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COVID-19 UPDATE - First Aid Certificate Expiry Date Extension

/media/firstaidtips/library/1.jpgMany of you need to hold a first aid qualification in order to keep other qualifications and your insurance valid and will be wondering what to do if your certificate is due to expire and there are no first aid courses available to attend.

Organisations are beginning to issue guidance for their members in this case and we will collate all that we find and keep this page updated. For the moment the HSE and the Department for Education have issued the following guidance for expiring First Aid at Work, Emergency First Aid at Work and Paediatric First Aid qualifications.

HSE Coronavirus First Aid at Work Guidance

Please see below for guidance for First Aid at Work requalification and validity periods:

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is aware that people holding Offshore Medic (OM), Offshore First Aid (OFA), First Aid at Work (FAW) or Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) certificates nearing expiry date, might experience disruption to access to requalification training as a result of events or circumstances generated by the coronavirus pandemic.

HSE’s current guidance on the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981: and the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (First-Aid) Regulations 1989 is that those holding an OM, OFA, FAW or EFAW qualification should undertake retraining before their original certificate expires and HSE strongly recommends that employers, and individuals holding those qualifications should plan for requalification training well in advance of expiry dates.

If however requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with coronavirus or by complying with related government advice, it is reasonable and practical to extend the validity of current certificates by up to 3 months. Anyone taking advantage of this extension should be able to describe clearly their reasons for delaying requalification training, and demonstrate steps they have taken to undertake the training, if required.

This guidance comes into effect for certificates expiring on or after 16th March 2020. HSE will review this matter over the coming months and will issue further statements as necessary.

Department for Education Paediatric First Aid Guidance

The Department for Education has commented as follows:

The Department for Education supports the HSE statement regarding the extension of first aid certificates during coronavirus emergency and that it can be applied to paediatric first aid certificates held by staff in early years provision.

Links to certificate extension guidance issued by other organisations and governing bodies

Increasing numbers of organisations and governing bodies have taken the guidance issued by the HSE an applied it to the first aid certificates held by their members. Our Awarding Organisation, ITC First is in contact with the Institute for Outdoor Learning (IOL) to get a common approach agreed for the UK National Governing Bodies for Outdoor Qualifications. We would hope that the HSE appraoch becomes the commonly accepted approach.

Some organisations are already issuing their own guiance based on that of the HSE:

As we hear of more organisations issuing guidance we will update this article with links.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with the React First Office.

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