HSE no longer required to approve first aid training and qualifications

Posted on 3 Sep 2013

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 will be amended from October 1 to remove the requirement for the Health and Safety Executive to approve first aid training and qualifications.

The HSE has published guidance for businesses to implement the provision of first aid a month ahead of changes to first aid regulation.

Andy McGrory, HSE’s policy lead for first aid, said: “From October, HSE will no longer approve first-aid training and qualifications. The guidance documents clarify what the law requires and provide practical help to businesses in assessing and understanding their first aid needs.

“Where a first aider is required, the guidance documents make it clear that the employer is free to select a training provider who is best suited to those needs.”

The ‘Regulations and Guidance (L74)’ guide is aimed at all industries and takes account of the amendment to regulation 3(2), which removes the requirement for HSE to approve the training and qualifications of appointed first-aid personnel

The ‘Selecting a first-aid training provider (GEIS3)’ guide will help employers identify and select a competent training provider to deliver any first-aid training indicated by their first-aid needs assessment.

The guidance on selecting a training provider outlines the options available to employers and includes a checklist for evaluating first aid training organisations, covering trainer competence, quality assurance systems and syllabus content.

Workplace deaths last year occured at a rate of three per week with 1115,000 reportable workplace injuries a year.

John Cavanagh, regional commercial training director at St John Ambulance, urged employers to protect their staff and customers by checking the credentials of first aid training providers

“As first aid training providers can no longer demonstrate quality through holding a HSE license, it’s important that employers review the new guidance carefully and ensure that the training they choose conforms to this guidance.

“Hiring an organisation that is unable to meet the educational and clinical standards to teach first aid correctly can potentially put lives at risk. High quality first aid training should be a priority for all organisations as it is essential that first aiders have the competence and confidence to be the difference between life and death.”