Training During and Beyond COVID-19

Updated: 21/05/2020

21/05/2020 – 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: 21/05/2020). 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.

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 for further details.

Additionally, if PFA certificate requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with 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.

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.


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