Update on resuscitation training requirements and responses during COVID-19, and ACC claim code

Resuscitation training requirements

The Medical emergencies practice standard requires practitioners to complete resuscitation training every two years.

The Council's recent decision to waive recertification programme requirements for 12 months does not change this fundamental requirement.

We understand that many practitioners count resuscitation training as part of their CPD hours. Council wants to make it clear that although the recertification requirements have changed, the requirement for resuscitation training every two years has not.

Retaining resuscitation competence through regular training is important because this clinical skill is not used frequently by many practitioners, and is vital if and when required.  

The Council acknowledges that many resuscitation training courses have been deferred during the COVID-19 pandemic response. If your resuscitation training certificate expires, Council will allow a grace period but expects that you will complete your resuscitation training as soon as a suitable course becomes available.

In the meantime, we recommend you revisit your most recent training material to refresh your memory on the various protocols and algorithms. However, please ensure you complete the practical refresher training as soon as possible.

When you apply for your next annual practising certificate online, you can respond to the resuscitation training question in one of the following ways:

  • confirm that you have a valid resuscitation training certificate, or
  • have enrolled in an upcoming course, or
  • indicate that you have not yet been able to enrol in a course due to unavailability following the COVID-19 pandemic but will do so as soon as a suitable course becomes available.

Please note also that other training or refresher courses required by various practice standards have similarly not been waived. Examples of these include:

  • training to administer sedation or monitor sedated patients
  • infection prevention and control refresher training when required (can be done in-house), and re-familiarising yourself with the ‘practice specific IPC procedures’ of the practice in which you work, at least annually
  • review of medical emergency procedures at least six monthly with role play or ‘staging’ of a medical emergency in the review, to give staff members the opportunity to practise their respective roles.

Resuscitation during the COVID-19 pandemic

We have also received some queries about additional precautions or changes in protocols when performing resuscitation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Australian and New Zealand Committee on Resuscitation statement (3 April 2020) on resuscitation during the COVID-19 pandemic states: 

ANZCOR recognises that this a difficult time for the community and health care providers.

The underlying principles for CPR remain the same.

Any Attempt at Resuscitation is Better than No Attempt.

What has changed with this COVID-19 pandemic is the risk to rescuers.    

Healthcare workers should be provided with appropriate PPE to perform their roles.

Many sudden cardiac arrests occur in the presence of family members, and many will be unrelated to COVID-19.

For lay rescuers who are unable or unwilling to do rescue breathing, compression only CPR is acceptable.

After any attempts at resuscitation, please adhere to current advice about hand washing, cleaning and decontamination. 

The New Zealand Resuscitation Council website has helpful resources for practitioners to determine changes to resuscitation that may be required, and how to best protect yourself if required to perform resuscitation, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Examples of these resources:

The NZ Resuscitation Council is happy for practitioners to approach them with specific resuscitation questions at info@nzrc.org.nz

(published with permission from NZ Resuscitation Council)

ACC claim code: Dental Consultation by Telehealth for COVID-19

Yesterday we advised dentists of the new claim code that ACC approved for dental consultations by telehealth, which will allow dentists to claim $46.59 for telehealth consultations from the start of COVID-19 Alert Level 4 (25 March 2020) until notified by ACC.

There appears to be some uncertainty whether the new ACC dental consultation telehealth claim code applies to all telehealth consultations; it does not. The claim code is only for dental consultations by ACC registered providers who provide telehealth for ACC clients.

Any specific queries related to this claim code can be addressed to ACC.

COVID-19 Level 2 guidelines

We hope to share the final COVID-19 Level 2 guidelines with you soon.

Until then, stay safe!


Andrew Gray & Marie Warner

Chair & Chief Executive