“Which First Aid course do I need or is best?”

“What First Aid course?”

“Which First Aid course should I take?”

These are all great questions we get asked all the time!

You need to choose the right First Aid course for you or your organisation – and we’re here to help.

There are many First Aid courses available and not all will be appropriate for your needs. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) say you need to complete a First Aid Needs Assessment to decide which course is ‘suitable’ ‘adequate’ and ‘appropriate in the circumstances’:

The HSE state the following should be considered:

  • The nature of the work you do
  • Workplace hazards and risks (including specific hazards requiring special arrangements)
  • The nature and size of your workforce
  • The work patterns of your staff
  • Holiday and other absences of those who will be first-aiders and appointed persons
  • Your organisation’s history of accidents
  • The needs of travelling, remote and lone workers
  • The distribution of your workforce
  • The remoteness of any of your sites from emergency medical services
  • Whether your employees work on shared or multi-occupancy sites
  • First-aid provision for non-employees (eg. members of the public)

As you may also need to satisfy your insurers and any professional bodies or organisations you work with, it’s a good idea to check with them too.

So – the shortest, cheapest course you can find may not be the most appropriate, or even acceptable! First Aid saves lives – fact. It’s more than just ticking a box – so let’s look at your options.

What’s the difference between Emergency First at Work and First Aid at Work?

The HSE sets the minimum syllabus for First Aid at Work and Emergency First Aid at Work courses.

First Aid at Work (FAW) is a 3 day (18 hour) course the first time you do it, but you refresh the course over 2 days (12 hours), every 3 years. It equips you to deal with life threatening injuries and illnesses including head and spinal injuries, broken bones, chest injuries and medical emergencies such as heart attack, asthma attack, life threatening allergic reactions, stroke and diabetic emergencies. You’ll also learn the content of the 1 day Emergency First Aid at Work course (EFAW) – how to perform CPR and use a defibrillator as well as how to manage a casualty who is choking, bleeding, is having a seizure or has suffered a minor injury like a small burn. 

The 1 day Emergency First aid at Work (EFAW) course is day 1 of the First Aid at Work (FAW) course and is for people working in low risk environments, like some offices and some shops. EFAW covers the basics – mainly life threatening problems. On this course, you’ll learn how to perform CPR and use a defibrillator as well as how to manage a casualty who is choking, bleeding, is having a seizure or has suffered a minor injury like a small burn. 

EFAW doesn’t cover what to do if someone is having a severe life threatening allergic reaction, an asthma or heart attack, a stroke or a diabetic emergency. These things can be life threatening but are not covered on a one day course. No matter how safe your workplace is – people can still have any of these life threatening medical emergencies. Likewise, head and spinal injuries, broken arms and legs, chest injuries, soft tissue injuries etc. aren’t covered on the 1 day EFAW course.

What about different environments like the outdoors, gyms, or forestry workers?

The HSE state employers should make sure first-aiders undertake any training additional to the FAW/EFAW or equivalent qualification, as appropriate to the circumstances of the workplace. For example, more in-depth training would be advisable in cases where work activities involve working outdoors or in remote locations.

Outdoor First Aid is specifically designed for people who work and play in the outdoors. At Life Saving Training we can deliver any course with an outdoors context such as the First Aid at Work course. Outdoor First Aid isn’t simply First Aid, outside. If you work outside, you’ll need to know how to insulate and shelter a casualty on uneven ground in all weather conditions. You’ll need to be able to locate your position and communicate that effectively to the emergency services. If you’re remote, you’ll also need to learn how to effectively look after your casualty for an extended period of time.

Our Life Saving Training is always tailored to your environment and your needs but we also run specific courses like First Aid for Sport, Exercise and Fitness and Forestry First Aid. With these options and more, including bespoke solutions for your exact requirements, you can be sure that you’ll receive the most relevant training possible for your needs. 

Advanced First Aid

More and more organisations are choosing Advanced First Aid to keep their personnel safe. It may be that you operate in remote locations and will experience long waits for an ambulance. Perhaps you are involved in high hazard activities or just have large numbers of personnel on site.  There can be a number of reasons where you identify that more specialist training is required. Examples of organisations choosing Advanced First Aid Training include large holiday parks in rural areas and large scale manufacturing sites.

Still a bit unsure? No problem! Just get in touch for a chat, we’re always happy to help. Choosing the right course isn’t just about satisfying your HSE, insurance and legislative requirements, but also helps keep you and your team safe. Appropriate, well thought out First Aid training saves lives every day.