Introducing a brand new prehospital care qualification…

Qualsafe Level 4 Diploma for Associate Ambulance Practitioners (RQF)

Developed in collaboration with NHS trusts and key stakeholders, and reviewed by NENAS, the Qualsafe Level 4 Diploma for Associate Ambulance Practitioners (RQF) provides learners with the practical and theoretical knowledge required by those who work in, or hope to work in an ambulance environment, supporting registered and non-registered healthcare professionals.

Find out more >>


Also available from Qualsafe Awards…

QA Level 3 Diploma in Ambulance Emergency and Urgent Care Support (RQF)

Developed alongside South Central Ambulance Service for those who would like to begin, or advance their career in an ambulance environment to support registered and non-registered healthcare professionals. This qualification can also aid career progression in a relevant profession including Paramedic or Associate Ambulance Practitioner roles.

Find out more >>


Interested in these qualifications?

Alongside our industry-leading FREC® qualifications, we have a wide range of prehospital care qualifications. Designed by our in-house clinical professionals, these regulated and nationally recognised qualifications have been created to support a wide range of different prehospital care roles, for both professionals and those within the community.

To find out more about becoming a prehospital care Centre, please contact your CRE or email

Discover the full prehospital care range >>

The Latest on Training During COVID-19

Last week, the FAQP met to discuss what the latest changes to restrictions – coming into England and Scotland on 19th July, Northern Ireland on 26th July, and Wales on 7th August – mean for first aid training.

As such, they have released the following statement:

As the UK and devolved governments have announced that some restrictions in relation to the Covid pandemic will be reduced or removed on 19 July 2021 (7 August 2021 in Wales), the FAQP recommends that employers, in addition to the points listed in GEIS3 ‘Selecting a first-aid training provider: A guide for employers’ consider the following points in relation to the ongoing pandemic:

  • That your first aid training provider has a risk assessment in place that is regularly reviewed in light of the changing prevalence of CoVid19 and continuing pandemic.
  • That the risk assessment includes the following controls:
    – Minimising face-to-face contact
    – Requirement to wear face coverings
  • That they have, in place in line with HSE guidance:
    – Adequate ventilation
    – Good hand hygiene protocols
    – Sufficient cleaning
  • The first aid taught includes protocols that ensure the safe performance of first aid during the current CoVid19 outbreak backed up by a body of medical opinion and the Resuscitation Council (UK).
  • That they comply with general Coronavirus guidance based on their geographical location
    Northern Ireland

The First Aid Awarding Organisation Forum recommend that whilst Lateral Flow Tests continue to be freely available, Training Providers should consider asking Learners to provide evidence of a negative Lateral Flow Test when attending first aid training.

What does this mean for trainers?

For clarification, Qualsafe read ‘minimising face-to-face contact’ as minimising the time spent where learners are not socially distanced. Given the prevalence of the virus at present, Qualsafe still recommend 2m distancing of learners. Good room ventilation is of the utmost importance. The HSE have produced guidance on room ventilation. This can be found here.

From a workplace perspective, health and safety at work legislation has not changed, therefore the responsiblity remains to continue with risk assessments and implementing measures that will help to reduce the spread of the virus.

Further Guidance

In order to reduce the risk within your training setting, there are some important infection prevention and control measures we advise you continue to practice:

1. Ahead of your training, complete a COVID-19 risk assessment.

2. Follow our existing guidance on control measures and CPR Manikin Hygiene – please read these documents carefully.

3. All trainers should know the track and trace self-isolation rules and make sure that under no circumstance does ‘close contact’ occur during your training sessions. For more information about ‘close contact’, please see our FAQs below.

4. Do not be complacent! Treat every person in the room (including you) as COVID positive. Stay focused and do not let your guard down.

For further information on teaching rescue breaths during the pandemic, please click here.

We will continue to update you via email with any further changes within the industry, alongside providing up-to-date here on the Qualsafe Awards website.

If you require further assistance, then please contact us on 0330 660 0899 or email

Training During COVID-19 FAQs:

Yes – the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) still requires adequate first aid provision in the workplace based on the employer’s first aid needs assessment. The Department for Education (DfE) also requires adequate paediatric first aid provision, based on the EYFS Statutory Framework, including recent modifications in relation to COVID-19.

In addition, the HSE have confirmed that 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 31st March 2021.

The Department for Education have published an extension to requalification of Paediatric First Aid certificates if PFA certificate requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, or by complying with related government advice. In these cases certificates have been extended to 31 March 2021. (This applies to certificates expiring on or after 1 October 2020).

Therefore, any requalification should be completed as soon as possible, but no later than these dates.

There are many precautions to incorporate into your training, as outlined below.

Please be aware that the decision to deliver face to face training and the management of the associated risks are solely the responsibility of the Centre.
A ‘close contact’ is defined as:

a. having face-to-face contact with someone less than 1 metre away (including times when you have worn a face covering or a face mask)

b. spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of someone

c. travelling in a car or other small vehicle with someone (even on a short journey) or close to them on a plane

d. if you work in – or have recently visited – a setting with other people (for example, a GP surgery, a school or a workplace). The use of face masks and other forms PPE does not exclude somebody from being considered a close contact, unless they are providing direct care with patients or residents in a health and care setting*

*We note that providing healthcare does not trigger track and trace. The logical reason for this is that level 2 PPE must be worn when providing healthcare and BOTH people (patient and healthcare provider) should be wearing 3-ply surgical face masks (not a home-made mask). First Aiders should wear level 2 PPE when providing first aid in the workplace and during ANY contact closer than 2 meters during a first aid training course (which should be kept to an absolute minimum). “Face to face” conversations should be avoided, even when masks are worn.
The provision of qualifications should be employer led; where those who require a qualification, require it to correctly perform their job.

For example, the sole First Aider in an office who needs to renew their certificate will need to undertake training. However, for someone who is planning to take the qualification for a reason unrelated to their employment, this could be considered less time critical.
We have produced a number of comprehensive guidance documents to help Centres mitigate the risks posed by COVID-19.

Qualsafe Awards highly recommends conducting a risk assessment prior to your face-to-face training – a template is available here.

We have also produced a ‘Providing Safe, Socially Distanced First Aid Training’ document, which provides infection prevention and control guidance and safety measures which should be implemented when delivering and assessing First Aid qualifications. We would also recommend following our advice regarding manikin hygiene, which can be found here.

All of these items are also available from the Centre Downloads section of the Portal – under COVID-19.

You should also take into account the latest advice from the UK Government and devolved administrations or any regional restrictions.
Through Blended Learning, you can move part of your First Aid course online!

Futureproof your First Aid training with Qualsafe Awards’ new, ground-breaking Blended Learning package. Combine our platinum standard e-Learning with your high-quality classroom training to help your business compete in a post COVID world.

We have created an industry leading e-Learning course that incorporates ultra-high quality video production, fully immersive quizzes and activities, designed to impart knowledge from our trusted clinical experts.

To find out more about Qualsafe Awards Blended Learning, click here.
Yes! With Qualsafe at Home, you can now move much of your training online.

Qualsafe at Home allows you to deliver training to learners in their own homes, providing greater flexibility whilst opening up new markets and opportunities. Click here to find out more.

To view a list of all qualifications available through Qualsafe at Home, click here.
Yes! With Qualsafe at Home, you can combine online training and e-Assessment, propelling your courses into the digital world and removing geographic restrictions on who can get to your course!

e-Assessment allows you to schedule your assessments at a time which suits both you and your learners, saving you time and money. To find out more, click here.

To view a list of all qualifications available through Qualsafe at Home, click here.
You can currently deliver part of your First Aid at Work qualification with Qualsafe Awards e-Learning! You can check out Qualsafe Awards First aid Blended Learning today, with more e-Learning available in the very near future!

In addition to our ground-breaking e-Learning, you are now able to deliver and assess some qualifications remotely. Please visit Qualsafe at Home for more information.

Qualification Withdrawal – QA Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment (RQF).

As of Friday 9th July 2021, we will cease our awarding of the QA Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment (RQF).

Qualsafe Awards will no longer offer this qualification. Centres wishing to continue delivering this qualification must do so with another Awarding Organisation.

Why are we withdrawing this qualification?

We have been disappointed to discover a high level of fraudulent activity and malpractice related to qualifications which lead to learners gaining a CSCS card. The associated costs of investigating such malpractice and the level of compliance which is required to maintain public confidence and ensure the safety of those holding this qualification has risen significantly. We feel that the resulting increase in costs and quality assurance processes will also become unmanageable for our Centres. For this reason, we are withdrawing this qualification and increasing our focus on providing new, innovative qualifications.

What will happen ahead of Friday 9th July 2021?

As of Monday 28th June 2021, we will raise the price of QA Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment (RQF) learner registrations to £20 per learner to cover the costs of our increased monitoring activities. In addition, we will require Centres to adhere to the following rules:

  • Provide a minimum of 5 working days’ notice for each course.
  • A full list of those who will be attending the course – including all learner names – must be submitted at least 5 days prior to the course.
  • Have a minimum of 3 learners on each course you are delivering.
  • Course cancellations must be communicated with at least 12 hours’ notice or charges (to cover the cost of scheduled EQA monitoring) may be incurred.

Failure to comply with these requirements will result in certificates not being issued for your learners.

What will happen after Friday 9th July 2021?

For any learners currently holding a QA Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment (RQF), their certificates will remain valid and can continue to be used to apply for the Green Labourer CSCS Card. We will continue to verify their certificate to CSCS.

For any Centres who still hold learner registrations for the QA Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment (RQF) after Friday 9th July 2021, you will be refunded.

Teaching Rescue Breaths During the Pandemic


We need to let you know about a statement released today from the First Aid Quality Partnership (FAQP), in agreement with the HSE and Resuscitation Council UK that will impact on how we teach and assess CPR over the next few months.

Please see the statement below, followed by some further details from Qualsafe Awards on how you can document this on assessment papers.

Statement released today from FAQP:

In response to the increased prevalence of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases and the increased transmission of the new variants, the First Aid Quality Partnership and Health and Safety Executive supports the position of Resuscitation Council UK that practical demonstration of rescue breaths may be omitted from some first aid training courses, as a precautionary measure while COVID transmission rates remain high.


  • If a Training Provider, a Trainer, a Learner or an Employer is concerned about the removal of a face covering in order to demonstrate rescue breaths, the learner(s) may demonstrate chest compressions only for adult resuscitation. This will not affect the validity or duration of certification, however attendance on annual refresher training is strongly recommended


  • There is good evidence that rescue breaths form an essential part of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation particularly in children, infants and those who have drowned. The benefits of teaching rescue breaths to those who have a duty to provide first aid to these groups far outweighs the extremely small theoretical risk of transmission in the classroom whilst practising this skill. For this reason, rescue breaths should continue to be taught on paediatric first aid courses, lifeguard training, and with other groups such as emergency service workers


  • The above recommendation is temporary and will be reviewed on a regular basis. As the roll out of vaccines continues to grow at a pace and the current peak subsides we intend to reintroduce the mandatory practising, performance and assessment of rescue breaths in the classroom once the prevalence in society subsides. We will issue further notifications when reviews take place

Further information from Qualsafe Awards:

The Qualsafe team fully understand that this statement from FAQP will generate mixed opinions from Centres. Our understanding is that this does not mean that you must stop teaching rescue breaths, but it does give you the option to temporarily do so at a Centre level if you wish.

We understand that HSE will be issuing a bulletin on the matter at some point and we will inform you as soon as we know more about this.

How to Adapt Training, Assessments and Paperwork:

If a specific Learner or the entire course performs chest compression only CPR when being assessed demonstrating competency in adult resuscitation, the following examples should be used to annotate the practical assessment paperwork with any reference to rescue breaths:

If all other pass criteria have been met, the Learner will still receive a pass for that particular assessment.

In these cases, the Learner(s) should demonstrate continuous chest compressions without pausing for rescue breaths. Rescue breaths must still be demonstrated by the trainer or shown by video (videos are provided in the ‘downloads’ section of the Qualsafe Awards Portal).

Rescue breaths must still be taught and assessed in CPR for Children and Babies.

Further Important Information:

During periods when the prevalence of COVID-19 is high or very high, we continue to recommend that Learners and Trainers wear face masks even when seated/distanced.

HSE have also produced guidance on room ventilation that you should follow in order to protect against the risk of aerosolised virus. This can be found here.

Please also ensure you are following our existing guidance on what precautions should be taken before and during a course:

HSE Certificate Validity Extension

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the HSE have released a statement regarding a further extension to First Aid at Work and Emergency First Aid at Work certificate validity:

First Aid at Work (FAW) and Emergency First aid at Work (EFAW) certificates requalification

First aid providers have resumed first aid training and assessment. In some cases, there remains a back log or limited availability.

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.

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.

For further information on the HSE’s advice, please click here.

If you require any further support or clarification, please contact us at or call us on 0330 660 0899.