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, over 185 SAFE courses have been delivered in 45 countries training over 5500 clinicians, mostly anaesthesia providers but also midwives, obstetricians and other physicians. Over 1050 anaesthesia providers 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 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 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.

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.

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

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