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COVID-19 UPDATE - First Aid Certificate Expiry Date Extension


Over the last 6 months, expiring first aid certificates have been extended in many cases to allow people to best manage their training and qualifications during the pandemic. However, as of 31st March 202, all extensions have ended.

Therefore if your first aid certificate has expired, it has fully expired and no more extensions are being granted. This means that you must now renew your course in order to be qualified in First Aid.

Different organisations issued different guidelines for members who were unable to renew expiring first aid certificates during covid19 restrictions. Below are a list of archive links for key organisations, just for your reference.

React First can deliver private first aid courses onsite for your business or organisation and public first aid couress in London have resumed and as more of our venues reopen we will continue to add dates to the calendar. If there isn't current;y a date that suits you are the course you would like to attend is full, please add yourself to the waiting list or drop us and email so we can let you know when more dates are available.

Archive Links

COVID-Safe First Aid Training

If you need to renew your personal first aid certificate we have relaunched our public programme of first aid training courses in London. You can see the latest dates and venues here on our London Public First Aid Course Calendar. Attending a public course is also useful if you are a small business with only a couple of staff that need the training.

React First can also send a trainer to your premises to conduct the training. We have strict venue requirements regarding cleanliness and size to allow social distancing between learners. You must also consider which employees are asked to be workplace first aiders, those with increased risk from contracting covid-19 may not be suitable at the moment. Please contact us for more information about booking a private, in-house first aid course.

It is important to understand that attending a practical first aid training course cannot be 100% risk free in the current situation. Please read our article on the risks involved and the additional safety measures in place on courses to reduce the risks of covid-19 transmission during a first aid course:

HSE Coronavirus First Aid at Work Guidance

The HSE have updated their guidance for expiring First Aid at Work (FAW) and Emergency First aid at Work (EFAW) certificates requalification.

"FAW or EFAW certificates that expired after 16 March 2020 can remain valid until 31 October 2020 or 6 months from date of expiry, whichever is later. All requalification training for these certificates should be completed by 31 March 2021."

Not everyone will be eligible for this extension. To qualify for the extension, employers must be able to demonstrate that:

  • they have made every effort to arrange requalification training as soon as possible and can explain in detail
  • why they have not been able to do so. For example, they must show evidence that staff with expired
  • certificates are booked on to EFAW or FAW requalification courses, if requested by an inspector
  • they have adequate and appropriate equipment and facilities to give first aid to any employee who is injured or becomes ill at work
  • the level of first aid cover provided remains appropriate for their particular work environment
  • the level of first aid provision necessary in high risk settings is fully maintained, eg in construction, agriculture, engineering and chemicals

This guidance now applies to employers in England, Scotland and Wales 

Offshore Medic and Offshore First Aid Certificates

From 31 October 2020 offshore medic (OM), or offshore first aid (OFA) certificates, must be current and in date. The temporary COVID-19 extension arrangements end.

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.

Institute for Outdoor Learning Guidance for Outdoor First Aid qualifications

IOL Outdoor First Aid Statement COVID-19

The HSE has announced a possible 3 month extension to the validity for Offshore Medic (OM), Offshore First Aid (OFA), First Aid at Work (FAW) or Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) certificates coming up for renewal on or after 16th March during the current Covid crisis.

In line with the above statement, and the IOL Statement of Good Practice on Outdoor First Aid Training, the Institute view is that Outdoor First Aid courses should be treated in a similar way and a 3 month extension to the validity of Outdoor First Aid (1 Day), Outdoor First Aid (2 Day) and Outdoor First Aid (Advanced) certificates be available to these people able to describe clearly their reasons for delaying requalification training, and demonstrate the steps they have taken to undertake the training, if required.

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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