Background: The Care of the Critically Ill Surgical Patient (CCrISP) course was adapted by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, being made compulsory for all Basic Surgical Trainees in 2001. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the course objectives were achieved and identify strengths and weaknesses. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was completed, after CCrISP Committee support of the proposed conduct, by distribution of questionnaires to instructors and trainees who had completed CCrISP in 2006 or earlier. The questionnaires were qualitative and designed to evaluate the success of CCrISP objectives. Results: Fourteen instructors and 40 Victorian trainees completed the questionnaires. The major weaknesses identified by the instructors were the trainees' management of complications, nutrition, multiple injuries and sedation, procedural skills and mentoring. Trainees identified weaknesses in procedural skills and mentoring. Both groups identified the strongest areas being the emphasis on communication skills, utilization of clinical knowledge and acumen, management of shock and haemorrhage and management of the acute abdomen. The trainees further identified the systematic approach to the critically ill surgical patient as a major strength. Conclusion: The primary objectives of the CCrISP course have been met. This study has identified teaching of communication skills, shock and haemorrhage and the systematic approach being the strengths of the course, whereas further refining of the mentoring process and reconsidering the importance of procedural skills is needed, both of which are secondary objectives.