Who we are

Resuscitation Council UK is working towards a day when every person in society has the skills they need to save a life.

Resuscitation Council UK is the national expert in resuscitation. 

Formed in 1983, Resuscitation Council UK is committed to ensuring that survival rates for in and out of hospital cardiac arrest improve. We’re doing this by driving CPR education, and encouraging everyone, from healthcare workers to the general public, to learn life-saving resuscitation skills.

Our committees of healthcare professionals bring decades of expertise, research, and training experience to help us deliver life support courses and provide clinical guidelines for health and care professionals. 

We want to make sure more people arrive at a hospital with their best chance of surviving a cardiac arrest, and with an opportunity to receive the care they deserve both during the event and while they recover.

This involves public participation and learning skills in CPR so we can all help the people around us in an emergency. It also involves breaking down health inequalities and making sure our resuscitation community is diverse and representative, to ensure all people have their best chance of survival in the event of a cardiac arrest.

Together, we can save more lives with appropriate in and out of hospital resuscitation. We can also listen to individuals, and make sure that a person’s decision on whether or not they wish to receive CPR is heard.

Take a look at the work we do – and if you want to help us create a society of survivors and lifesavers, you’ll find plenty of ways that you can help us on our mission.

What we do

You have the power to save a life. 

Resuscitation Council UK wants every person in the country to know what they can do to help in a cardiac emergency, and to feel confident in their skills as a lifesaver.

Our commitment to establishing best practice has made RCUK a leader in the resuscitation field. We have built a community of healthcare professionals who share our passion for saving lives with appropriate resuscitation, and who use our guidelines, courses and quality standards as a baseline for their education and action.

With our public training initiatives, including the world-renowned Restart a Heart campaign and our BAFTA-nominated interactive training game Lifesaver, we provide the public with crucial opportunities to learn about CPR and defibrillation. 

We are also committed to improving post-resuscitation care for those who have suffered a cardiac arrest. In our upcoming work on this project, we will be listening to the needs of those who have experienced cardiac arrest and looking at how these people can be better supported, both physically and emotionally. 

You have the power to make a change.

Nobody should be left behind on the mission to save lives. That’s why we work with governments and community groups across the four nations to drive change and give every citizen the best chance of survival. To achieve that, we work to provide individuals in the UK with a range of opportunities to become a lifesaver.

We campaign when we think that more could be done to support education and awareness around CPR and resuscitation. We’ve done that already by helping to get CPR on the school curriculum and raising defibrillator awareness in the Scottish Parliament.

For our community of healthcare professionals, we provide funding that allows them to change the way we think about resuscitation. We offer annual Research and Development grants to individuals whose ideas inspire us, and we have also funded two major out of hospital cardiac arrest audits: NCAA and OHCAOA.

You have the power to make a choice.

Not everyone wants to receive CPR, and we support patients and professionals in making these decisions. 

We champion the ReSPECT process, which allows people to discuss and document the care they’d prefer to receive in an emergency.

You have the power to use your voice.

We share stories from people who have performed CPR, survived a cardiac arrest, planned for an emergency or used their professional skills in a clinical environment. 

These people inspire us every day with their brave, heroic, and thoughtful actions. We want you to feel that inspiration, and join our efforts to change lives for the better.

We need your help.

If we’re going to make a difference, we need your support.

Whether you play a part by learning resuscitation skills, Instructing on an RCUK professional course, shouting about a campaign on Facebook or donating, you are a valued part of our community – and community is at the heart of what we do at Resuscitation Council UK.

How we’re funded

Our courses are our main source of funding, with around 150,000 healthcare professionals trained every year. We also receive funding through membership, overseas royalties, educational and networking events and donations.

If you’d like to help us change lives in the UK, find out how you can support us here.

How we’re governed

We are governed by a Board of Trustees. Our President, Vice-President, Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Secretary are all elected by Full members of Resuscitation Council UK. Up to three additional Trustees can also be selected by the elected Trustees. Our Board guarantees that Resuscitation Council UK is well-managed, governed well and provides skills and expertise that are integral to our work as an organisation.

Resuscitation Council UK also has an Executive Committee, who have a wide range of clinical expertise that they use to advise the Board of Trustees as well as the wider staff team. The Executive Committee consists of a maximum of 28 people, 12 of whom are elected from and by Full members of Resuscitation Council UK. We are also driven by the guidance and expertise of our subcommittee members, who use their specialist knowledge to inform our key projects. 

Our courses are led by skilled Instructors, who are invited to train as an Instructor after being selected when they attend a standard Resuscitation Council UK course. Our Instructors guarantee that our courses maintain a high standard, and that there is a uniform delivery of course content across the UK.

All of these people give their time on a voluntary basis.

The core Resuscitation Council UK staff is led by our Chief Executive Officer and managed by a Senior Management Team. With a wealth of experience in policy, clinical affairs, administration, IT, finance, communications and more, the staff base put Resuscitation Council UK’s projects into action.