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First Aid at Work - Guidance on requalification and refresher courses

Your First Aid at Work (FAW) certificate is maintained by completing a two day First Aid at Work Requalification (FAW-R) course before the expiry date of the current certificate.

The Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) qualification is maintained by attending another one day EFAW course before the expiry date of the current certificate. There is no shorter course that can be attended to requalify.

Article contents:

How long does my First Aid at Work certificate last for?

First Aid at Work and Emergency First Aid at Work certificates are valid for 3 years.

What is the difference between a Refresher course and a Requalification course?

Most employers recognise that skills fade over time and send their emplyees on annual refresher training. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) now strongly recommend that people who complete both the First Aid at Work and the Emergency First Aid at Work courses attend a short annual refresher training course at the end of both the first and second year of the qualification in order to refresh their skills.

If your First Aid at Work certificate is about to expire then you need to attend a 2 day First Aid at Work Requalification (FAW-R) course. Ideally you should attend this course before your current FAW certificate expires. Where this has not been possible you are still allowed to attend a 2 day FAW Requalification course up to 28 days beyond the expiry date of your certificate. After this time you would need to attend a full 3 day First Aid at Work course again. 


First Aid Training for your Workplace

React First runs both on-site and public first aid courses.

For on-site training you can choose from the full range of First Aid at Work courses and a trainer will come to your premises on dates and at times that suit your business. If your wokplace has additional hazards such as oudoor workkers then we can add time and content to standard training courses to cover this just send us an email with your requirements.

If you only have a small number of staff to train, or would prefer to drip-feed staff training throughout the year we also run regular 1 day Emergency First Aid at Work and half day Basic Life Support and AED Training courses at multiple venues in Central London. You can view our full public first aid course calendar with dates, venues and costs here.

Changes to First Aid at Work Guidelines over the past 10 years

1) December 2016 - AED Training is standard on EFAW and FAW courses

Since 31st December 2016 Defibrillator (AED) training is included in all EFAW and FAW courses 

Any First Aid at Work or Emergency First Aid at Work course you attend now will also cover the safe use of an Automated External Defibrillator or AED. The inclusion of AED training in EFAW and FAW course has lead to most other first aid courses and qualifications also including it as standard.

React First also offer a specific Basic Life Support and Safe Use of an AED, 4 hour course which is an excellent refresher course or intorduction to the essential life-saving first aid skills

2) The Role of the HSE

10 years ago or more the HSE used to approve training organisations specifically to deliver First Aid at Work courses. The HSE never approved first aid courses themselves and they no longer 'approve' organisations to carry out first aid at work training either.

The HSE still set the content of First Aid at Work and Emergency First Aid at Work and also work alsongside Awarding Organisation who ensure that the Level 3 First Aid at Work and Emergency First Aid at Work courses on the Regulated Qualifications Frameqork (RQF) meet the necessary requirement. The HSE offers guidelines and a checklist about how to choose your first aid training provider.

The most straightforward way for a business or individual to ensure that the first aid training they receive is fit-for-purpose  is to work with a first aid training provider, like React First, which is appoved and regulated by an Awarding Organisation.

React First is approved and regulated by the Awarding Organisation ITC First Ltd. to deliver first aid qualifications.


3) October 2009 - Introduction of a 1 day Emergency First Aid at Work course

EFAW course introduced in October 2009 along with two hazard categories for workplaces:

  • Lower Hazard e.g. offices, shops , libraries.
  • Higher Hazard e.g. light engineering and assembly work, food processing, warehousing, extensive work with dangerous machinery or sharp instruments, construction, chemical manufacture.

The HSE believes that the identification of hazards in the workplace is a more useful method of deciding the level of first aid provision required. A Hazard is a specific type of accident or injury that can happen in your workplace. A Risk describes the likelihood of that accident or injury occurring. Employers are required to carry out an assessment of first aid needs. This involves consideration of:

  • workplace hazards
  • number of employees
  • history of accidents
  • travelling, remote and lone workers
  • work patterns (adequate cover must be provided when any member of the workforce is present)
    the distribution of the workforce
  • the remoteness of the site from emergency medical services. Is additional training or equipment required?
  • annual leave and other absences of first aiders and appointed persons
  • first-aid provision for non-employees

Click here for more information about carrying out an assessment of first aid needs. One of the more complicated areas of the new first aid needs assessment is considering ‘the nature of the work'. You should consider the hazards and identify what possible injuries could occur in order to ensure sufficient first aid provision is available. A review of accident records is a common way to idenitfy and mitigate hazards. The following table identifies some common workplace hazards and the possible injuries that could occur:


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