How to choose the right first aid training provider for a First Aid Certificate

Until October 2013 First aid training organisations could opt to be approved by HSE to deliver training on First Aid at Work. Currently, HSE does not approve any training and qualifications for this purpose and these formerly approved providers can no longer claim that they are HSE approved.

This change brought as a consequence more flexibility and provides employers with a wider variety of choices when it comes to first aid training so the designated employees can get the first aid certificate they need for this role.

What criteria should be applied when choosing basic first aid training?

If you are the person in charge of choosing the first aid training provider for your employees, there are some things you need to keep in mind at the time to make your selection. Providers must be able to demonstrate how they meet the criteria set by HSE and these include:

  • Syllabus content of the training
  • Systems in place for monitoring and quality assurance
  • Qualifications expected of the assessors and trainers
  • Teaching and standards of first aid practice
  • Certification for First Aid

Training organisations providing a basic first aid course, or any other first aid course, should meet the criteria set by the principles of assessment for first aid qualifications. These expand on:

  • Qualifications and competence of first aiders
  • The way training is assessed
  • The way training is delivered
  • Quality assurance systems that are required

When training providers satisfy all these criteria, employers can be sure that they are competent to deliver the first aid training required according to the needs of the workplace. The Health and Safety at Work Act places a duty on employers to select a competent provider of first aid training to comply with the law.

What training do first aiders need in the workplace?

Once the employer identifies a need for first aiders, they must make sure that the employees chosen to become first aiders undertake the appropriate training according to the workplace needs. The training could be First Aid at Work (FAW) or Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW).

The Emergency First Aid at Work training course will teach the first aider how to provide emergency first aid to a person who has suffered an injury or suddenly becomes ill at work. The First Aid at work training includes what the EFAW training offers in addition to providing the first aider knowledge on how to apply first aid to specific illnesses and injuries.

First Aid Certification

It is important to keep in mind that the first aid certification doesn’t last forever or is a course you take once and you are competent for life. The first aid at work certificates last for three years and before the certificate expires the first aiders will have to undertake a new requalification course in order to get new first aid certification that will last three more years. First aiders whose first aid certificates have expired are no longer considered competent to be the first aider at the workplace.