Telford Occupational Health Service

First Aid at Work, update courses

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Under current legislation the First Aid at Work Certificate is valid for a period of three years. This means that the first aider has a three-year gap between courses.

The maintenance of skills in this time can be a problem even for the most practiced first aider. For the first aider working in a virtually incident free company it can be a big problem which can bring about loss of confidence resulting in a reluctance to make decisions, or even a desire to discontinue acting as a first aider.

From this there are both cost and health and safety implications.

The current 'Approved Code of Practice and Guidance' to the 'Health & Safety [first aid] Regulations 1981' recognises this problem and addresses it in Guidance Notes 54 and 55.

Guidance Note 54

Employers should encourage first aiders to arrange a programme of self-directed revision in order to maintain their skills, and, where possible, should allocate them time to do this.

Guidance Note 55

To develop their knowledge, first aiders may on occasions need further advice associated with first aid. Employers should ensure that first aiders are aware of suitable sources of advice, such as workplaces with occupational health services or organisations whose training and qualifications are approved by the HSE.

Updating skills is further referred to in Guidance Note 48 of the 'Guidance for Training Organisations'.

Guidance Note 48

In any area of employment it is important to maintain levels of knowledge and skills. This is equally as important in first aid care. You should encourage employers to allow time for updating, and give some thought to how you can manage this.

To support you, TOHS can provide general update training at our Training Centre, or, if you prefer, training on site can be arranged.

Should you choose to support your first aiders with the on-site option TOHS will arrange with you a programme to suit your company's individual needs.
Times: half day on-site [up to 10 participants]


Occupational Health Centre, Halesfield 13, Telford, Shropshire TF7 4PL
Tel/Fax: 01952 581251 email: