Previously, first aid training providers could deliver courses such as HSE approved First Aid at Work Courses (normally 24 hours of teaching over 4 days), HSE Approved Re-qualification courses (12 hours teaching over 2 days) and unapproved short courses run over 4 -6 hours (Emergency First Aid or Appointed Persons First Aid).
Since 1st October 2009, the HSE have changed the course delivery time for the First Aid at Work course from 24 hours to 18 hours.
They have also attempted to regulate short courses by requiring providers of the new 6 hour Emergency First Aid at Work course to be approved by the HSE or an awarding body.
"The previous 4 and 6 hour courses may still be provided by some training providers, although how popular they will be amongst customers remains to be seen."
"Most Training Providers," says Emma, "are seeing this as a positive step, as so many questions get asked such as “is the course certificated by St John or Red Cross?”, when in actual fact their short courses haven’t even been regulated. Teaching standards should become more standard across the industry, as the HSE visits courses run by providers to observe trainers in practice and check equipment levels."
As far as employers are concerned, Emma advises that your own risk assessments will dictate the level of qualification your designated first aider needs to hold and how many first aiders you need. This will depend on the type of industry you are in, how many employees you have and location of your business. You may even need to factor in numbers of visitors, particularly if you are in the retail or hospitality trades.
Work in Progress can also help with risk assessments, not only advising you on the right level of First Aid cover for your business, but also general risk assessments which can help you to avoid costly litigation and problems in the future.
If you are looking to make a New Year's Resolution for your business, and you haven't had a risk assessment, then the best thing you can do is call in the Health and Safety specialists to fulfill your resolution and take your headache away.
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