Safer Anaesthesia From Education (SAFE)
Safer Anaesthesia From Education (SAFE) is a joint project developed in 2011 by the Association of Anaesthetists and the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA). The training initiative aims to bring anaesthesia providers to a level of practice whereby they can deliver vigilant, competent, and safe anaesthesia.
The underlying principle is to equip anaesthesia providers with the essential knowledge and skills so they can deliver safe care to their patients, even in very low-resource settings, and to create a sustainable training model which can be embedded in the national health system.
The SAFE approach combines UK anaesthetists with local instructors, who are provided with a train the trainers course to become the in-country faculty of the future. SAFE is delivered in small groups using a combination of lectures, low-tech simulation, discussions and role-play.
The SAFE initiative is managed by the Association of Anaesthetists' SAFE Steering Group who oversee the management of SAFE including course materials and updates, translations, funding, monitoring and evaluation, impact and strategy. SAFE courses are also run by Mercy Ships, Smile Train, national societies and by other international teams and organisations.
We are proud that SAFE courses have been run around the world. Read more about where SAFE courses have been run on out SAFE Global Reach page. SAFE course materials are currently available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Khmer.
We welcome applications for grant funding to run SAFE. See the Association of Anaesthetists funding section for details.
SAFE Obstetrics is a three-day training course which addresses the core and extended roles of the anaesthesia provider in managing obstetric cases and emergencies, with clinical scenarios based on the conditions causing 80% of maternal deaths: haemorrhage, sepsis and eclampsia, as well as covering anaesthesia management, complications of anaesthesia and newborn resuscitation.
The SAFE Paediatrics course is a three-day course which aims to provide refresher training in the essentials of paediatric anaesthesia and emphasises the principles of safe care for children, in particular, assessment, vigilance and competence in essential skills. The course includes sessions on anaesthesia for common elective and emergency conditions in children, pain management, fluid resuscitation, newborn and paediatric life support and paediatric trauma management.
A two-day version of the SAFE Paediatrics course has been developed for UK anaesthetists in 2019.
SAFE Paediatrics - Cleft
Launched in 2022, SAFE Paediatrics - Cleft is a two-day course focused on the principles of providing safe anaesthesia to children undergoing cleft lip and palate repair surgery. The course covers the principles of paediatric anaesthesia, cleft surgery and OR safety, as well as sessions on intercurrent illness, associated conditions and syndromes, airway management and anaesthesia for cleft surgery.
SAFE Operating Room
Developed in recognition of the need for multidisciplinary training to support safe surgery, the SAFE OR course is a multidisciplinary two to three-day course launched in 2017 for teams of surgeons, obstetricians, nurses and anaesthesia providers who work together but rarely train together. The course content is based on the WHO Standards for Safe Surgery and includes sessions on leadership, teamwork, communication, decision making and conflict resolution, as well as surgical site infection prevention, the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist, procurement and quality improvement.
The SAFE OR course was developed by the Association of Anaesthetists and WFSA in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Association for Perioperative Practice, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and the Lifebox Foundation.
SAFE Training of Trainers
SAFE Training of Trainers is a one-day course which covers SAFE teaching methodology, to equip new trainers with the skills to teach on SAFE courses.
SAFE Online is our newest development, providing alternative models of SAFE course delivery, including interactive e-learning through our SAFE Online learning management system and interactive online discussions, with fully online and hybrid options of delivery.
SAFE Course Manuals
Facilitators and participants receive a detailed course manual covering all the course material.
View taster versions of the course manuals:
The SAFE facilitator’s manuals are available under Creative Commons License. For quality control and to maintain standards, the course should be delivered as set out in the manual with faculty of the recommended size and level of experience in relation to participant numbers. We ask users not to change the course materials.
Participants on SAFE Obstetrics and Paediatrics courses also receive a copy of the SAFE Handbook.