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 to protect against the risk of aerosolised virus. 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.