The growing appreciation that good trauma care makes a difference in survival and the increasing complexity of the care process have generated an international demand for multidisciplinary trauma education, which is not being met at present. Therefore, the European Trauma Course (ETC) was developed on behalf of the European Resuscitation Council (ERC), the European Society of Trauma and Emergency Surgery, the European Society of Emergency Medicine and the European Society of Anaesthesiology. The ETC was officially launched during the ERC biennial conference 2008 in Ghent. As ATLS® („Advanced Trauma Life Support®“) represents the standard of trauma education to date, the ETC is the first internationally recognised and certified training course for the initial care of the severely injured with a strong focus on team training. Its modular design allows for adaptation to the differing regional European environments.