In 2001, a nationwide study revealed deficiencies in the emergency care of seriously ill and injured children in Vietnam. In response, a project was initiated to conduct the Advanced Paediatric Life Support course in Vietnam and ascertain whether this course would provide a practical and sustainable method of improving the knowledge and skills of medical and nursing staff in this area. After approval to use the course was secured and funding obtained, the project commenced in 2003. Key Vietnamese personnel travelled to Australia to complete the course, undertake instructor training and gain organizational experience. Teaching materials were translated, reviewed and modified to account for local diseases and clinical practices while maintaining the fundamental principles of the parent course. Commencing in March 2004, 10 courses were conducted by Australian and Vietnamese instructors, training 239 doctors and nurses from a wide variety of clinical backgrounds. Additionally, three instructor courses were conducted, training 52 new instructors. As the skill and confidence of the Vietnamese instructors grew, the number and responsibilities of the international faculty reduced. The infrastructure now exists for the course to operate in a sustainable fashion within Vietnam. We believe that this project demonstrates that the course can be successfully modified to provide teaching in paediatric emergency care in a developing country.