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First aid training providers

From 1 October 2013 HSE no longer approves training and qualifications for the purposes of first aid at work.

Training organisations who were formerly ‘Approved’ by HSE to deliver First Aid at Work Training can no longer claim to be HSE Approved or use their HSE Approval number.

The flexibility arising from the changes in the Regulations gives employers more choice in the first aid training they provide for their employees and who they choose to provide it.

An employer will need to undertake varying levels of due diligence (reasonable enquiry or investigation) into how they select a first aid training provider.

Criteria for first aid training

All first aid training providers will need to be able – and should be prepared to demonstrate how they satisfy certain criteria set by HSE. These criteria include:

Training organisations should also meet the criteria set by the principles of assessment for first aid qualifications.

These principles of assessment for first aid training expand on:

Satisfying these criteria will demonstrate to employers that you are competent to deliver first aid training. Clarity in this area will help employers comply with the law, as the Health and Safety at Work Act clearly places a duty on them to select a competent training provider.

HSE cannot advise on the quality of individual training providers or the service they provide.  Similarly HSE cannot advise on the standard of quality assurance systems that a training provider may have in place. These are matters for the employer.

Training courses

If an employer has identified that first-aiders are needed in their workplace, they must ensure that those identified to be first first aiders undertake training appropriate to the need - typically this may be first aid at work (FAW) or emergency first aid at work (EFAW):

The findings of the first-aid needs assessment can help employers decide whether their first-aiders should be trained in FAW or EFAW or to some other appropriate standard. As a guide, the table in First aid at work: your questions answered suggests what first-aid personnel to provide under different circumstances.

FAW training courses involve at least 18 hours of training and are run over a minimum of three days. EFAW training courses involve at least six hours of training and are run over a minimum of one day.  Other appropriate training identified by an employer should have a duration that relates to the syllabus content (as compared with FAW and EFAW) HSE continues to set the syllabus for both FAW and EFAW.

Certificates

Certificates for the purposes of first aid at work last for three years. Before their certificates expire, first-aiders will need to undertake a requalification course as appropriate, to obtain another three-year certificate. Once certificates have expired the first aider is no longer considered to be competent to act as a workplace first aider.

Standards of first aid

You should teach the first-aid management of injuries and illness, in relation to the topics covered in FAW/EFAW training courses, in accordance with:

Where an employer requires training other than FAW or EFAW qualifications to demonstrate workplace first-aid competence, you should ensure that common elements of the syllabus are taught in accordance with the same guidelines and that there is a sound basis for the way in which any other elements are taught.

E-learning and blended learning

For the purposes of first aid at work training, regardless of the training an employer selects (FAW, EFAW or some other appropriate training for the circumstances) HSE does not accept e-learning, blended learning or any other form of distance learning as a valid form of delivery.

Training must be delivered face to face. This allows for the hands on, practical approach necessary for first aid training.

Refresher training

HSE strongly recommends that first-aiders undertake annual refresher training, over half a day, during any three-year certification period. Although not mandatory, this will help qualified first-aiders maintain their basic skills and keep up to date with any changes to first-aid procedures.

HSE approval of first-aid training organisations

Since changes to the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulation 1981 on 1 October 2013, HSE no longer approves first aid training and qualifications – or first aid training providers.

The only first-aid training HSE approves is under the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (first aid) Regulations 1989. 

HSE does not run training courses.

2015-11-05