MEL Health and Safety Consultants

New Arrangements for First Aid at Work

Training Time to Achieve Compliance with the Law is Reduced

From 1st October 2009, the HSE is introducing new arrangements to the first-aid training regime.


These will not require any change to the current legislation but will provide that to comply with the regulations, first-aiders provided by an employer in the workplace for the purposes of the regulatory requirements must hold a certificate of competence in either first aid at work (FAW) or emergency first aid at work (EFAW).


The FAW qualification has been reduced from a four-day to a three-day course, and may be issued by a training organisation approved by HSE. The EFAW qualification is a one-day course, issued by a training organisation approved by the HSE or a recognised awarding body, to award an accredited qualification in EFAW applying a training standard set by the HSE. Registered doctors, nurses and paramedics may also administer first aid in the workplace without the FAW or EFAW certificate, provided they have current knowledge and skills in first aid.


The new first-aid training arrangements have been designed to offer employers more training options for first-aiders. In addition, the training time taken to achieve compliance with the legislation will be reduced. Finally, more frequent training will be required through annual refreshers in order to improve the competency of first-aiders by maintaining their basic skills.


The new training arrangements do not affect first-aiders holding a valid FAW certificate obtained under the existing arrangements. However, where a first-aider retrains on or after 1 October 2009, the new arrangements will apply.