Course Plans: Please indicate which course you are running

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Running a SAFE course
In order to run a SAFE course please complete the below form.
Course Plans:

Please indicate which course you are running
SAFE Obstetrics SAFE Paediatrics SAFE ToT
Course Location:
Course Dates:
Course Lead: E-mail Address:
Number & type of participants:
Number of faculty:
Names of international faculty:
SAFE Course Agreement:

I agree to use the approved SAFE course materials to teach the SAFE course

I will not make any financial gains from participants or trainers and all courses will be free to attend
I understand that this work is licensed under the creative common license and will not make any financial gain from this course material

Signature Date

Please complete this form and send it to Aaliya Ahmed, WFSA Programmes Manager at

How to run a SAFE course
The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland developed the three-day SAFE courses to deliver structured training in anaesthesia for physician and non-physician anaesthetists in low-and middle-income countries (LMIC). The courses have been designed to strengthen links between professional associations in high-income countries and LMICs, and also the links between physician and non-physician anaesthetists. This guide has been written as a result of our experiences of running SAFE courses in partnership with the Uganda Society of Anaesthesia since 2011. Some aspects of the SAFE courses may have to be adapted to suit the local context and resources. It is essential that the partners work closely together at all times.
General points – starting out

  • Establish a link with your partner organisation. There are some important principles to follow, described by the Tropical Health Education Trust (

  • Respond to need, find out what your partner organisation wants to achieve, and find out who else is working there too. In this way you will all make best use of available resources.

  • Work within the existing structures. The best outcomes for patients in many LMIC are achieved through ‘task-sharing’ between physicians and non-physicians, each understanding and advocating for the other. The SAFE courses help to strengthen these links.

  • Make a long term plan – ideally the SAFE courses should be run as part of the national training programme, by in-country trainers who understand the local context and who have completed the ‘Train the Trainers’ programme.

  • Identify the key individuals in the UK and in the host country who will lead the SAFE programme. Maintaining consistent professional links is vital in any strong long-term relationship.

  • Work with your local partners to estimate the target number of anaesthesia providers, the best time to run the courses, and the desired length of the course series. The aim is to hand over key responsibilities to the LMIC partner to reduce reliance on international volunteers.

  • Identify your budget - both for international and in-country costs for the faculty, the participants and the venue/teaching materials. If setting up a new course, the costs of training manikins will need to be included; ideally these should be left with the local partner for future courses.

Planning a course

  • Start planning early

    • Plan at least 4-6 months in advance. It can take time to contact and issue invitations to delegates from health centres and hospitals in rural areas.

    • Recruiting and organising leave for UK and local faculty members can also take time!

    • Find out if there are any UK volunteers who are already in-country who could help on the course.

  • Communicate effectively

    • Use Skype, WhatsApp, text messaging, phone calls. Don’t rely solely on email.

    • Dropbox is a good way to share course material amongst facilitators.

  • Choose your dates carefully - don’t clash with exam times, public holidays, or the wet season! It may be more difficult to take leave during school holidays. On the other hand, university facilities are usually available during the vacations, and could be used as the course venue

  • Work with your local partner to sort out logistics, customs and politics e.g. venue, accommodation, transport etc. We do not advise paying per diems for participants to attend training, but every effort should be made to provide accommodation, meals and the course free of charge to the participants.

  • Choose your course venue

    • A venue outside the capital city will help to cut costs

    • Universities or schools can be ideal venues out of term time

    • Conference hotels. These can vary from extremely expensive to extremely good value. The most effective model we have found in tropical countries is to use individual marquees in hotel grounds as the breakout rooms (but not during rainy season!)

  • Accommodation for the facilitators and the participants

    • Ideally arrange to have the accommodation for facilitators and participants on-site or short walking distance to the course venue so that you can start promptly each day and avoid delays.

  • Confirm all the arrangements come within the available budget for the course.

Preparation closer to the time…

  • Confirm the course dates and the expected number of delegates

    • Make sure you have the appropriate number of faculty (see below under ‘Human resources’ and ‘Course Structure’)

  • Organise charity flights for the international faculty (contact the AAGBI secretariat for advice if organising through the AAGBI)

    • Check visa requirements

    • Make local transport arrangements (from and to airport)

  • Liaise with your local partner to confirm bookings:

    • Course venue and accommodation (for both faculty and delegates)

    • Estimated funds required in-country to pay for venue and accommodation costs

    • Arrange transfer of funds as required for in-country costs

International faculty...

  • Obtain contact details of faculty and emergency contact numbers

    • If arranging a course via the AAGBI, make sure all volunteers have signed an AAGBI SAFE project form and an indemnity form

  • Currency

    • Find out from the local partner what is the best international currency to bring (dollar, sterling, euro); availability of ATMs, use of credit cards

    • Often only possible to obtain local currency in-country – there is often a better exchange rate with large denomination notes, and old notes may not be accepted.

    • Don’t forget prize money if you are going to run an essay competition

  • Health

    • It is the responsibility of the faculty to make sure they have the appropriate immunisations, anti-malarials and insect repellent (country dependent) and own personal medications. Find out if there are mosquito nets available in the accommodation.

  • Faculty are advised to take a head torch, laptop, charger, USB memory sticks, adaptor for country if required

  • Worthwhile to unlock phone and get local sim card on arrival

Preparation of course training materials

  • Purchase manikins 3-4 months in advance. Some companies (e.g. Laerdal) may be able to provide these at lower cost.

  • Print and laminate course materials at least 1-2 months before course (see below under ‘Resources: Things to print’). Contact your local partner to see if it is possible/cheaper to print materials locally as this will help cut costs and reduce baggage requirements

  • Share course materials with faculty via Dropbox 1 month before course

  • Allocate faculty roles 2 weeks before course

  • Prepare equipment for course (see below). 64L plastic storage boxes are useful if bulking materials are being transported

Resources required to run a single SAFE course (32 delegates)

  • Human resource

    • Minimum of 10 faculty members: 2 teachers per breakout room x4 and 2 coordinators to oversee and facilitate the running of the course

    • Other roles to be covered by the same faculty members: 2 for registration, 1 to coordinate pre-post course MCQ, 1 to coordinate pre-post course skills assessment and 4 skill test assessors, 6 faculty members to deliver a lecture each

  • Printed materials:

    • SAFE paediatric and obstetric pocket handbook x50

    • SAFE facilitator manual x10

    • SAFE participant manual x50

    • Registration sheets x4

    • Pre (50) and post (50) course MCQ (total 100 copies)

    • Pre and post skills (10 per skills therefore total 80 copies  40 sheets if printing on reverse sides)

    • Faculty feedback forms (4 per modules per classroom, therefore 40 per classroom  160 copies. Can reduce to 80 sheets if printing on reverse sides)

    • Delegate feedback forms x 50

    • Follow-up case report logbooks x 40

    • Course timetable x50

    • Laminates for delegates (?)

    • Certificates for delegates (print during course)

    • Certificates for faculty (print during course)

  • Materials for the TOT course:

    • TOT programme

    • Certificates for TOTs

  • Teaching equipment:

    • Laminated A4 signs:

      • Room 1, 2, 3, 4

      • 10minutes remaining

      • 5 minutes remaining

      • Times up

    • Bell

    • Projector, AV system, Microphone

    • It is useful for the coordinator (or the local partner) to bring a printer as there is often last minute printing to do

    • 2 rolls of masking tape

    • Paper for essay competition and printing

    • Good quality paper for certificates x60

    • 50 name tags

    • 50 cloth bags (contact AAGBI secretariat)

    • 50 notebooks (for delegates)

    • 100 ball point pen (for delegates and general use)

  • Classroom materials

    • Material for breakout sessions for individual classrooms (refer to excel sheet on Dropbox)

    • 2 rolls of magic whiteboard (2-4 sheets per classroom)

    • 20 non-permanent whiteboard markers of different colours (3-4 per classroom)

    • Material for wiping white board (rags/ tissue etc.- 1 per classroom)

    • 1 table (for teacher) and 10 chairs per classroom

  • Contents of delegate bags

    • SAFE pocket handbook

    • Delegate course manual

    • Delegate feedback form

    • Case report logbook

    • Course timetable

    • Notebook and pen

Course structure

  • Maximum of 8 delegates per group with 2 teachers assigned to the group to maximise learning experience

  • Course structure options:

    • Serial courses i.e. 2 courses running ‘back-to-back’.

    • Parallel courses i.e. 2 courses running concurrently

      • Ideal if high delegate and high faculty number

      • More suitable if coordinator has had experience running the course in that country

  • Aim to run TOT courses early in the course series to start building a pool of local facilitators

    • Run the TOT course separately on the first day so that the TOT delegates themselves can become teachers on the SAFE course

    • Set up a buddy system so that 1 experienced faculty member work alongside 1 TOT qualified delegate per classroom during SAFE course

SAFE course (without TOT)

  • Travel to accommodation/course venue and meet up with local faculty

  • Faculty meeting to discuss following items:

    • How the course will run

    • Role allocation – (see above under ‘Human resource’)

    • Importance of faculty feedback

    • Responsibility of faculty members to prepare equipment for their own classroom for every breakout session

  • Go through Day 1 timetable and how registration and assessments will work

  • Distribute facilitator manuals, whiteboard markers, faculty name badges, skills mark sheets (to relevant people) and feedback folder per classroom

  • Course set up

    • Organise equipment room

    • Prepare delegate bags

    • Set up classrooms (table, chair, whiteboard, wiper, room labels)

  • Check arrangements for accommodation and caterers are on track


  • Registration

    • Use a separate sheet for each classroom to split delegates evenly between them i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4. Ensure both the delegate’s name and room number are on the badge. Each delegate is given a bag at registration.

  • Pre-course assessments

    • All delegates to do MCQ

    • Each delegate only has to do one skill test. All delegates assigned number 1 will do skill test 1, those assigned 2 will do skill test 2 etc.

    • Depending on the number of delegates, it may save time to split the delegates (half to do the MCQ, the other half to do skill test- and switch as they complete the assessments)

  • Timekeeping and feedback

    • Emphasise the importance of time keeping, filling in the delegate feedback forms

    • Ensure strict time keeping throughout course: remind faculty members at 10min and 5min to end of lesson time. Ring bell at end of lesson.

  • Essay competition

    • This is an excellent way for the participants to describe cases they have managed, and f0r the faculty to learn of their experiences. Cash prizes ($50, $30, $20 will encourage entries!)

    • Give out the essay title at the end of the first lecture

    • Limit each story to 2 sides of A4 paper

    • Deadline end of Day 2

  • Facilitators to direct participants to the next classroom (or lecture hall and dining hall) at the end of each module

  • Liaise with caterers regarding timing of breaks, lunch and dinner

Course admin assistant (if available)

  • Help prepare equipment for classrooms if other faculty members not ready

  • Transfer delegates information (including contact e-mail, hospital name and mobile number) onto excel sheet

  • Mark pre-course MCQ and Skills paper (if time permits)

  • Faculty meeting at end of day to discuss feedback from each module (this is VERY IMPORTANT) and to go through timetable of Day 2


  • Delegates to check correct spelling of their names and contact details during registration

  • Go through MCQ answers that are commonly answered incorrectly – this helps to reinforce learning points

  • Remind delegates about filling in feedback form

  • Ensure strict time keeping as Day 1

  • Collect and rank essays to identify the top 3 contenders (as many faculty members should take part in ranking as possible)

  • Faculty meeting end of day


  • Print certificates for delegates and faculty

  • Go through ‘how to fill in logbooks’ with delegates and explain what will happen during follow up

  • Prepare for post course tests

  • Award certificates and prizes for essays

  • Collect registration sheets, essays, pre and post test sheets (MCQ and skills)

  • Organise storage of equipment with DC partner for future courses

  • Mark post-course MCQ and skills test

After SAFE course

  • Write a course report for AAGBI (refer to SAFE website for example)

  • Claim for reimbursement of expenditure during SAFE course

  • Organise for follow-up which is to take place at 3 months post course (refer to SAFE course follow up guide)

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