Update for awarding bodies wanting to award an emergency first aid at work qualification
This update explains to Awarding Bodies (ABs) what they must do to obtain accreditation for the Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) qualification for the purposes of the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981. Only qualifications approved by HSE are suitable for these regulations. This means ABs and their training centres must comply with a training standard set by HSE (Training standard for delivery of emergency first aid at work courses for the purposes of the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981) for HSE to approve the qualification.
Arrangements for obtaining accreditation for the EFAW qualification and ensuring compliance with the training standard are slightly different for ABs and training centres in England and Wales compared to those in Scotland. In England and Wales the responsibility for regulating ABs lies with Ofqual while in Scotland the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) have that responsibility.
Arrangements for awarding bodies and training centres in England and Wales
Discussions on the general process for obtaining accreditation for EFAW, requires the AB to contact Ofqual in the first instance. However, the AB will need to write to the HSE informing it they are seeking accreditation. This means an AB will need to agree to comply with HSE's training standard (Training standard for delivery of emergency first aid at work courses for the purposes of the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981) it requires ABs to monitor all training centres against this standard. Confirmation of this agreement will be achieved by HSE issuing a declaration for signing by the AB. On receipt of the signed declaration, HSE will issue a letter of support to the AB, which is to be used as part of their submission to Ofqual. Once accredited the AB will be listed on HSE's website as evidence the qualification has been approved by HSE for the purposes of the regulations.
There will also be an ongoing requirement for AB to submit annual reports on EFAW activity to HSE which should contain information on:
- the total number of training centres approved to deliver EFAW;
- the total number of inspections undertaken in respect of EFAW qualifications during the reporting year;
- the total number of EFAW certificates issued;
- a written statement confirming that HSE's training standard is observed by the AB and its training centres;
- a summary of key issues (eg any non-compliance) which may have arisen during the reporting year; and
- such other information as may reasonably be requested by HSE.
Arrangements for awarding bodies and training centres in Scotland
In Scotland, the AB should contact the SQA directly. The SQA will then ensure compliance with the training standard during the accreditation process. Once an AB, obtains accreditation for the EFAW qualification the SQA will write to the HSE confirming this and HSE will then list the AB on its website as evidence the qualification has been approved by HSE for the purposes of the regulations. The SQA will then submit an annual report on each AB, which will cover the areas requested from ABs regulated by Ofqual.
Consequences of non-compliance with HSE's training standard for EFAW
Non-compliance issues will be reported to Ofqual/SQA for consideration and appropriate action. Serious non-compliance may result in withdrawal of accreditation. In particular, if HSE cannot verify the suitability of the EFAW qualification for the purposes of the regulations it will withdraw its approval of the qualification and remove the Awarding Body from the list of accredited ABs on its website.