Many life support courses use informal, subjective methods of instructor recruitment. (1) We hypothesised that assessment of instructor candidate suitability based on predetermined, agreed criteria that are applied electronically may select an overall more effective instructor cohort than can be achieved through a first-come-first-served recruitment system.
Materials and methods
This observational prospective study was conducted between October 2016 and April 2018 by the University of Birmingham’s Resuscitation for Medical Disciplines (RMD) group, who deliver an annual European Resuscitation Council (ERC) Basic Life Support programme. (2) A novel system for instructor recruitment was devised, named OPIS (Opinion of Instructor Suitability). Course students were invited to apply to become future instructors. Existing instructors scored each potential new instructor electronically based on a set of novel criteria. Overall scores were calculated, and offers to become instructors made to applicants with the highest scores. Student examination performance, feedback from students and mid-course student CPR quality (assessed by Laerdal Resusci Anne® SkillReporter) were recorded and analysed for differences following introduction of OPIS.
There were no observable differences in the feedback provided by candidates on the performance of their teachers. Overall first sit pass rate was reduced significantly from 78.91% to 74.63% (p=0.049) . Following introduction of OPIS-selected instructors, candidates were less likely to fail because of chest compression rate, AED use, and recovery position protocol. However, they were at a significantly greater chance of failing due to errors in CPR algorithm recall, and chest compression depth. CPR rate (p=0.039) and correct release of compressions (p