Skip to main content

Course syllabus for advanced labour ward practice (2018) ATSM

The advanced labour ward practice (2018) ATSM course syllabus below lists the minimum requirements for a course to be suitable for the theoretical component of this module. The course should last 3 days.

Any times given or descriptions of activities within a course are given for guidance and as an example only. To establish whether a course is suitable, please compare this syllabus and the syllabus of a course on offer and take advice from your ATSM Preceptor. Please also read our general guidance on ATSM courses.

The College can’t offer advice or information relating to the suitability of courses except for courses run by the RCOG or jointly run by the RCOG and specialist societies.

Course syllabus – lecture topics and timings

What’s new and what’s not

  • The ATSM (20 minutes)
  • What do users want? (20 minutes)
  • Behaviour on the labour ward (30 minutes)
  • Multidisciplinary training (30 minutes)
  • Team working (25 minutes)

Birth outcomes

  • Consequences of a bad outcome (20 minutes)
  • The role of audit (30 minutes)
  • UKOSS (25 minutes)
  • Improving outcomes and maintaining skills (30 minutes)
  • Improving outcomes in the future (30 minutes)


  • Pathogenesis and outcomes for intrapartum brain injury (40 minutes)
  • Resuscitation and outcomes at the limits of viability (40 minutes)
  • The importance of perinatal pathology (30 minutes)
  • Neonatal outcomes (40 minutes)

Anaesthesia and pain relief

  • Coping with pain in labour (20 minutes)
  • Pros and cons of epidurals (20 minutes)
  • Urgency of caesarean section (20 minutes)
  • Management of medical disorders on the labour ward (40 minutes)
  • The obstetric anaesthetic assessment clinic (20 minutes)
  • High-dependency unit on the labour ward (20 minutes)

Practical obstetric skills

  • Advanced surgical skills for caesarean section (30 minutes)
  • Perineal repair of third- and fourth-degree tears (30 minutes)
  • Operative vaginal delivery – including rotational (30 minutes)
  • Management of the breech baby (30 minutes)
  • Cervical cerclage (30 minutes)
  • Advanced techniques for massive haemorrhage (30 minutes)
  • Labour dystocia (25 minutes)
  • Multiple pregnancy (25 minutes)
  • Preterm labour (25 minutes)
  • Infection (25 minutes)
  • Maternal collapse (25 minutes)
  • Pre-eclampsia (25 minutes)

Elsewhere on the site

Assessment of training
Information about sign-off of competencies, workplace-based assessments, ARCPs and more
Resources and support for trainees
Training guidelines, advice, useful resources and sources of support for trainees