News

First Aid Training During COVID-19

Updated: 11/06/2020

As the COVID-19 situation constantly develops, Qualsafe Awards aims to keep you informed of all of the latest changes to advice from the different bodies who provide guidance for the first aid industry.

The First Aid Quality Partnership (FAQP) has now made a statement and the First Aid Awarding Organisation Forum (FAAOF) have amended their previous statement to provide joint FAQP/FAAOF guidance for first aid training during the COVID-19 pandemic. The joint statement is available here.

Based on the above, Qualsafe Awards have updated our more detailed advice ‘Providing Safe, Socially Distanced First Aid Training‘ which must be closely followed when delivering training and assessments.

We have also updated our detailed guidance on manikin hygiene which can be found here.

We have now made available a downloadable risk assessment and screening questions for our Centres.

Further information from the First Aid Industry:

The HSE have also updated their advice regarding emergency first aid at work and first aid at work certificate validity extensions. This update relates to certificates which expired on or after 16th March 2020 and the time remaining for requalification training to be completed:

“The first aid training industry in England is confident that enough courses will now be available for all required requalification training to take place. HSE has therefore agreed a final deadline for requalification for these qualifications of 30th September 2020.”

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

The DfE have also updated their advice regarding paediatric first aid certificate validity extensions. This update relates to certificates which expired on or after 16th March 2020 and the time remaining for requalification training to be completed.

“Additionally, If PFA certificate requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with coronavirus (COVID-19), or by complying with related government advice, the validity of current certificates can be extended by up to 3 months. This applies to certificates expiring on or after 16th March 2020. If requalification training is still unavailable, a further extension is possible to no later than 30th September 2020.”

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

If you require any further support or clarification, please contact us at info@qualsafeawards.org – however, please be aware that we are running with a reduced number of staff and response times may be longer than usual.


Training During and Beyond COVID-19

Updated: 03/06/2020

03/06/2020 – Following the FAAOF/FAQP joint statement, please click here for the latest advice on first aid training.

 

Following on from a meeting of the First Aid Awarding Organisation Forum (FAAOF), we are able to share a statement regarding a return to face-to-face training:

FAAOF recommend that first aid training (other than absolutely essential first aid training) should not restart until after the government has changed the COVID-19 alert status to Level 3. 

Please click here to read the full statement.

The COVID-19 alert level is currently set at Level 4, the UK Government have said they anticipate that this will change to Level 3 no earlier than 1st June.

At Qualsafe Awards, we have amended our Providing Safe, Socially Distanced First Aid Training advice and we are currently putting together a risk assessment template for our Centres, which we hope to circulate next week.

The HSE have also updated their advice regarding first aid cover, first aid certificate extensions and interrupted first aid training; please click here for more information. Also, for an updated statement from the First Aid Quality Partnership (FAQP), please click here.

Please find below our original guidance from 01/05/2020, which reflects the above statements and contains some further information for Centres.

If you require any further support or clarification, please contact us at info@qualsafeawards.org – however, please be aware that we are running with a reduced number of staff and response times may be longer than usual.

07/05/2020 – Important clarification please click here.

01/05/2020 – This update aims to clarify essential face-to-face training, provide details on remote delivery and the measures Centres can take to help reduce the spread of the virus and comply with the UK government’s advice on social distancing:

What is the current situation for first aid provision?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has stated that employers should review their first aid needs assessment and maintain adequate first aid provision for those continuing to operate in the workplace.

To support employers with maintaining adequate first aid provision during COVID-19, the HSE has provided some helpful guidance (updated: 03/06/2020). This includes extending the validity of Emergency First Aid and First Aid at Work certificates where requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with COVID-19, or by complying with related government advice. This applies to certificates expiring on or after 16 March 2020.

The first aid training industry in England is confident that enough courses will now be available for all required requalification training to take place. HSE has therefore agreed a final deadline for requalification for these qualifications of 30th September 2020.

What is the current situation for early years first aid provision?

The Department for Education (DfE) have modified the EYFS statutory framework in response to changes in the workforce. This includes the requirement for at least one person with a full Paediatric First Aid (PFA) certificate to be on the premises at all times where there are children below the age of 2. However, if there are children aged 2-5 within a setting, providers must use their ‘best endeavours’ to ensure one person with a full Paediatric First Aid (PFA) certificate is on-site when children are present. Please click here (updated: 03/06/2020) for further details.

Additionally, If PFA certificate requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with coronavirus (COVID-19), or by complying with related government advice, the validity of current certificates can be extended by up to 3 months. This applies to certificates expiring on or after 16 March 2020. If requalification training is still unavailable, a further extension is possible to no later than 30 September 2020. If asked to do so, providers should be able to explain why the first aider hasn’t been able to requalify and demonstrate what steps have taken to access the training. Employers or certificate holders must do their best to arrange requalification training at the earliest opportunity.

What is ‘essential training’?

For workplaces that are unable to maintain adequate first aid provision, essential face-to-face classroom training may be required. This could include those who work in hospitals, schools, supermarkets, care homes, construction, manufacturing and other front line services.

Other essential training may also be required for key workers to comply with health and safety regulations and safeguarding requirements.

How can I safely carry out essential first aid training face-to-face?

We have created a document Providing Safe, Socially Distanced First Aid Training (updated: 21/05/2020), which details the steps that can be taken to mitigate the risk of infection as far as possible when delivering and assessing first aid training in the classroom. This is a live document and will be updated whenever new evidence or guidance comes to light in this fast moving situation.

Can I deliver first aid training online?

First aid training that is delivered solely online is not permitted by the HSE or DfE, however a ‘blended learning’ approach remains acceptable. You must provide us with assurances that training will meet Qualsafe Awards’ requirements prior to delivery. For online training to be successful, the appropriate equipment, environment and support must be made available to both Centres and Learners.

Centres can deliver a maximum of one third of the training time required for Emergency First Aid and First Aid at Work and half the training time required for the full Paediatric First Aid qualification through distance learning, which includes either e-learning or live video conferencing. No assessments for these qualifications can be taken online. The remainder of the course must be delivered and assessed in the classroom.

The HSE have not relaxed their rules on blended learning and therefore the Blended Learning Principles agreed by the First Aid Quality Partnership are applicable, so you should adhere to these for any blended delivery.

If you would like to consider being approved to offer blended learning, please click on the following links to access the Blended Learning Policy for Regulated First Qualifications and Blended Learning Agreement for Regulated First Aid Qualifications.

Can I deliver other QA qualifications remotely?

Yes, however you must provide us with assurances that training will meet Qualsafe Awards’ requirements prior to delivery.

Centres can deliver a maximum of 3 days of the FREC3 course content through live video conferencing. No assessments can be taken online. The remainder of the course must be delivered and assessed in the classroom when training can be resumed.

Online delivery and assessment can be used for all qualifications contained within the Education and Training suite.

We are currently trialling a secure method of remote assessment so that a range of our Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications can be delivered and assessed remotely. We will advise you of these exciting developments very soon. In the meantime, if you would like to know more and prepare for online delivery, please contact us.

If you would like to be approved to deliver remote training courses, please click on the following link to access the Remote Training Delivery and Learner Assessment Agreement.

What about planning for the future?

It’s currently unknown when social distancing measures will be lifted and normal training procedures can resume. However, with socially distanced first aid training guidance, blended learning options for first aid and complete remote delivery options for other qualifications, Qualsafe Awards is committed to helping you continue training during these unprecedented times and into the future.

If you have any questions or require additional support, please email info@qualsafeawards.org. While our phone lines are still open, we will be able to answer emails more promptly.


COVID-19 Update – Further Clarification

07/05/2020 – Further to our communications on 1st May 2020, we have received some enquires and would like to clarify that the document is NOT encouraging a return to training until further government guidance is released. We continue to recommend that only ESSENTIAL first aid training should take place until we have more advice from the government. The document gives clear examples of what constitutes essential training and Qualsafe do not support any face-to-face training outside this remit at the present time.

The aim of the document is to allow Centres to start preparing for ‘the new normal’. As this is highly likely to involve sitting learners 2 metres apart, this has significant implications for the venues that you use, the number of learners you allow on a course and the PPE equipment that you will need, so early preparation is vital.

Please read the documents in their entirety so that you can start preparing now for when the government starts to ease the UK back into work. Please note that these documents are live and will change as more information emerges. We are expecting a government announcement on Sunday evening and there is a First Aid Quality Partnership meeting on Wednesday 13th May 2020, so we expect some minor changes as further guidance is agreed.

As a paramedic currently working on the front line, I am witnessing first-hand the devastation that this virus is causing. Please read the information carefully, so that when we are allowed to return to the classroom, you are fully prepared and able to do it safely.

Kind regards

Nigel Barraclough MCPara CertEd

CEO of Qualsafe Group


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.


COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Changes at Qualsafe Group

 

Throughout the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation, we have aimed to provide the best possible support and maintain a high quality service.

Inevitably, due to the nature of our industry, we have seen a lower level of demand and as such, we will be offering a more limited service.

With this in mind, starting today there will be some changes to our operations across the Qualsafe Group:

Qualsafe Awards…

  • To contact us, please email info@qualsafeawards.orgWhile our phone lines are still open, we will be able to answer emails more regularly and accurately.
  • Access to our printers will no longer be possible, and so printed certificates will not be available for the time being. Therefore, we will only be supplying e-certificates until further notice.If you have not yet registered for e-certs, please click here to find out more.

Qualsafe.com…

  • To contact us, please email info@qualsafe.comWhile our phone lines are still open, we will be able to answer emails more regularly and accurately.
  • Personalised Books – Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the printers who supply our books have now closed for the safety of their staff. We have cancelled the upcoming May print run and, unfortunately, we cannot currently advise on the expected delivery date for outstanding orders. Once this service returns, we will provide further information about delivery of outstanding orders.We are currently taking provisional orders for the June 2020 print run; however, this is dependent on further advice from the government regarding COVID-19. In the meantime, we are able to supply our standard, unbranded manuals.
  • Rather than our usual Next Day Delivery service, it may take up to 7 days to dispatch items in order to reduce the number of journeys required to and from our warehouse. Please note that any Returns may also take longer to process.
  • Our plastic cards printing service will be unavailable until further notice.

During these next difficult weeks and months, we would like to offer our best wishes to you and your families and hope that you stay safe and healthy.


Qualsafe Awards