Acute Critical Events Simulation (ACES) course

Research shows that early and aggressive resuscitation during the first eight hours of a critical illness can dramatically improve patient outcomes. Our Acute Critical Events Simulation (ACES) course provides an approach to the early resuscitation of critically ill patients.

Designed for physicians in Canada and abroad who deal with critically ill patients, the ACES course is suitable for a broad range of specialists and is an accredited Section 1 and 3 learning activity as defined by the Royal College’s Maintenance of Certification Program. The course can be customized to meet specialty or subspecialty needs and adapted further to the level of the learner. It is recommended that all participants have certification in current advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) before taking this course.

What you’ll learn 

The ACES course will introduce you to the concepts of crisis resource management (CRM) and to approach strategies and practical skills required in early resuscitation.

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the principles of effective crisis management (leadership, communication, situational awareness, problem-solving and resource utilization).
  • Perform an initial assessment of a critically ill patient and initiate effective lifesaving management strategies.
  • Establish management priorities and develop a treatment strategy in a patient with conflicting medical problems.
  • Use basic manoeuvres and intubation skills pertinent to definitive airway management.
  • Manage a patient in respiratory failure. This includes understanding the principles of mechanical ventilation (both invasive and non-invasive), being able to set up and adjust the ventilator, and knowing how to troubleshoot common problems.
  • Assess, diagnose and manage a patient in shock. Management principles include the use of fluid therapy and vasoactive medications.

Course format

The ACES course is divided into four half-day modules over two days. The first three modules are: airway, breathing and circulation. The final module consolidates what has been learned into a high-fidelity simulation case study. A certified instructor is provided for each module.

More modules can be added to tailor the course to different participants. For example, transfusions and antibiotics modules can be added for Critical Care Fellows of the Royal College.

The participant-instructor ratio does not exceed 8:1, so participants benefit from considerable personal attention. The high-fidelity simulation module has a 4:1 participant-instructor ratio.


The ACES course meets the accreditation criteria of the Royal College of Family Physicians of Canada and has been accredited for eight MainPro-M1 credits and eight MainPro-C credits.

This course contains elements of both accredited group learning (Section 1) and an accredited simulation activity (Section 3) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and approved by the University of Ottawa’s Office of Continuing Professional Development in August 2017. You may claim a maximum of 4.0 hours for Section 3 activities (credits are automatically calculated). You may claim a maximum of 12.0 hours for group learning activities.

MOC Section 1 credits are calculated at one credit per hour of learning; Section 3 credits are three per hour of learning. MainPro-M1 credits are calculated at one credit per hour of learning.

Contact us
For general information, including information about fees, instructors, and how to register for a course, please contact our education coordinator:
Practice, Performance and Innovation Unit (PPI)
c/o Education Coordinator
Telephone: 613-730-6275; toll-free 1-800-668-3740 ext. 275

Visit MAINPORT to record your learning and outcomes