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.
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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.