❓…. Can I do my First Aid training online?


…. Are online First Aid courses legitimate or not?

I have heard the above questions quite a lot and particularly at the moment when very well meaning people ask me if I could deliver my courses online via zoom, Go To Webinar or any other platform.

If you need First Aid for work – no matter where you work – then the short answer is NO – you can’t just complete an online course.

Appropriate First Aid training MUST include face to face training and assessment of practical skills. There are a number of other criteria that must be met too.

You CAN’T just complete an online First Aid course if you work in a school, nursery, office, on a building site, if you are a childminder, or work anywhere else. It really is that simple.

How can you practice CPR online? How can you get the opportunity to practice using a trainer defibrillator online? How can you use a trainer auto-injector online? Most people don’t have these things lying around their office or house.

There are 3 types of First Aid Course that I have seen advertised online over the Lockdown period – Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW), First Aid at Work (FAW) and Paediatric First Aid.

Although the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) no longer regulate training providers they still oversee First Aid at Work, they say that to satisfy due diligence requirements, you must ensure that:

“…. Sufficient time is allocated to classroom based learning and assessment of the practical elements of the syllabus”

They also remind us that :

“elements of the syllabus requiring practical demonstration of First Aid administration should be assessed by direct observation to ensure the competence of candidates”

Online First Aid courses cannot meet the requirements of the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, even if the organisation that is advertising them claims that their course does. Simply put, the HSE do not allow or recognise First Aid training that has been delivered purely online.

It does however permit a blended approach where the theory elements are delivered online and the practical elements are demonstrated, practiced and assessed in the classroom face to face.

Please don’t get caught out by falling for the claims of some organisations out there who are saying that you can complete your Emergency First Aid at Work course online.

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