The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) have collaborated to offer the Advances in Labour and Risk Management (ALARM) program. This venture has been a work in progress since 2010, and marks a milestone not only for our organizations but also for our professions, our trainees, and the women and newborns receiving our care. We believe that by combining the strengths of our two specialties—while working alongside our peers in nursing and midwifery—we will foster the ALARM program’s continued growth and evolution, and provide a springboard for creating other valuable professional development opportunities.

ALARM was developed by family physicians, obstetricians, midwives, and nurses, who jointly continue to maintain and teach the course. ALARM is based on the best available Canadian evidence, making it relevant for an all-Canadian audience. ALARM is aligned with the Managing Obstetrical Risk More Efficiently Program (MOREOB), a course developed and taught interprofessionally, and commonly required for Canadian intrapartum-care providers working within a hospital setting.

The ALARM course content is updated every year, an important feature of quality professional development programming, especially in the rapidly changing area of obstetric care. The CFPC and the SOGC have determined that collaborating on a single, pan-Canadian training program contributes to greater consistency in delivering intrapartum care, improved standards of care and better outcomes, whenever and wherever intrapartum emergencies might occur. The ALARM course objectives are evaluating, updating, and maintaining the competence of specialists, family physicians, midwives, and nurses.

The two-day course offers case-based plenary sessions, hands-on workshops, and a comprehensive examination process. The course content is evidence-based and incorporates Canadian practice guidelines. Participants completing the course gain an understanding of the latest best practices for providing care, and will know how to improve the outcomes and process of intra-partum and immediate postpartum care.

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The CFPC is committed to supporting lifelong learning, and will continue to accept credit submissions from members who take an Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO®) course in the future. For more information on ALSO courses, please contact Carla Cherry, ALSO Program Specialist, AAFP, at