We are extremely pleased to announce that our Managing Director, Nigel Barraclough, has been shortlisted for the prestigious ‘Individual of the Year’ Award 2017 from the Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB).
As a prominent voice in the first aid industry, Nigel’s continued passion, innovation and dedication has resulted in huge advancements of first aid training standards, helping to save countless lives throughout the UK.
With the winner due to be announced on 19th October, Nigel would like to say a special thank you to all of our Centres, whose continued support has been a key factor in his shortlist for this award.
In the last 3 months the UK has been left devastated following several terrorist attacks that have claimed the lives of countless victims and left many in hospital with critical injuries.
As you will be aware, whenever there is an incident like this, the initial priority is understandably to ensure public safety, which can unfortunately cause delays to the emergency services being able to reach the injured.
To help members of the public learn life-saving skills for use in these extreme situations, highly experienced military and civilian clinicians have created the citizenAID phone App and pocket guide. Designed to improve public resilience, this not-for-profit initiative has been widely publicised by media outlets including the BBC and Sky News, and has already been accessed by over a quarter of a million people since January.
To offer further support to the public, earlier this year our team of industry specialists were approached by the creators of citizenAID to develop a regulated qualification to complement the phone App and pocket guide. We were extremely proud to have been asked to work with citizenAID and together we have developed the QA Level 2 Award in citizenAID (RQF), a 3 hour qualification specifically designed to help people react safely, prioritise the injured and give life-saving first aid to victims in the event of a deliberate multiple casualty incident. An overview of the qualification can be found here.
To obtain all of the information you need to start delivering this qualification, including Trainer requirements and Lesson Plans, Qualsafe Awards Centres should simply visit the Downloads section of their Customer Portal today*.
If you are not currently a Qualsafe Awards Centre and would like to join, simply complete our information request form here and we will send you our clear and straightforward Centre Application pack today.
*Please note that all Quaslafe Awards Centres that are approved to deliver the QA Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work (QCF) and selected prehospital care qualifications have automatically been approved to deliver the QA Level 2 Award in citizenAID (RQF). This includes: QA Level 3 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (RQF), QA Level 4 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (QCF), QA Level 5 Diploma in First Response Emergency and Urgent Care (RQF), QA Level 2 Award for Community First Responders (RQF), QA Level 3 Award for Emergency First Responders (RQF) and Forestry First Aid +F (QAR). If you are a Qualsafe Awards Centre who is not approved to deliver these qualifications, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
As you will be aware, on Monday 22nd May 2017, 22 people were tragically killed and more than 59 were injured in a terrorist attack at Manchester Arena.
Among those who were injured was Josie Howarth, who runs the Wonkey Donkey Visitors Centre for abused and abandoned donkeys in Knottingley. Josie and her sister were waiting in the foyer of Manchester Arena for their nieces when the attack occurred.
Having recently received first aid training from a Qualsafe Awards Centre, Josie was able to save her own life by improvising a tourniquet from her handbag strap to stop the catastrophic bleed from her leg.
Both Josie and her sister have now undergone major operations to treat their injuries, but Josie still remains in a critical condition due to a severe infection from contaminated shrapnel. A GoFundMe page has been set up by a close family friend on behalf of Wonkey Donkey Visitors Centre in order to raise funds to cover the organisation’s running costs whilst the family recover.
To donate to this very worthy cause, please click here.
If you can’t donate personally, we ask that you please share this with as many people as possible so that the family don't have to worry about keeping the sanctuary running during this extremely difficult and emotional time.
You can read more on Josie’s story and how her improvised tourniquet helped save her life, by clicking here.
As you will be aware, the current guidelines advise that first aiders should aim to give 15-20g of glucose for the treatment of low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia).
However, it has been announced that Lucozade Energy will be lowering the sugar content in all of their flavoured drinks by more than 50% from April 2017, meaning that 20g of glucose will no longer to be the equivalent of 150ml of Lucozade Original.
From April 2017 any first aider who gives adult hypoglycaemic casualties Lucozade Original should aim to give 160ml – 225ml. For hypoglycaemic children, this amount should be 115ml. The advice in our PowerPoint Presentations and within Qualsafe.com books will be updated to reflect this new information in the upcoming months.
Training providers can simplify the advice given to first aiders as follows: For adults, give 200ml of either Lucozade, Lemonade, Cola or pure fruit juice. 200ml of any of these drinks should contain between 15g - 20g of glucose.
It is likely that both the new and old bottles of Lucozade will be available to the public in the upcoming months. In addition, the reason for the change is the introduction of the 2018 sugar tax in the UK, so it is likely that other fizzy drinks will also see a reduction in their sugar content in the near future. We therefore recommend that first aiders always check the labels of any Lucozade products and other fizzy drinks they are giving.
If you have any questions regarding the above, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0845 644 3305 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Qualsafe Awards is delighted to announce that instead of undertaking a 3 year Paramedic Science degree programme, those who wish to become a paramedic can now complete our progressive suite of vocational prehospital care qualifications as part of a HCPC approved programme in as little as 2 years!
Set to revolutionise the industry, this fantastic new route is broken down into 4 stages to allow Learners to get the career they want, at a pace to suit them:
Learners begin by completing the QA Level 3 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (RQF), followed by the QA Level 4 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (QCF) and then the QA Level 5 Diploma in First Response Emergency and Urgent Care (RQF) in year 1. They can then complete the 1 year QA Level 6 Diploma in Paramedic Practice (RQF), in year 2, as part of a HCPC approved programme to allow them to apply to become a HCPC paramedic.
How can I start delivering these qualifications?
With this ground-breaking new option set to be in very high demand across the UK, make sure that your Centre is set up to deliver the Level 3, 4 and 5 FREC qualifications as soon as possible. Simply call 0845 644 3305 or email email@example.com today to find out how to gain approval.
Training providers wishing to deliver the QA Level 6 Diploma in Paramedic Practice (RQF) will need to gain HCPC approval and must have adequate placement options and resources in place. For more information on the requirements for delivering this qualification, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The HSE has announced that blended learning is now an accepted means by which workplace first aid training can be delivered. As such, we are delighted to announce that we will be launching our brand new blended learning system to Centres in 2017. With Qualsafe Awards’ commitment to providing the highest possible quality, this means you will not only be able to provide your customers with the most up-to-date training methods that meet the highest industry standards, you can also be confident that you are using the UK’s No 1 blended learning system.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is blended learning?
Blended learning refers to a course that is delivered using a combination of face-to-face classroom training and electronic distance based training (e-learning).
Which qualifications will be available in a blended learning format?
Initially we will be releasing the QA Level 3 First Aid at Work (QCF) and QA Level 2 Emergency First Aid at Work (QCF) qualifications in a blended learning format. Further qualifications will also be launched in 2017, including the QA Level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid (RQF) qualification.
How will blended learning change the structure of first aid courses and assessment?
It has been agreed that Learners attending a blended learning first aid course should complete no more than a third of this online and that the general practical elements of the course should be delivered via face-to-face training.
As such, the structure of a blended learning first aid course will be as follows:
Learner completes a third of their course online, learning many theory based subjects
Learner attends a face-to-face classroom session where they:
Begin by undertaking an assessment to test their online learning
If successful in their assessment, complete the remaining two-thirds of their course via face-to-face training, including assessment in these topics
The overall time taken to complete a first aid course will not change.
The structure of non-blended learning first aid courses will not be affected.
Can Centres track their Learners’ progress online?
Yes. Centres will have access to a fantastic new part of the Qualsafe Awards Customer Portal that will allow them to enrol their Learners onto the online part of their qualification and then track their progress to ensure they have undertaken this prior to their face-to-face training.
I am a Qualsafe Awards Centre – do I need to apply for approval for the blended learning system?
Existing Qualsafe Awards Centres who are already approved to deliver the QA Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work (QCF) and QA Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work (QCF) qualifications will automatically be approved to deliver the blended learning versions of these qualifications. Once our new blended learning system is launched, Centres should speak to their Customer Relationship Executive in order to arrange access to this part of the Customer Portal.
Following CIEH’s surrender of recognition as a regulated Awarding Organisation, we understand that many Centres have been placed in a difficult position and we want to do everything that we can to make this transition period as smooth as possible.
As such, we would like to offer the following to those affected:
FREE Centre Approval (Worth £275) and
A FREE First Course*
QA Centres wishing to gain approval for qualifications previously delivered through CIEH:
*Maximum of 12 free Learner Registrations (excludes Prehospital Care qualifications and Education and Training qualifications). Maximum of 1 free course per Centre. Offer expires after 3 months of Centre Approval. **Excludes The Practical Guide to the Level 3 Award in Education and Training Book. Offer expires after 3 months of Centre Approval.
Did you know that Qualsafe Awards will be exhibiting at Life Connections 2016? On 18th - 19th October, our leading industry experts will be at the Kettering Conference Centre to showcase our fantastic first aid qualifications and our ground-breaking Prehospital Care qualification range including:
QA Level 3 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (QCF)
QA Level 4 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (QCF)
QA Level 5 Diploma in First Response Emergency and Urgent Care (RQF)
Plus our pioneering new qualification that is set to change the Pre-Hospital Care Industry – QA Level 6 Diploma in Paramedic Practice (RQF)
We look forward to meeting up with some of our Centres and having the opportunity to give them an exclusive insight into our newest Prehospital Care qualification, which we will be launching on the day!
Following the recent HSE first aid bulletin, we have pleasure in providing you with an update on Blended Learning, AEDs, haemostatic dressings and tourniquets, as well as details about how this will affect first aid training going forward.
The HSE have announced that Blended Learning is now an accepted means by which workplace first aid training can be delivered. This means that training providers can now deliver first aid qualifications using a combination of face to face classroom training and electronic distance based training.
However, the HSE also state that it is an employer’s duty to ensure they are satisfied that the training is as effective as face to face learning, and that their training provider has adequate systems in place to support Learners and prevent identity fraud.
As such, Qualsafe Awards is proud to reveal that we will be launching our brand new Blended Learning system to Centres in early 2017.
With Qualsafe Awards’ commitment to providing the highest possible quality, this means you will not only be able to provide your customers with the most up-to-date training methods that meet HSE requirements, you can also be confident that you are using the UK’s No 1 Blended Learning system.
With more information due to be announced in the upcoming months, make sure that you keep your eyes peeled for further updates.
Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)
The HSE have stated that the use of an AED should now be included as standard on all workplace first aid courses. This brings first aid training in line with the Resuscitation Council (UK) opinion that using an AED now forms a standard part of the basic life support algorithm.
How this affects Training:
The HSE bulletin asks that all training providers introduce training and assessment in AEDs into first aid courses by the end of 2016. The HSE does not expect every first aider to have an in-depth knowledge of AEDs, but Learners will need to cover the correct placement of AED pads and following AED instructions.
We understand that some Qualsafe Awards Centres will want to introduce this change immediately, whilst others will need time to implement it. For this reason, we will have a phased introduction:
From July 2016, we will be introducing additional Lesson Plans for all first aid qualifications that demonstrate how to incorporate the safe use of an AED into courses. We will also be introducing new CPR Practical Assessment Papers that include the option to assess Learners in this subject. Learners who complete the training and assessment will have additional text included on their certificate that acknowledges these skills.
From December 2016, all Centres will be required to deliver and assess the use of AEDs as part of first aid courses.
Please also note that the HSE and the First Aid Awarding Organisations Forum have clarified that 1 AED trainer will be required per manikin (minimum of 1 per 4 Learners) in order to ensure that Learners have sufficient hands-on practise. To assist training providers with implementing this change with minimal costs, we have sourced some high quality, cost-effective Mini AED Trainers, which can be found by clicking here.
Tourniquets and Haemostatic Dressings
Following their introduction into the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) first aid guidelines, the HSE have now fully confirmed that haemostatic dressings and tourniquets can be included in workplace first aid training.
The HSE advises that when carrying out a first aid needs assessment, employers who identify a specific risk of life-threatening bleeding (e.g. those working in arboriculture, construction, glass work, agriculture or those who use dangerous machinery) should consider providing tourniquets and haemostatic dressings and ensure that their workplace first aiders are trained in their use.
How this affects Training:
With employers now being required to consider life-threatening bleeding as part of their first aid needs assessment, training providers are now likely to be asked by employers to cover these topics on courses and asked to provide advice on suitable tourniquets and haemostatic dressings. It is therefore essential that all first aid training providers are able to provide training and advice.
As such, from July Qualsafe Awards will be introducing new Wounds and Bleeding Practical Assessment Papers that include the option to assess the application of tourniquets and haemostatic dressings. Learners who complete the training and assessment will have additional text added to their certificate that details their competency in these skills.
However, it is essential that those who teach, assess or quality assure assessments in tourniquets and haemostatic dressings are competent to do so. As we know that many training providers will not have a cost effective, simple way to gain the skills and knowledge needed, we have recently launched a new E-learning package that provides Trainers and IQAs with everything they need to know. To find out more please click here.
Whilst learning these life-saving skills is currently dependent on the circumstances of the Learner and their workplace, the Qualsafe Clinical Team strongly recommend that training in tourniquets and haemostatic dressings is provided as standard on all first aid courses. An evidence-based rationale document detailing why we have made this recommendation will be made available to Centres shortly. There are also many advantages for Centres who provide this as standard, such as being able to provide their customers with more in-depth training and advertise that their courses also cater for higher risk environments.
We are proud to say that Qualsafe.com first aid books and PowerPoint presentations already include sufficient advice on AED usage, tourniquets and haemostatic dressings to satisfy HSE requirements, so you can cover these topics without the need to purchase or print additional training handouts.
In line with RCUK, ERC , ILCOR and FPHC guidelines and supported by a distinguished medical review panel, you can be confident that Qualsafe.com training books are the No 1 choice for high quality training providers in the UK.
Should you need any further help or guidance, please contact your dedicated Customer Relationship Executive on 0845 644 3305 who will be happy to help.
Every 5 years the European Resuscitation Council (ERC), the Resuscitation Council (UK) and the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) review the latest research and evidence in resuscitation, and then release updated guidelines. In addition to this, for the first time in history, this year the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) have also produced guidelines for first aid.
Qualsafe Awards is delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for the Federation of Awarding Bodies’ Awarding Organisation of the Year!
With the Federation of Awarding Bodies representing over 110 awarding organisations throughout the UK, we are incredibly proud to have been shortlisted for this fantastic award. Over the last decade we have developed a thorough understanding of what training organisations want and need from an Awarding Organisation, which has helped us to develop a wide range of high quality qualifications to help our Centres succeed and Learners achieve.
With the winner due to be announced on 22nd October, we would like to thank our Centres for their continued support and we hope that we can continue to share our success with you in the future!
We are pleased to announce that we will be attending this year’s Emergency Services show on 23rd-24th September, at the NEC Birmingham. With over 5,000 visitors last year, this iconic event is truly unmissable for those involved in emergency care.
Our leading industry experts will be there to discuss Qualsafe Awards’ new First Response Emergency Care (FREC) qualifications and meet with fellow professionals, so be sure to come and see us!
Did you know that guidance from the Health and Safety Executive and Skills for Health states that from 1st October 2015:
First Aid Trainers must hold a formal regulated teaching/training qualification
First Aid Assessors must hold a formal regulated assessing qualification or have attended the relevant CPD Training with an Awarding Organisation
First Aid Internal Quality Assurers must hold a formal internal quality assurer qualification or have attended the relevant CPD Training with an Awarding Organisation.
The guidance details the requirements of Trainers and Assessors separately. It is accepted, however, that both roles are normally performed by the same person, providing the qualifications for both roles are met.
To discuss these requirements with one of our dedicated Customer Relationship Executives, simply call 0845 644 3305 or email email@example.com today.
We are pleased to announce that we have now introduced two new food safety qualifications to our fantastic portfolio:
QA Level 2 Award in Food Safety for Retail (QCF)
QA Level 2 Award in Food Safety for Manufacturing (QCF)
QA Level 2 Award in Food Safety for Retail (QCF) – Designed to help Learners gain an understanding of the importance of keeping food products safe, this 6 hour qualification is ideal for people working, or planning to work, in a food retail environment, e.g. supermarkets, corner shops or premises with hot and chilled food display counters. It includes how individuals have a personal responsibility for food safety, such as, the importance of personal hygiene, keeping work areas clean and hygienic, food handling practices and keeping food products safe.
QA Level 2 Award in Food Safety for Manufacturing (QCF) - This 6 hour qualification has been specifically designed for those who work, or intend to work, in a food manufacturing environment, such as, food production operatives who wish to develop their food safety awareness. It covers key aspects of food safety, including the importance of personal hygiene, keeping work areas clean and hygienic, food handling practices and keeping food products safe.
If you would like further information on the above qualifications, please contact Qualsafe Awards on 0845 644 3305 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The countdown is now underway for UK’s largest first aid conference- The Qualsafe Future of First Aid Conference 2015.
Returning to the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on 27th November 2015, the Qualsafe Future of First Aid Conference will provide delegates with exclusive access to the latest first aid changes and best practices to help stay at the forefront of the first aid industry. Throughout the day a selection of dynamic speakers will be bringing their unique insights into a number of fascinating topics, including:
The ERC First Aid Guidelines- Setting the Scientific Standard
Medication in First Aid- When Life and the Law Collide
When is a faint not just a faint- The Sinister Side of Syncope
The Resuscitation Council UK Guidelines 2015- The Essential Insight
2015 Summarised- From Paediatrics to Adults
Attendance at this year’s conference will entitle delegates to 6 CPD points, and will provide an excellent opportunity to network with fellow industry professionals.
With last year’s conference selling out in record time, make sure you secure your ticket today to avoid disappointment. Simply call 0845 644 3305 or email us at: email@example.com.
Qualsafe Awards would like to provide some clarification in response to a recent statement that has been incorrectly issued by another Awarding Organisation regarding the new Level 3 Paediatric First Aid qualification:
Incorrect Statement issued by another Awarding Organisation:
From Sept 2014 the Level 2 Award in Paediatric first aid will cease. Awarding organisations have put forward a proposal to make the paediatric first aid course a level 3 award.
The units in the current Level 2 Award in Paediatric First Aid (QCF) qualification have recently undergone a national review. During this review Awarding Organisations re-assessed the levelling (Levelling, in simple terms, is a score allocated based on the complexity and autonomy of the skills learned. For the avoidance of doubt, the Level of a qualification does not relate to its duration) and it was agreed that the updated units should be categorised as Level 3. This is largely due to the autonomy of the role of the paediatric first aider. Therefore, from 1st September 2014 the existing Level 2 Paediatric First Aid qualification will be replaced with the Level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid (QCF).
Incorrect Statement issued by another Awarding Organisation:
While the hours of this award have increased, awarding organisations, in consultation with the HSE have agreed to continue to offer this as a 2 day programme to ensure it is competitive with other organisations.
During the review of the paediatric qualification, the guided learning hours were also reassessed and for the first time an allowance was created based on time that the Learner may spend doing home study, reflection, repetition of skills etc. This increases the allocated guided learning hours, but does NOT, at present, increase the hours that Centres must allocate to face to face classroom learning/assessment. This remains at 12 hours.
Incorrect Statement issued by another Awarding Organisation:
The main benefit to employers is that someone attending this programme will also be deemed the competent first aider in the workplace for HSE purposes.
The HSE could never accept a paediatric qualification as it was only 12 hours. This new qualification meets both requirements.
The new Level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid does NOT meet the requirements of FAW and this is NOT suitable for the purposes of the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981. Adult first aid protocols are not formally assessed during this QCF qualification and the course is delivered at a much faster pace than the 18 contact hours required for FAW.
However, a proposal has been made and is currently being debated, to bring paediatric first aid qualifications in line with FAW. Please note that this suggestion is yet to be debated fully and could not be viably implemented unless all key stakeholders in the first aid industry AND the Department for Education agree. Further information and a national consultation document will be sent to all Centres in the near future so that everyone can provide their feedback on this. We would like to reassure Centres that no change in course duration will take place until the above consultation has taken place and we would never implement such changes without sufficient prior notice to Centres.
Did you know that guidance from the Health and Safety Executive and Skills for Health states that from 1st October 2015 all those who assess or quality assure first aid qualifications must hold a formal qualification?
However, regulated first aid qualifications follow the Skills for Health First Aid Assessment Principles, which provide an option for those who don’t hold formal assessing or internal quality assurance qualifications to attend a Continual Professional Development (CPD) training day instead.
Here at Qualsafe Awards we are dedicated to providing the best possible support for our Centres, and as such we are delighted to offer our 1 day CPD event which will cover all the information needed to successfully assess and quality assure regulated first aid qualifications.
Delegates who successfully complete this CPD training day will receive a certificate that is accepted by all Awarding Organisations, making it the ideal solution for those who only assess or quality assure first aid qualifications and a great alternative to completing a longer formal qualification.
What’s more, all attendees will receive 7 CPD points for their attendance and will benefit from the opportunity to network with Qualsafe Awards experts as well as other training organisations.
With our CPD Days being held regularly throughout the UK, please call 0845 644 3305 today to book your place or to find out more information!
The HSE has announced important information about the upcoming changes to first aid training.
New Implementation Date
The proposed implementation date for the new guidance has now been revised to 1st October 2013. Current HSE approvals will end the night before, when either legislative change will take effect or the HSE will put further arrangements in place.
Draft Guidance Published
The new draft guidance places responsibility on employers to do various levels of ‘due diligence’ to ensure that the quality of training meets the legislative requirements as follows:
Quality Assurance Route:
Level of due diligence required by the employer:
Regulated First Aid Qualification accredited by an Ofqual/SQA recognised Awarding Organisation (such as Qualsafe Awards)
No due diligence required.
Training from the Voluntary Aid Societies
(St. John, Red Cross, St Andrews Ambulance)
The draft guidance says that employers may still “wish to undertake some of the elements of due diligence”.
First Aid Association/body affiliation
Full due diligence should be carried out by the employer as “HSE is not in a position to verify the level of assurance” of this route.
Private / independent training provider with no accreditation/affiliation
Full due diligence should be carried out by the employer as “HSE is not in a position to verify the level of assurance” of this route.
Employers Likely to Choose Regulated Qualifications
As you can see from the guidance, choosing regulated qualifications is the only Quality Assurance route that requires no due diligence from employers and therefore the majority are likely to select this route.
Why Act NOW?
Here are the benefits of moving to Awarding Organisation accreditation NOW:
• Demonstrate to clients that you are already providing the new ‘platinum standard’ in first aid training.
• Reassure clients that you are well ahead of the changes and they won’t have to do any due diligence – you have it all in hand! Congratulations to them for choosing such a good training provider!
• Avoid trying to introduce changes at the last minute
• Save money compared to the current FAW system
The HSE has now confirmed that their approval of first aid training providers will expire at midnight on 5th April 2013 and the new Ofqual regulated Level 3 First Aid at Work course will be available to deliver from 1st January 2013.
By delivering the new qualification, all training providers (even those with their own HSE approval) will be able to save around £10 per learner in assessment costs on both the 3 day FAW and 2 day FAW requalification courses.
Choosing to deliver the new Ofqual regulated First Aid at Work course will not only demonstrate your commitment to providing the highest possible standards, but will enable you to make significant savings too.
Most training providers will SAVE around £10 per learner by joining Qualsafe Awards ready for January!
To work out how much you could save, simply use our online calculator.
Becoming a Centre is not complicated and you will be guided through every step.
Register today by calling 0845 644 3305 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may be aware that following the Government's acceptance of the Lofstedt Report, the HSE has now confirmed that the HSE approval system for first aid training providers will end. This will inevitably have a significant impact on the first aid training community and we have already received a large number of queries from concerned training providers. We hope that is information will help to clarify the current position and outline what is likely to happen over the coming months.
For the past 30 years, having HSE approval has allowed independent first aid training providers to illustrate to customers and potential clients that they delivered high quality training to a recognised standard. Without doubt, this has allowed smaller, private training providers to compete with big name brands such as St. John, British Red Cross and St. Andrew's Ambulance.
The team here at Qualsafe are committed to supporting the first aid training community and our aim is to help our customers succeed. Having recognised the importance of HSE approval, we have actively campaigned to protect training providers for many years. However, in recent years it has become increasingly clear that it was no longer a case of if HSE approval would be removed but when.
Deregulation could potentially open the door for large numbers of low quality first aid training providers to enter the market. Unfortunately, any confusion about standards in the independent sector will hand an advantage to organisations such as St. John and Red Cross, whose brand names are generally trusted by employers. It's important therefore that genuine, quality training providers, who are about to lose HSE approval, can replace this with something equally as credible.
When is removal of HSE approval likely to happen?
The HSE have key implementation dates of either April or October. Government ministers are keen to show that they are removing red-tape from the Health and Safety arena and want to see the changes sooner rather than later. Although no date has been confirmed as yet, this could ultimately mean that HSE approval is removed as soon as October 2012 and we think it is unlikely to happen any later than April 2013.
HSE Consultation Process
Whilst the decision to end HSE approval has already been made by the Government, a consultation process is being undertaken to look at how this is implemented. Also being looked at is the guidance provided to employers regarding first aid provision.
Adapting to a Deregulated Environment
Having considered the possible ways that we could support our customers, we came to the conclusion that the most beneficial way forward for independent training providers would be a move to Ofqual regulated qualifications. We know that employers and the HSE already have a high level of confidence in Ofqual regulated qualifications, so this option will allow independent training providers to compete effectively with the big name brands.
For this reason we established Qualsafe Awards as an Ofqual Regulated Awarding Organisation. We wanted to make sure that there is an Awarding body that has real expertise in the first aid training sector - one that would do everything possible to support first aid trainers and provide effective, workable methods of accrediting first aid training with minimum bureaucracy.
Registering with an Ofqual Awarding Organisation means that the qualifications you provide are accredited using a Government approved and nationally recognised system.
Importantly, this system is not complicated or expensive. Currently over 2,000 training providers are delivering Emergency First Aid at Work in this way and many of the 1,235 HSE approved training providers already deliver other qualifications using this method.
With the support of HSE, we have been working closely with the other Awarding Organisations to develop the new First Aid at Work qualification. This should seamlessly replace the current qualification and will be ready before the HSE approval system is removed.
What do I need to do now?
Now is a good time to ensure that all your trainer's records are up to date (including FAW certificates, teaching qualifications, training logs, etc.). These are all things that are already required under HSE approval and will help you to seamlessly transfer over to Awarding Organisation accreditation.
Although the new FAW qualification will not be introduced until later in the year, it is sensible to register as a Centre with an Awarding Organisation in advance. This will ensure that you avoid the rush of applications just before the HSE approval system ends.
I hope that this information is useful for you and that we can support you through these uncertain times.
We are delighted to announce that we are now offering Ofqual accredited qualifications. This is excellent news for both new and existing Qualsafe Awards Centres, who will be able to deliver both our HSE and Ofqual approved qualifications.
To find out more about our Ofqual qualifications, please call our dedicated customer service team on 0845 644 3305 or email us at email@example.com.
Welcome to our new look website. We have re-designed our website to better meet the needs of our customers. Please send us your comments on the new design and let us know if there is anything else you would like to see, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.