First Aid Training in Schools – Q&A?

What are the legal requirements on schools in respect of first aid provision?

All employers are required under the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work.What is ‘adequate and appropriate’ will depend on the circumstances in your workplace and you should assess what your first-aid needs are.

These requirements deal only with employees, under the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, employers have a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of non-employees. For schools this will obviously include pupils, visitors and other non-employees on site.

Primary Schools that are Early Years providers will be responsible under the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory framework (EYFS) to provide at least one person who has a current paediatric first aid (PFA) certificate must be on the premises and available at all times when children are present, and must accompany children on outings.

What First Aid facilities are schools required to have?

The minimum first-aid provision on any work site is: a suitably stocked first-aid kit ; an appointed person to take charge of first-aid arrangements; information for employees about first-aid arrangements. Dependant on size, schools would be expected to have a fully stocked first aid provision for the types of incidents that are likely to occur.

How many First Aiders are needed in schools?

The HSE provides extensive guidance for this, it starts with the responsible person (usually head teacher) making a first aid needs assessment appropriate to the circumstances of each workplace. This will include reviewing the needs of employees, pupils and visitors and the hazards on site that are likely to cause incidents requiring first aid. It also needs to consider staff cover, absences and trips offsite that need to have a first aid cover. The needs assessment would also need to include any other requirements such as Early Learning requirements and the difference between an Emergency First Aider and someone who has passed the 3 Day First Aid at Work course. The ProFire team are available to help you calculate the number of trained persons you need onsite at all times given your needs.

First Aid at Work Requalification CourseHow do I select a First Aid training provider?

As an employer, you will need assurance that you have selected an appropriate training provider. You will therefore need to check that they meet the standards in a
number of areas (due diligence). All training providers should be prepared to demonstrate that they:

  • are competent to deliver first-aid training;
  • have qualified trainers;
  • teach relevant course content in the correct way;
  • have the necessary quality assurance systems in place.

The easiest way to do this is to select a provider that provides nationally recognised, regulated qualifications in FAW and EFAW and is accredited.

What First Aid courses are available?

The most popular first aid courses are:

  • First Aid at Work FAW (3 Day)
  • Emergency First Aid at Work EFAW (1 Day)
  • First Aid at Work Requalification FAQ (2 Day)
  • Paediatric First Aid PFA (2 Day)

What about keeping records and requalification of staff ?

As an employer you have a duty to keep records of the training and when staff require re-training. All accredited courses (RQF’s) carry a 3 year period of cover for the qualification, a requalification course will need to be passed before the 3 year deadline has passed. More information on this can be sought from your training provider.

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