty Portal late January 2021.

If you have been fortunate enough to register for an upcoming ATLS course and can reasonably, safely attend, we strongly encourage you to keep your registration. Even as course volume begins to increase, ATLS course availability will be limited due to the large backlog of Providers who need to renew. Participation in a course will extend your status for another four years; the Content Review only offers a one-year extension in the event you cannot locate or safely attend an available course.

Content Review

The Content Review consists of 14 scenario-based questions. Providers will answer the question, and immediately receive feedback on whether the answer they chose was correct. There will be a discussion to read that further explains the concepts presented. Providers will have unlimited attempts to achieve a 100 percent score on the Content Review.

This requirement is to ensure ACS supports continued education and training during this pandemic, while access to ATLS courses may be limited. It also allows us to emphasize the changes made to the program in the 10th Edition.

Providers will be automatically enrolled into the Review course in the month prior to their expiration date. An email will be sent by the ACS ATLS office with further instructions.

ATLS Requirement for Employment, Residency, or Board Examinations

Letter to To Hospital Administrators and Residency Directors.

For providers who have not yet taken ATLS but require it for employment, residency, or Board examinations, we continue to recommend a staged approach to training for these providers. They should attempt to register for an ATLS Hybrid Course in their area, which will provide immediate access to the mATLS online modules. To receive final ATLS verification status, providers must complete the in-person component of the course within eight (8) months of the online component. Please contact the ATLS office for assistance locating a suitable course or for alternative solutions.

Guidelines for Resuming Trauma Education Courses

Best Practices for Holding Live or Semi-Virtual Trauma Education Courses

Guidelines for the ATLS Instructor Course

Education Resources

COVID-19 Trauma Education Resources Course
To develop an equitable solution for all ATLS Partners and health care professionals, we have made education materials available free of charge. To access the course modules, you will be asked to either log in with your current credentials or create a new account. The course includes:

  • Initial Assessment module from the mATLS Hybrid Course
  • ATLS 10th Edition Course Videos
  • ATLS 9th Edition Student Manual – PDF
  • ASSET 1st Edition Student Manual – PDF
  • ASSET Course Videos

These education resources are free of charge and do not take the place of formal training or provide any CME credit.

mATLS Modules
The mATLS modules are now available for purchase and CME credit. Included with purchase: Electronic version of the ATLS Student Manual. Completion of the online modules does not require or offer enrollment in a live ATLS course, does not provide official ATLS verification status or credentials, and cannot be used by students for credit in a current or future ATLS course.