Update on the Amendment to the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981
Lofstedt Recommendation - Proposal to Amend the First Aid Regulations
Due to the cross-cutting nature of the proposed changes to the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 – that they will affect every workplace in Great Britain – the HSE Board have requested further time to consider proposals following the consultation. In light of this, the proposed changes are now expected to come into force on 1 October 2013, subject to Parliamentary agreement.
Until 1 October 2013 employers should note that first aid training for the purposes of work can only be delivered by HSE approved training providers and training centres for Ofqual etc, (Ofqual, SQA or DfES Wales) accredited awarding organisations supported by HSE. A list of both can be found on our website. HSE approved training providers have been informed of this change directly.
Expiry of Current HSE Approvals and Monitoring Visits
Regardless of the date of expiry that appears on a current certificate, HSE approval of first aid training providers will now end at midnight on 30 September 2013, when HSE will either put new arrangements for the scheme in place or legislative change will take effect.
Generally, HSE will continue not to undertake proactive monitoring visits of HSE approved first aid training providers. This has been the case since 31 October 2012.
For the avoidance of doubt however, HSE will continue to undertake reactive investigation visits where issues emerge or complaints are received.
HSE no Longer Accepting New Applications for Approval of Training Providers
With immediate effect HSE is no longer accepting applications from organisations seeking HSE approval to award qualifications in FAW or EFAW.
If a training organisation wishes to award FAW or EFAW qualifications for the purposes of the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 (between now and 1 October 2013) you will need to approach one of the Ofqual etc. accredited awarding organisationslisted on the HSE website and request to become an approved training centre of such an organisation.
After October HSE will no longer approve training and qualifications for the purposes of the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981. Training organisations may choose to:
- Offer regulated qualifications through an Ofqual/SQA/DfES Wales accredited awarding organisation.
- Become a member of a trade body and deliver non-accredited training and qualifications.
- Operate independently.
How they demonstrate the standards and quality of the service they provide to employers is a matter for them to decide.
Following the analysis of consultation responses, and to reflect the proposed changes in the regulations, HSE has amended its guidance to support employers in assessing the first aid requirements within their specific workplace. HSE has also produced separate guidance on how to select an appropriate first aid training provider.
HSE used the feedback from the consultation exercise to shape the guidance, which is available on the HSE website.
Assessment Principles For First Aid Qualifications
In December 2012 the Assessment Principles for First Aid Qualifications were revised to reflect HSE policy on e-learning and blended learning which cannot be used for the purposes of first aid at work training, and the requisite contact teaching time required for both EFAW and FAW courses. A new version of the document was made available on the Skills for Health website.
Although these principles were originally drafted with ‘regulated qualifications’ in mind and aimed at awarding organisations offering Ofqual and SQA accredited qualifications, they will form the basis for guidance on the assessment of first aid training and the selection of a training provider going forward. On this basis and providing that HSE approved training providers can demonstrate the necessary capability and quality assurance procedures, HSE has no objection to them working to these standards rather than HSE’s existing standards in the interim, should they so wish.
Following any proposed changes HSE does not feel that it is unreasonable for an employer to request evidence that any training provider they select is working to this standard and is able to demonstrate their capability.
HSE would like to stress that, Skills for Health (the Sector Skills Council for Health) is not the ‘owner’ of these principles and was not directly involved in their drafting. Skills for Health is the ‘guardian’ of the principles, kindly agreeing to host the document on its website to benefit the first aid training industry as a whole. As these are a generic set of principles that not only relate to first aid training for the purposes of work, (except in relation to certain specific issues) HSE believes that this is the best place for this document to be hosted.
Skills for Health is unable to comment on HSE assessment policy or the actual content of the document. All enquiries should be directed to HSE in the first instance. Skills for Health will signpost any enquiries received to HSE.
HSE would further like to stress that Skills for Health will not be approving either first aid training and qualifications or first aid training providers.
Student to Trainer and Student to Manikin Ratios
HSE reminds training providers that it recommends a ratio of students to trainers for an EFAW or FAW training course of no greater than 12:1 and for students to manikins of 4:1 when teaching CPR.