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There are many courses you can complete online, but first aid is not among them.

While you can get an idea of the kinds of skills you might have to acquire, life saving training is something you must have practical experience in doing.

Imagine if your heart surgeon told you that you’ll be OK because they’d covered all the online courses in bypass surgery and transplants.

Would you feel they were a safe pair of hands? Most likely, the answer would be ‘No’.
So why would you think that you can acquire first aid knowledge online?

Being a first aider isn’t just about ticking boxes and acquiring a certificate, but about having the knowledge, skills and confidence to administer a procedure that might save someone’s life.

With that in mind, your first aid training must be first-rate.

It needs to be fully regulated and compliant too, because first aid at work can literally be a matter of life and death.

As a consequence, an appropriate first aid course must include face-to-face training and an assessment of practical skills.

There are a number of other things that must be taken into account too.

So no, you can’t just complete an online first aid course if you work in a school, a nursery, an office, a restaurant, on a building site, if you are a childminder, or anywhere else.

It’s that simple.

Being a first aider isn’t just about ticking boxes and acquiring a certificate, but about having the knowledge, skills and confidence to administer a procedure that might save someone’s life.

With that in mind, your first aid training must be first-rate.

It needs to be fully regulated and compliant too, because first aid at work can literally be a matter of life and death.

As a consequence, an appropriate first aid course must include face-to-face training and an assessment of practical skills.

There are a number of other things that must be taken into account too.

So no, you can’t just complete an online first aid course if you work in a school, a nursery, an office, a restaurant, on a building site, if you are a childminder, or anywhere else.

It’s that simple!

But so many courses are online now. Couldn’t I learn the basics online?

It doesn’t work like that.

There are two main types of first aid training you might consider.

These are: First Aid at Work and Paediatric First Aid.

First aid at work

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the body that oversees First Aid at Work.

It says 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.’

It also states 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 can’t meet the requirements of the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 even if the organisation claims that their course does.

In short, the HSE does not allow or recognise online first aid training.

Some courses can be taught partially by distance learning, with the rest done face-to-face. However, these courses are just as long, and some of the hours are spent sitting in front of a computer instead of practicing practical first aid skills and techniques.

There are no shortcuts; you are better off doing a proper, practical course.

There is one possible exception to this rule, and that is if you’ve already completed a first aid course and you need a refresher to give your existing skills an overhaul or want to familiarise yourself with changes to procedures.

Paediatric First Aid

Paediatric First Aid courses are designed for those who work with children, and they have to meet the Ofsted requirements and the criteria set out in Annex A of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)document.

Annex A of the EYFS documents requires:

  • ‘The Emergency Paediatric First Aid course should be undertaken face-to-face and last for a minimum of six hours (excluding breaks)…’
  • ‘Adequate resuscitation and other equipment including baby and junior models must be provided, so that all trainees can practice and demonstrate techniques.’
  • ‘The full Paediatric First Aid course should last for a minimum of 12 hours…’

An online Paediatric First Aid course might be able to give parents and family members an awareness of first aid, but that won’t be enough to make you a first aid person in the workplace. However, if you are a parent who wants a basic comprehension of what is involved or need to find out what you need to do before you undertake a face-to-face course, then it would be a good place to start.

In reality, you need to practice first aid skills with proper tuition and feedback from those who are training you to be assured that you are carrying out the correct procedures.

Of course, you may see online first aid training courses advertised that make claims about their suitability for the workplace.

We all have busy lives and lots to do, so naturally we look for ways of cutting corners and these companies know this. However, all they’re doing is offering an awareness of first aid and neither the HSE nor the DFE/Ofsted recognise these courses.

What is an employer’s responsibility?

Employers are legally responsible for ensuring adequate first aid provision is in place.

They are required to complete due diligence on any first aid training providers used, and ensure any first aid certificates people hold are fit for purpose.

If you are self-employed, this duty falls on you.
If you employ contractors, this duty falls on you.
If your insurance provider requires you to have a first aid certificate, it’s likely you won’t be insured if you only complete an online course.

Basegreen Academy has a variety of courses in first aid that will give you the appropriate skills for your work environment, and we are happy to answer any questions.

Contact us today.