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Offshore first aid and medic training and examinations

  • Operations notice: 56
  • Issue date: Mar 2002

Introduction

1. This notice clarifies two issues relating to offshore first aid and medic training that have arisen since the introduction of the revised Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (First Aid) Regulations 1989 Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (OFAR ACOP) in December 2000. These are:

  1. the use of distance learning and modular training courses; and
  2. the qualifications to be held by examiners on first aid and medic training courses.

Background

2. The need to clarify aspects of the guidance in the OFAR ACOP has arisen because of the introduction of charging for the approval and monitoring of medic and offshore first aid training providers that has brought onshore and offshore practice into closer alignment.

3. HSE will amend the guidance in the OFAR ACOP when it is reprinted.

Distance learning and modular courses

4. The intention of the OFAR ACOP regarding the use of distance learning and modular courses is stated in paragraph 61:

‘So long as the training objectives or competencies are achieved (specified in Appendix 4 for offshore medics and Appendix 5 for offshore first aiders) the design of training courses is a matter for the organisation or the employer concerned. For example, modular courses and courses which include distance learning may be acceptable’

5. Modular and distance learning courses are acceptable for the training of both offshore first aiders and medics so long as the courses satisfy all the criteria set out in Appendix 6 of the OFAR ACOP. A further example of the application of modular and distance learning courses for medic training is given in Appendix 4. However, because of the presence of this example, some readers have thought that this was the only accepted application.

Medic examinations

6. Medic examinations should be carried out by two assessors. Qualified trainers will not be able to carry out examinations unless they hold an assessor certificate or can prove that they have relevant assessment experience.

7. Medic assessors should be drawn from the classes of persons who can be approved as trainers (OFAR ACOP Appendix 6 paragraph 7). This includes registered medical practitioners, registered nurses, graduate lecturers and teachers with offshore first aid qualifications as well as qualified medics and offshore first aiders. One of the two assessors should be a registered health care professional with knowledge of the offshore working environment preferably gained through practical experience.

8. Assessors also need a certificate showing a qualification as an assessor or to provide a CV or similar document detailing general skills and experience of assessing medic training during the previous three years. During that time he or she must have conducted a minimum of two practical and two theoretical assessments under the supervision of a qualified assessor.

Offshore first aid examinations

9. To achieve consistency with onshore practice the following changes have been made to the qualifications and experience to be held by examiners of offshore first aid courses.

  1. Both examiners should be assessors.
  2. It will no longer be necessary for either of the examiners to be a registered medical practitioner, nurse or offshore medic.

10. Assessors of first aid courses will need to have the same qualifications and experience as those for medic courses except that they will need to demonstrate experience of assessing first aid rather than medic skills and do not have to be registered health care professionals.

11. Table 1 outlines the qualifications and experience required of examiners under the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 and OFAR. It also sets out the revised position offshore:

Table 1: Qualifications/experience of first aid examiners

Onshore: Health & Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 ACOP Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (First Aid) Regulations 1989 ACOP Offshore: Revised position
Both examiners to be qualified assessors Two examiners who are either qualified trainers OR qualified assessors Same as onshore
Both examiners to be one of the classes of persons who can be approved as trainers One of the examiners to be either a medical practitioner or a registered nurse or a qualified offshore medic Same as onshore
Examiners to hold either a formal qualification as an assessor or a CV demonstrating relevant experience as an assessor   Same as onshore
  Examiners to have knowledge of the offshore working environment (preferably gained through offshore practice) Unchanged

References

12. The main references are:

Health care and first aid on offshore installations and pipeline works. Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (First Aid) Regulations 1989. Approved Code of Practice and guidance L123 HSE Books 2000 ISBN 0 7176 1851 X

Further information

13. Any queries relating to this notice should be addressed to:

Health and Safety Executive
Hazardous Installations Directorate
Offshore Division
Lord Cullen House
Fraser Place
Aberdeen AB25 3UB

This guidance is issued by the Health and Safety Executive. Following the guidance is not compulsory and you are free to take other action. But if you do follow the guidance you will normally be doing enough to comply with the law. Health and safety inspectors seek to secure compliance with the law and may refer to this guidance as illustrating good practice

Updated 2011-09-29