Originally developed in 1999 by Professor Gary Smith and colleagues at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, ALERT® is a multi-professional course to train staff in recognising patient deterioration and act appropriately in treating the acutely unwell.

ALERT® HQ is based at Portsmouth Hospitals University Trust and has developed a suite of courses which you can find below. 

For the latest information about our courses see our dedicated news page. 









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ALERT® is a multi professional course created from Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust to teach clinical staff a structured and prioritised approach to the assessment and management of the acutely ill patient.

First started in the year 2000, ALERT® is a national and internationally recognised course and has taught to date over 200,000 people in clinical practice across all areas and specialities of healthcare. It is updated every four years to reflect best evidence-based practice and continues to be a committed course to enhancing confidence and ability for clinical staff across all sectors.

The ALERT® Course has been active for over 20 years and continues to be one of the most sought-after courses for multi professional clinical staff to attend in the management and recognition of patient deterioration.  Its longevity is proven in its requirement for continuation of career development and recognised by deanery’s, acute trusts and professional bodies (GMC).

ALERT® is endorsed by the Florence Nightingale Foundation, Civility Saves Lives, Intensive Care Society and The UK Sepsis Trust.  

ALERT® is taught over one day with a blended learning approach which consists of lecture-based interactive presentations in the morning and practical scenarios in the afternoon.  Topics featured include; EWS, escalation, ALERT® system of assessment, airway, management of the blue and breathless patient, the management of the hypertensive and oliguric patient, sepsis, communication and human factors.

The role play of clinical patient-based scenarios in the afternoon during which the candidates are encouraged to reflect on their actions and to consider “what would I do next?”.

ALERT® is suitable for any clinical staff whose role requires them to recognise, respond and manage an acutely ill person. Written to suit both primary and secondary healthcare settings, the ALERT® course will provide you with the skills and confidence to safely and competently recognise and manage an acutely deteriorating person.

All nursing and midwifery professionals are suitable to attend, junior medical staff, and all allied health care professional groups. This list is not exhaustive and does not exclude other suitable candidates as determined by the ALERT® course facilitator.

ALERT® is designed to be taught to all multi professionals and educate them together, as this is how we work as a team to provide the best possible patient care.

To run an ALERT® course, a course facilitator is required to manage and run the course. This person must have either completed an ALERT® Train the Trainer course or be a resuscitation council (UK) ALS/ILS/GIC instructor or an experienced clinician with a recognised teaching qualification such as PGCE/CertEd/BSc/MSc.

Faculty to teach on the course must be credible educators with clinical experience ideally in acute areas and experience delivering lectures and running scenarios.

Professionals include; critical care outreach teams, experienced healthcare professionals with teaching experience, practice educators, ALERT® Train the trainer candidates, resuscitation officers.

For you to run ALERT® courses you would need to purchase from ALERT® HQ a LA (Licence Agreement) which is a legal contract between your organisation and ALERT® HQ. This LA is licensed and valid for 12 months and at the end of this time we will contact you if you wish to continue for another year.

A LA cost per annum for ALERT® is £600 and this licence entitles you access to the whole suite of courses. You can purchase licences for a single course if this is all which is suitable for your organisation at a reduced cost.

The ALERT® HQ team treat every organisation as individual and we discuss your needs and requirements together to come up with the most suited model to set you up as a course delivery centre.

The ALERT® course is a nationally and internationally recognised and credible course and candidates who attend will be given a certificate which is recognised as part of their professional development. Each candidate is also given an ALERT® manual for pre-course reading prior to attendance of course and for future reference and as an excellent resource to keep.

After attendance of the ALERT® course, research suggests that it improves confidence in managing acutely ill patients and confidence working within multi-professional teams and asking for help and enhanced skills in looking after critically unwell patients. 

ALERT® if implemented within your organisation can be used to implement and embed patient safety initiatives such as sepsis pathways, escalation pathways and will ensure that all clinical staff are given a standardised approach in the education of the deteriorating patient. ALERT® has been particularly useful across several organisations to up skill redeployed staff during the COVID-19 pandemic to increase their confidence and skills in looking after deteriorating patients.    

Please contact us for an up-to-date list of global course centres.

Please see below the list of upcoming course dates for ALERT Training:

ALERT Coursel

  • Tuesday 7 May
  • Tuesday 28 May
  • Wednesday 29 May
  • Tuesday 11 June
  • Wednesday 19 June
  • Wednesday 10 July
  • Tuesday 10 September
  • Tuesday 8 October
  • Monday 21 October
  • Tuesday 5 November
  • Monday 11 November
  • Wednesday 20 November
  • Tuesday 3 December
  • Wednesday 11 December

ALERT Train the Trainer Dates

  • Wednesday 12 June
  • Wednesday 9 October
  • Tuesday 22 October

Licensing and Course Delivery

The international administration of the course is managed by ALERT® HQ.

Copyright on the course is held by Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust and institutions wishing to run courses need to sign an Licence Agreement in order to access the materials.

Licence Agreements are issued by ALERT® HQ to a local hub centre that has been licensed by us to manage the course in a particular region or country.

How to become a registered ALERT® training centre

Step 1
Submit an enquiry form indicating under which licence criteria you would like to start: 

  • Run course for your own staff in your own institution
  • Run courses internally and for others outside your institution but within an agreed region or country
  • Run train the trainer courses for your region or country. 

Step 2
On receipt of the initial enquiry form one of the ALERT® Clinical Educators will contact you to arrange a telephone meeting to discuss all your specific requirements .  

Step 3
Sign an Licence Agreement. Register your faculty members in the ALERT® Administration system (Access via a login provided with your licence).

Step 4
Set up courses using the ALERT® Administration System.

Step 5
Place order for manuals and request certification for completed courses using the ALERT® Administration System.

Hub Licences for managing ALERT® outside the UK and Ireland
Hub Licences are available for organisations wishing to administer ALERT® training in an agreed region or country outside the United Kingdom and Ireland. Hubs are responsible for producing materials and selling them locally, issuing of LAs within their region and for collecting payments for manuals.

Hubs pay an annual licence fee to ALERT® and a royalty for each person trained in their region. The ALERT® HQ is the hub for the UK and Ireland.

For all other countries, details of your hub will be provided in response to your LA application. If you are already a LA holder and wish to become a hub, then please contact us.

A summary of our team can be found below. For more information visit our Meet the Team page. 

Pippa Davies - ALERT® Senior Clinical Educator

Beverley Stockwell - ALERT® Senior Clinical Educator

Laura Wood - ALERT® Clinical Educator

Mandy Smale - ALERT® Admin Manager