First Aid Certificate extensions due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Updated 02/06/2020

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At Life Saving Training, we love to help and we’ve worked hard since 2012 to keep people healthy and safe. Here, we’ve included new information to help you remain legally compliant regarding First Aid provision during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

If you’ve ever attended one of our First Aid training courses, you’ll know that we strongly believe that a First Aid certificate on its own won’t save lives. Well trained, resourceful, confident First Aiders do save lives – every day. 

The below gives clarity on how to remain legally compliant for the purposes of the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981.

What do employers need to do regarding First Aid during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak?

  • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has stated that employers should review their First Aid Needs Assessment and ensure they have adequate First Aid provision in place for those people at work. This is important because businesses may have First Aiders who are not at work due to them being currently ill, self isolating etc. To help, you could consider stopping higher-risk activities at work and sharing First Aid cover with another business – as long as they have the knowledge, experience and availability to immediately cover the First Aid needs of both businesses.
  • The HSE has acknowledged that businesses, schools, organisations and First Aiders may have experienced disruption in getting re-qualified in First Aid during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • The HSE and Department for Education (DfE) maintains that recognised First Aid training must be assessed face to face and cannot be delivered wholly online.
  • If you hold a First Aid at Work (FAW) or Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) certificate that expires on or after 16th March 2020 and haven’t been able to complete your re-qualification training due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), you may qualify for an extension to your certificate expiry date.
  • This extension only applies to First Aid certificates expiring on or after 16th March 2020.

How to qualify for the First Aid certificate extension

To qualify for the extension, you must be able to:

  • explain why you haven’t been able to complete a First Aid course to re-qualify.
  • demonstrate what steps you have taken to access First Aid training, if asked to do so.

Deadline for First Aid re-qualification in England

The HSE has agreed a final deadline for re-qualification. That means – if your First Aid certificate expired on or after 16th March 2020, you must have taken an appropriate First Aid course to re-qualify by 30th September 2020. If your certificate expired before 16th March, you can no longer be classed as a First Aider and must re-qualify.

Paediatric First Aid during Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

The Department for Education (DfE) have recently modified the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework. This includes the requirement for at least one person with a full (2 day) Paediatric First Aid (PFA) certificate to be on the premises at all times where there are children below the age of 2 years old. Providers must use their ‘best endeavours’ to ensure the same for 2-5 year olds.

Where Paediatric First Aid re-qualification has been prevented due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), the DfE has introduced an extension period of up to 3 months to Paediatric First Aid certificates expiring on or after 16th March 2020. If re-qualification training is still unavailable, a further extension is available to no later than 30th September 2020.

Outdoor First Aid certificate expiry during Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Institute for Outdoor Learning (IOL) suggests that Outdoor First Aid certificates should have an additional 3 months applied to their expiry date. This should apply to 1 and 2 Day Outdoor First Aid certificates, including Advanced Outdoor First Aid certificates. In line with the HSE requirements, this extension only applies to those that expired on or after 16th March 2020. Again, to rely on the extension people should be able to clearly describe their reasons for delaying re-qualification training, and demonstrate the steps they have taken to undertake the training, if required. Individual National Governing Bodies specify their own particular requirements, so if in doubt, it’s worth directly checking with them.

First Aid re-qualification in Scotland and Wales

The deadline for First Aid re-qualification in Scotland and Wales will be reviewed by the HSE in the coming months. They currently suggest that employers and First Aid certificate holders should still try to arrange re-qualification training at the earliest opportunity. 

Moving Forwards

We’re currently offering FREE access to some of our online training courses – including Infection Control – to organisations booking First Aid courses from June 2020 onwards.

If you need to re-qualify in the coming months, you can check out our availability here:

If you have any questions, simply get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

Stay safe and look after each other,

Team LST.