First Aid guidance during the COVID-19 Pandemic
GDR Solutions have comprehensively risk assessed a return to face-to-face training, and have put into the place the following measures:
- small class sizes - max. 6 delegates per course, ensuring social distancing can be maintained
- touch-free hand sanitiser stations in each room
- touch-free hot water, along with disposable cups, and sachet drinks provided per delegate
- training pack including gloves and faceshields for each delegate
- pre-course guidance on health checks, combined with temperature checks of delegates and tutors
- blended learning (EFAW and PFA) or e-classroom to be used on courses wherever possible , to minimise the amount of time required in the classroom
- where social distancing cannot be maintained (e.g. assessing the recovery position) PPE will be provided - face masks and gloves
- wherever possible there will be one manikin and AED per delegate, all consumables (lungs, airways, etc.) will be changed between delegates
All First Aid training will continue to be in line with the Resus Council guidelines (i.e. will include rescue breaths during CPR), however we will also additionally teach the Resus Council guidance for Community Settings during the Pandemic
Employers also need to risk assess prior to booking any delegates onto a course - does this delegate need to complete this training at this point. Comprehensive guidance is available below, which includes the First Aid certification extension guidance from the HSE as well as guidance from the DfE in relation to Paediatric First Aid
If you hold a first aid certificate that expires on or after 16 March 2020 and cannot access requalification training because of coronavirus, you may qualify for an extension. This applies to:
- Offshore Medic (OM)
- Offshore First Aid (OFA)
- First Aid at Work (FAW)
- Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW)
How you qualify for the extension
To qualify for the extension, you must be able to:
- explain why you haven’t been able to requalify
- demonstrate what steps you have taken to access the training, if asked to do so
Requalification training in England
The first aid training industry in England is confident that enough courses will now be available for all required requalification training to take place. HSE has therefore agreed a final deadline for requalification for these qualifications of 30 September 2020.
Requalification training in Scotland and Wales
It is accepted that training capacity in Scotland and Wales, and for some parts of the emergency services across Great Britain, might take longer to build.
The deadline for completing requalification training in Scotland and Wales (and in relevant GB emergency services), will therefore be reviewed by HSE over the coming months. Employers or certificate holders should still try to arrange requalification training at the earliest opportunity.
The HSE also state (in relation to annual refresher training): "If first aiders are unable to access annual refresher training face to face during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, HSE supports the use of online refresher training to keep their skills up to date" - we have an online First Aid at Work Annual Refresher product which meets this need.
The Department for Education (DfE) have also made some changes to the EYFS in relation to Paediatric First Aid in section 8.6, they state:
If PFA certificate requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with coronavirus (COVID-19), or by complying with related government advice, the validity of current certificates can be extended by up to 3 months. This applies to certificates expiring on or after 16 March 2020. If, exceptionally requalification training is still unavailable, a further extension is possible to no later than 30 September 2020. If asked to do so, providers should be able to explain why the first aider hasn’t been able to requalify and demonstrate what steps have taken to access the training. Employers or certificate holders must do their best to arrange requalification training at the earliest opportunity.