HSE Changes & First Aid Guidance Update

HSE Changes & First Aid Guidance Update

HSE Logo

For those of you that might not know, today (1st October 2013) the HSE of introduced new guidance on First Aid Training in the Workplace.  The changes came about following recommendations from ‘Reclaiming Health and Safety for All: An independent review of health and safety legislation’, by Professor Ragnar E Lõfstedt, which was published in November 2011.

In simple terms, prior to 1st October 2013 if you required a First Aid at Work or Emergency First Aid at Work qualification you would need to go to an HSE Approved First Aid Training Provider.  This requirement has now been removed, and the onus of ensuring that the training is fit for purpose has been moved from the HSE to the employer.

What Does This Mean to the Employer?

The important questions here is how it will affect you, an employer or First Aider in your workplace?  Very little has actually changed.  You are still required to complete a risk assessment to decide how many first aiders you may need, and whether they should have a 3 day First Aid at Work or 1 day Emergency First Aid at Work (or perhaps more, such as AED or Oxygen Administration).  The difference now is you have a number of choices as to where to obtain your training from.

  1. Regulated First Aid Qualification accredited by an Ofqual/SQA recognised Awarding Organisation
  2. Training from the Voluntary Aid Societies (St. John, Red Cross, St Andrews Ambulance)
  3. First Aid Association/body affiliation
  4. Private / independent training provider with no accreditation/affiliation

This basically means, as an employer you are free to go where ever you like for your first aid training.  Of course, there is a condition to that… You will need to prove to the HSE that you have carried out due diligence when selecting your training provider that the training they provide you conforms to the standards required.

Independent Training Provider or First Aid Association Affiliation

If you choose to obtain training from a Training provider with no accreditation, or from a First Aid Association or Body Affiliation then you will need to perform this due diligence, as “HSE is not in a position to verify the level of assurance of this route“.  The help you along, the HSE have produced a handy 10 page document detailing the checks you will need to perform (HSE: Selecting a First Aid Training Provider).  Don’t fancy completing all that paperwork? You’re probably not alone.  Thankfully there are still have two more options.

Voluntary Organisation

Using a Voluntary Aid Society will remove the need for due diligence, although you may “wish to undertake some of the elements of due diligence“.

Regulated First Aid Qualification

If on the other hand, you chose Regulated First Aid then you are not required to carry out any due diligence.  That means you meet all the requirements for the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 without having to complete any additional paperwork.

The Bottom Line

Qualsafe Awards 0905022So now the good news, we have been teaching Regulated Qualifications since early 2013.  If you have completed one of our QCF courses, or plan to in the future then you do not need to carry out any due diligence, or make any changes to your processes.  We knew this change was coming, and made changes to our training ready for this update.  We are approved by Qualsafe Awards, an Awarding Organisation recognised by Ofqual to provide regulated qualifications.  So you can relax knowing that our Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work or Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work meet all the requirements of The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 following the new amendments.

Further Reading:
HSE Notes on Changes http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2013/hse-first-aid-guidance.htm
Qualsafe Awards Notes on Changes http://www.qualsafeawards.org/news/hse-first-aid-guidance-update