1st October 2014
What has changed?From 1 October 2013 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will no longer be required to formally approve First Aid training or first aid training providers, therefore, employers will have more responsibility and choice over their preferred first aid training provider. This means there is going to be an increased responsibility on businesses to ensure the standards of the First Aid training and the quality of First Aid training provider they choose. Guidance on completing a needs assessment has also been updated with new recommendations to help you decide how many First Aiders you need and what training they should have.
What does this mean?The HSE will no longer formally approve First Aid training and qualifications for the workplace. However, the law that employers should still provide adequate and appropriate equipment and personnel to provide assistance to injured or ill colleagues, and provide trained First Aiders based on their own needs assessment has not changed. The HSE will still ensure a standard of First Aid training for the workplace is maintained.
Why are these changes happening?The Government commissioned an independent report on Health and Safety laws, which led to the Lofstedt report in June 2012. One of the recommendations from this report was that employers should be free to choose a First Aid training company, rather than having to use an HSE approved organisation.
How will this affect First Aid training in the workplace?It is very much business as usual. Employers have a legal duty to make arrangements that their staff receive immediate care if they are taken ill or injured at work.
Do I still need to train First Aiders?Yes, if your needs assessment indicates that you need a First Aider you should ensure they have undertaken suitable training, have an appropriate First Aid qualification and remain competent to perform their role.
What is a Needs Assessment?All employers should make an assessment of their First Aid needs based on the hazards and risks involved in their work. First Aid can, and does, save lives and your level of provision should be adequate and appropriate to your circumstances. To decide what is adequate and appropriate First Aid training for you, you should think about things like the nature of your work and how hazardous it is, the nature of your workforce, if you have staff with pre-known medical conditions, the size of your organisation and the needs of travelling, lone or remote workers*.
*This is not an exhaustive list. For more information on needs assessments employers can use the HSE online First Aid course calculator to help you assess your First Aid training requirements and find the right course quickly and easily. You can access this at http://www.hse.gov.uk/firstaid/assessmenttool.htm
How will First Aid training standards be regulated after the changes?You must ensure that where your needs assessment indicates you need First Aiders they receive training that will teach them the necessary First Aid skills and leave them feeling confident that they could respond to an emergency. To guarantee this, you should pick a training provider you can trust. When you are choosing a training provider you should check:
The HSE has provided a due diligence checklist that you can use when you are selecting your training provider within the guidance document “Selecting a first-aid training provider“.
Does Guardian Angels Training meet the due diligence criteria for selecting a First Aid training provider?Yes, take a look at the HSE due diligence checklist to see how we not only meet the criteria but exceed them. Our system of accreditation (RQF (QCF) awards) is mentioned by the HSE in the new guidance as a standard setter for currently accepted First Aid practice in relation to the topics covered on a First Aid at Work or Emergency First Aid at Work course.
Will my existing First Aid qualifications be affected by the changes?No, existing qualifications will remain valid until the expiry date shown on your certificate. Qualifications should be updated after three years but we firmly agree with the HSE’s recommendation that First Aiders should attend a First Aid skills annual update to remain competent and confident in their abilities.
What should I do now?If you need to book a course or update an existing qualification, you can do this by emailing us at EMAIL ADDRESS or by contacting our friendly team on 0844 870 4237. The full HSE guidance on First Aid at work regulations is available on the HSE website.