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This 10-step roadmap outlines explicit procedures for developing, implementing and evaluating short focused training programs for acute care in low and middle income countries (LMICs). A roadmap is necessary to develop resilient training programs that achieve equivalent outcomes despite regional variability in human capacity and infrastructure. Programs based on the roadmap should address shortfalls in human capacity and access to care in the short term and establish the ground work for health systems strengthening in the long term. The primary targets for acute care training are frontline healthcare workers at the clinic level. The programs will differ from others currently available with respect to the timelines, triage method, therapeutic interventions and potential for secondary prevention. The roadmap encompasses multiple iterative cycles of the Plan-Do-Study-Act framework. Core features are integration of frontline trainees with the referral system while promoting research, quality improvement and evaluation from the bottom-up. Training programs must be evidence based, developed along action timelines and use adaptive training methods. A systems approach is essential because training programs that take cognizance of all factors that influence health care delivery have the potential to produce health systems strengthening (HSS).