More than 20 years of research and field experience have gone into the development of the Sirius course curriculum, which covers wilderness first aid, occupational health and safety standards, search and rescue and risk management. The Sirius curriculum complies with established standards and practices in a variety of industries across Canada to ensure our programs deliver material that is closely aligned to the interests, needs and capacities of our clients.
General Course Content and Format
All Sirius Wilderness First Aid courses teach participants how to deal with difficult and varying environmental conditions, how to prevent injuries and accidents and how to assess and manage medical emergencies in remote settings without immediate access to Emergency Medical Services or hospital care.
- Participants will be taught the common hazards and illnesses encountered in the backcountry and on remote work sites.
- Participants will gain a clear understanding of the essential body systems involved in wilderness accidents and medical emergencies.
- Course material is taught through experiential learning, lectures, focused personal instruction within small groups and practical skill sessions.
- A large percentage of the course is conducted outdoors and a hands-on approach is used to enhance the retention of both skills and knowledge.
- Realistic simulations with live actors (drawn from course participants) and wound make-up provide a powerful learning tool.
- Special emphasis is placed on leadership skills and accident scene management.
Hands-On Approach to Learning
Sirius places a great deal of emphasis on practical and competency-based learning models. All theoretical material taught in a Sirius course is supported by practical exercises and outdoor simulations. These provide participants with a direct and realistic environment in which to learn and practise their skills.
Languages of Instruction
All Sirius programs are available in both French and English. To accommodate Inuit populations that speak neither English nor French, Sirius works with its partner Qikiqtaaluk Medical to deliver programs in Nunavut and the northern regions of Canada.
Sirius courses include practical evaluation, regularly scheduled quizzes and a written examination. Essential skills are assessed throughout the program using ongoing evaluation of performance criteria. The final exam includes a written multiple-choice test that is corrected and reviewed in class. Advanced courses (AWFA and WFR) also include a final practical exam and self-evaluation. The passing grade for all courses is 70%.
Certification and Recognition
Certification is an important aspect of any training program as it allows participants to demonstrate they possess the skills and knowledge required of professionals in their field. Participants who successfully complete a Sirius course receive certification from Sirius Wilderness Medicine, which is recognized and accepted by government agencies and private industries across Canada and abroad.
Sirius programs are recognized by, among other organizations, the Prospectors and Developers’ Association of Canada, McGill University Environmental Health and Safety Office, Canadian Outward Bound Wilderness School, Association des camps du Québec, Youth Challenge International, National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), Laurentian University Outdoor Adventure Leadership program, Université Laval, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles, Collège Merici, Capilano University and numerous federal, provincial and territorial government departments.
Sirius training programs conform to:
Canadian federal Occupational Health and Safety Regulations
Wilderness Medical Society international guidelines
International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) guidelines
Sirius Wilderness First Aid training programs have been reviewed and approved as meeting the requirements of Standard First Aid by
Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board
NWT & Nunavut Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC)
All Sirius course certifications are valid for three (3) years. Sirius continues, however, to encourage course participants to maintain their skills and knowledge through frequent practice sessions, in-house training and by following refresher courses annually. Indeed many Sirius clients take recertification courses every year regardless of the expiration date printed on their cards.
Course graduates may recertify their training by taking the appropriate course below before the expiry date on their card.
Wilderness First Aid
Advanced Wilderness Aid
Wilderness First Responder
Wilderness First Responder (Bridge)
Wilderness First aid
Wilderness First Aid
Advanced Wilderness First Aid or Bridge
Advanced Wilderness First Aid or Bridge
Sirius instructors are certified professional educators who have advanced training and extensive experience teaching and leading groups in the outdoor environment. Sirius instructors bring to their teaching years of experience working in the field, ensuring that our courses are practical and relevant to you.
- Extensive first aid and advanced pre-hospital emergency care certification
- First Responder, EMT, paramedic or nursing qualifications
- Comprehensive outdoor and wilderness travel experience
- Extensive teaching experience
- Knowledge and understanding of industry-specific safety standards and management practices
- Familiarity with remote work environments
- Successful completion of our intensive instructor training program
- Ongoing supervision and support
Our curriculum and teaching methodology extend beyond the typical educational platform used in the development of occupational first aid and public education programs. While meeting the core competencies required for first aid certification and wilderness safety training, the programs have been developed from a variety of domains that ensure that our programs deliver material that is closely aligned to the interests, needs and capacities of course participants.
Sirius programs are developed for audiences that require specific competencies for particular occupational settings. All programs are delivered using the methodology that best accommodates the capacity and learning styles of the course participants. Our programs take into account the following:
- Participant’s field experience
- Participant’s educational background
- Job description and responsibilities
- Location of the work environment
- Seasons in which the worker will be in the field
- Availability of safety and emergency equipment in the field
- Emergency transportation and evacuation options
- Preferred learning styles and strengths
- Conformity to and compliance with provincial, territorial and national occupational health and safety legislation and guidelines