News

Teaching Rescue Breaths During the Pandemic

16/02/2021

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.

Specifically;

  • 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:


First Aid Training During the Winter Lockdown

Updated: 18/02/2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an immeasurable impact on all parts of our society, creating an unprecedented situation for businesses and individuals to navigate and adapt to. Following the announcements from UK leaders on 4th January 2021 placing England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland into lockdown, we have released further guidance for training during this period.

On 16th February 2021 – further clarification regarding teaching rescue breaths during the pandemic was provided by the HSE and FAQP. Further information can be found here.

The First Aid Quality Partnership (FAQP) met on the 5th January 2021 to discuss the impact of the latest lockdown restrictions on the delivery of First Aid training. The key message resulting from this meeting was:

The provision of First Aid qualifications can continue to be delivered in line with existing COVID-secure guidelines.

The HSE were reassured that the industry will continue to be able to service demand from employers during the lockdown in a COVID-secure way. Following clarification from each of the UK devolved administrations, the HSE have released the following statement:

First aid training during coronavirus restrictions in place on 15th January 2021

First aid training in England

The policy position of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is that first aid training required to comply with health and safety or other legislation can continue to take place under relevant coronavirus restrictions in England. All possible measures must be taken to ensure that both training activities and environment are covid secure.

Under current restrictions, some premises are closed to the public or are prohibited from carrying out their normal business. These premises can be considered for use as training venues, providing the conditions outlined above are adhered to.

All businesses and individuals should adhere to current regulations and follow relevant Government guidance.

HSE’s current guidance on first aid certificate extensions covers all of GB and remains unaltered.

First aid training in Scotland

The Scottish Government has informed HSE that first aid training can be permitted under the current coronavirus restrictions, given the following considerations:

  • The training is a required part of the work or operation of the business commissioning the training (e.g. is necessary for compliance with health and safety or other legislation).
  • Other requirements for businesses and individuals under the current restrictions are met.
  • All controls necessary are in place to comply with relevant regulations and guidance published by the Scottish Government and any additional measures necessary to ensure the training activities and environment are covid secure are taken.

Under current restrictions, some premises are closed to the public or are prohibited from carrying out their normal business. These premises can be considered for use as training venues, providing the conditions outlined above are adhered to.

HSE’s current guidance on first aid certificate extensions covers all of GB and remains unaltered.

First aid training in Wales

The Welsh Government has informed HSE that first aid training can be permitted under the current coronavirus restrictions, given the following considerations:

  • The training is a required part of the work or operation of the business commissioning the training (e.g. is necessary for compliance with health and safety or other legislation).
  • Other requirements for businesses and individuals under the current restrictions are met.
  • All controls necessary are in place to comply with relevant regulations and guidance published by the Welsh Government and any additional measures necessary to ensure the training activities and environment are covid secure are taken.

Premises required to close for normal business under coronavirus restrictions may be considered for use as training venues, providing the conditions outlined above are adhered to. Authority to open premises for first aid training can be obtained from the relevant local authority or appropriate department of the Welsh Government.

HSE’s current guidance on first aid certificate extensions covers all of GB and remains unaltered.

First aid training in Northern Ireland

The current policy position of the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is as follows:

First Aid at Work training required to comply with health and safety or other legislation can continue to take place under relevant coronavirus restrictions in Northern Ireland.

All possible measures must be taken to prevent the transmission of coronavirus, in relation to training activities and the environment, subject to a suitable and sufficient risk assessment, putting in place appropriate controls, taking into account public health advice.

Risk Assessment during the COVID pandemic – HSEGB

Under the current restrictions, some premises are closed to the public or are prohibited from carrying out their normal business. These premises can be considered for use as training venues providing all applicable legislation is adhered.

Coronavirus – COVID-19 – Current Restriction, NI – indirect website

HSENI’s current guidance on first aid certificate extensions will remain unaltered – 31st March 2021.

HSENI – first-aid-during-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

Qualsafe Awards are satisfied that, providing training is delivered in line with existing COVID-secure guidelines, training for all Qualsafe Awards qualifications can continue.

Latest Update from the Department of Education (DfE)

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).

You can read more about requalification in Section 7.2 of the DfE’s latest update.

For more information regarding First Aid at Work and Emergency First Aid at Work certificate validity, please click here.

Further statements from around the industry

A recent statement from Ofqual includes:

“Our message to students is this: please continue to engage as fully as you can in your education. That will be online for the majority of students, or face-to-face for those students still going in to their school, college or training provider.”

Furthermore, Government legislation currently makes provision for those who are attending education or training.

In order to reduce the risk within your training setting, there are some important infection prevention and control measures you should put in place:

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

2. Follow our existing guidance on control measures – please read this carefully and ensure you adhere to it.

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.

In relation to First Aid training – the HSE and DfE have not relaxed their rules on maintaining adequate first aid provision in the workplace. Therefore, whenever an employer needs to maintain mandatory first aid provision by sending a first aider on a relevant first aid training course (whether on furlough leave or not), this should be the primary driver behind Centres continuing to deliver training courses during the lockdown period.

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

 

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.


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 info@qualsafeawards.org or call us on 0330 660 0899.


Blended Learning has landed…

Futureproof your First Aid training with Qualsafe Awards’ new, ground-breaking Blended Learning package!

The training expectations in the workplace have changed, so to support you – we have created this innovative product to add to your portfolio of training solutions, enabling you to tailor your services to your clients’ needs.

Click here to find out more!

Packed with fully immersive quizzes, activities and ultra-high quality video production – our e-Learning has been designed to impart knowledge from our trusted clinical experts; guaranteed to provide your learners with the highest possible standard of learning that compliments your classroom delivery.

This brand new delivery method is now available and ready to save you time and money! No complicated sign-up, all first aid Centres are automatically approved.

To get started with Blended Learning, sign into the Qualsafe Awards Portal and head to ‘Learner Registrations’ – under First Aid at Work, you will now find a ‘Blended’ option, and a full demo of our industry-leading e-Learning:

Sign in to the Qualsafe Awards Portal


Qualsafe Awards and Medipro – 14 candidates complete the QA Level 6 Diploma in Paramedic Practice (RQF)!

Last week saw the completion of the first ever HCPC Approved Paramedic Programme by a Qualsafe Awards Approved Centre, Medipro, with 14 successful candidates eligible to become HCPC registered paramedics – several of whom have already gained their registration number and make their way to the front line!

Qualsafe Awards and Medipro have been working on, what is currently the only truly vocational entrance to becoming a paramedic, this Award and Programme for a number of years. This pathway is made up of a progressive suite of qualifications, which are built into an HCPC approved paramedic programme – offering an opportunity to those who may not be in a position to undertake study through the traditional University route.

For Medipro, this marks the end of an 8-year journey to push the prehospital care industry forward and make paramedic education more accessible and flexible. After several set-backs and some unsuccessful partnerships, in 2016 Medipro approached Qualsafe Awards who also felt that there was huge potential for a viable, alternative route to University study.

Qualsafe Awards, at that time, had recently released a range of groundbreaking, vocational prehospital care qualifications (FREC). These progressive qualifications provided a route to a career within ambulance services, so the final step to create an HCPC approved Paramedic programme in partnership with Medipro felt like a natural step.

With shared values and common goals, our partnership with Qualsafe Awards works really well. Their team have helped us to bring our vision to life – we wanted to create a vocational programme that would help address the industry shortfall and provide learners with an alternative route to becoming a Paramedic.” – Brian English, Managing Director Medipro

Working with the Medipro team was a pleasure. Both organisations had the same goal to offer greater flexibility for those wishing to become a Paramedic whilst preserving the extremely high standards in the profession.”- Anita Goodfellow, CEO Qualsafe Awards

The newly qualified students largely come from ambulance backgrounds, with a variety of ages and prior academic achievements; this has proven to be an excellent route to become a paramedic where learners have been looking for a career change or want the ability to combine work with their study. Already, MediPro have received a commitment to fill available places for the next 2 years from an NHS trust.

For Qualsafe Awards, having students who have come through the full FREC journey is very special; this 2 year Paramedic programme comprises of Qualsafe Awards’ nationally recognised qualifications:

• QA Level 3 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (RQF)
• QA Level 4 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (RQF)
• QA Level 5 Diploma in First Response Emergency and Urgent Care (RQF)
• QA Level 3 Award in the Safe Administration of Lifesaving Medication (RQF)
• QA Level 6 Diploma in Paramedic Practice (RQF)

Medipro’s programme not only accommodates those starting from scratch but also allows those who are more experienced, for example as Ambulance Technicians, through a fast-track route to fulfil their ambitions of becoming a Paramedic; taking into account their current skills and prior learning.

This news has come at an especially important time, with as many paramedics as possible needed in the fight against COVID-19, Qualsafe Awards in partnership with MediPro are pleased to provide an alternative route into this fantastic profession.

To find out more about this programme, please contact Medipro or Qualsafe Awards for further details.