Safer Anaesthesia From Education (SAFE) | Association of Anaesthetists

Safer Anaesthesia From Education (SAFE)


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 equip anaesthesia providers with the essential knowledge and skills to deliver vigilant, competent and safe anaesthesia to their patients, even in very low resource settings and incorporates training of trainers to create a sustainable training model which can be embedded in the national health system.

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.

Since the first SAFE course in Uganda in 2011, the SAFE programme has trained over 6,500 clinicians in 48 countries. These are mostly anaesthesia professionals but also midwives, obstetricians, surgeons, and other physicians. Over 1,000 clinicians have been trained as SAFE trainers. SAFE courses are also run by Mercy Ships, Smile Train, national societies and by various other international organisations, teams and partnerships.

We are proud that SAFE courses have been run around the world and monitoring and evaluation has demonstrated the positive impact of SAFE training. You can find out more about the SAFE program, its global reach and impact at

Courses are delivered in small groups over two-three days, using a combination of lectures, low-tech simulation, discussions and role-play. Each course participant receives a detailed course manual, handbook and logbook to take away and continue to use as a reference.

SAFE funding

Applications for funding to deliver a SAFE course are invited from appropriately experienced faculty leaders who have completed a SAFE Training of Trainers course and taught or attended a SAFE course previously.

Apply for SAFE funding

SAFE Obstetrics

The course addresses the role of the anaesthesia provider in obstetric emergencies, the major causes of maternal mortality, obstetric anaesthesia and its complications and newborn resuscitation.

SAFE Paediatrics

The course covers anaesthesia for common elective and emergency conditions in children, pain management, fluid resuscitation, newborn and paediatric life support and paediatric trauma management.

SAFE Paediatrics - Cleft

A two-day course focused on the principles of providing safe anaesthesia to children undergoing cleft lip and palate repair surgery.

SAFE Paediatrics - Great Britain and Ireland

A new two-day course designed to teach basic concepts in paediatric anaesthesia. focusing on paediatric anaesthesia practice and common scenarios faced by anaesthetists in well-resourced environments and taught by an experienced consultant faculty. This course is suitable for occasional paediatric anaesthetists & anaesthetic trainees. Find out more>

SAFE Operating Room

Developed in 2017 by the Association of Anaesthetists in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Association for Perioperative Practice, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Lifebox Foundation, and the WFSA. Based on the WHO standards for safe surgery, the course provides multidisciplinary training for teams of surgeons, obstetricians, nurses and anaesthetists, and covers teamwork and leadership, decision making, conflict resolution, surgical site infection prevention, the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist, procurement and quality improvement.

SAFE Training of Trainers

A one-day course focused on SAFE teaching methodology.

SAFE Online

Our newest development, launched in 2021, provides online methods of course delivery. View SAFE online.

Conducting a SAFE course

SAFE Course materials are available in multiple languages. The SAFE trainer’s manual and materials are available under a 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 number and level of experience in relation to participant numbers.

  • If you are keen to run a SAFE course and would like further information on available resources and support, please get in touch with [email protected]
  • If you have already run a SAFE course please complete this form and send it along with a short report to [email protected]

SAFE volunteering and funding

We run Training of Trainers courses for those interested in volunteering and welcome applications for grant funding to run SAFE.

  • If you would like to become a SAFE trainer, you must attend our Training of Trainers course. Contact our Events team to find out more.
  • If you are trained as a SAFE trainer and would like to be updated on volunteering opportunities, contact [email protected]

Applications for funding to deliver a SAFE course are invited from appropriately experienced faculty leaders who have completed a SAFE Training of Trainers course and taught or attended a SAFE course previously.

Apply for SAFE funding