First Aid Training During the Winter Lockdown

Updated: 06/11/2020

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. Unfortunately, as the numbers have risen once again, in order to keep people safe, we must once again press pause on certain activities.

The First Aid Awarding Organisations Forum (FAAOF) met again this week to discuss the situation.

At present, the UK Government have made the provision that, during this period of strict lockdown, all learners should be able to access education. As the delivery of regulated qualifications falls under the description of “education”, our industry is able to continue operating – however it must do so under strict safety requirements.

For the safety of yourself and your Learners, we ask that the delivery of regulated qualifications is undertaken in accordance with the following guidance:

The provision of qualifications is employer led; where those who require a qualification in order 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.

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

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

2. Follow our recently updated 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 a ‘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 forecasted 1-month lockdown period. For more information regarding certificate validity, please click here.

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


Training During COVID-19 FAQs:

Yes – as workplaces reopen, 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 those first aid at work qualifications which expired on or after 16th March 2020 and qualified for a validity extension, will only remain valid until 30th September 2020. The DfE have confirmed that paediatric first aid qualifications which expired on or after 16th March 2020 and qualified for a validity extension, will only remain valid until 25th November 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.
In line with the joint FAAOF and FAQP statement, 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.

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.

The DfE have provided the following 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.

If Paediatric First Aid 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 to 25th November 2020 at the latest. This applies to certificates which expired on or after 16th March 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 been taken to access the training. Employers or certificate holders must do their best to arrange requalification training at the earliest opportunity.” (updated 31.07.2020)

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

If you require any further support or clarification, please contact us at 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.

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.

Due to government restrictions, our offices are currently closed. With this in mind, there are some ongoing changes to our operations across the Qualsafe Group:

Qualsafe Awards…

  • To contact us, please email While our phone lines are still open, we will be able to answer emails more regularly and accurately.
  • Access to our printers is currently not possible. For this reason, we will be supplying e-Certificates in place of physical certificates until further notice. If you have not yet registered for e-Certificates, please click here to find out more.
  • Please don’t post your documents to us – if we have requested documents from you, please scan or photograph these before emailing them to our team.…

  • To contact us, please email While our phone lines are still open, we will be able to answer emails more regularly and accurately.
  • Our warehouse is operating at normal capacity, allowing us to process and dispatch your orders at our usual fast pace – with Next Day delivery as standard!

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.

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