Current advice 20/08/2020

Certificate expiry dates

The Department of Education has updated the extension available on First Aid certificates involving children.

Paediatric First Aid certificates which were due to expire after the 16 March 2020, but could not be updated due to COVID-19 or due to complying with related government guidance, can be extended until the latest of 25 November 2020. When asked, it must be possible to demonstrate what attempted actions were taken to renew the qualifications and how COVID-19 prevent the renewal. All first aid qualifications must be renewed at the earliest opportunity.

This information applies to:

  • Paediatric First Aid
  • Emergency Paediatric First Aid

Requirements for first aid

The following guidance is from the Early Years Foundation Stage regarding Paediatric First Aid requirements in an organisation responsible for children while the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing.

'The requirement for at least one person who has a full PFA certificate to be on the premises at all times when children are present remains in place where there are children below the age of 24 months. Paragraph 3.25 and annex A of the EYFS set out more detail. However, if children are aged 2 to 5 within a setting, providers must use their ‘best endeavours’ to ensure one person with a full PFA certificate is on-site when children are present. If after using best endeavours they are still unable to secure a member of staff with full PFA to be on site then they must carry out a written risk assessment and ensure that someone with a current first aid at work or emergency PFA certification is on site at all times children are on premises.

‘Best endeavours’ means to identify and take all the steps possible within your power, which could, if successful, ensure there is a paediatric first aider on site when a setting is open, as per the usual EYFS requirement on PFA.

Please note this does not apply for childminders as they must already have a full PFA certificate.

New entrants (levels 2 and 3) will not need to hold a PFA certificate within their first 3 months in order to be counted in staff: child ratios, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Additionally, if PFA certificate requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, or by complying with related government advice, the validity of current certificates can be extended to 25 November 2020 at the latest. This applies to certificates expiring on or after 16 March 2020.

If asked to do so providers should be able to explain why the first aider has not been able to requalify and demonstrate what steps have taken to access the training. Employers or certificate holders must do their best to arrange requalification training at the earliest opportunity. The practical elements of PFA courses should be delivered face to face, so that competency can be properly assessed.

Providers remain responsible for ensuring all children in their care are kept safe at all times.'*

The full information of the disapplications applied for organisations responsible for children can be found at


* GOV.UK. 2020. Early Years Foundation Stage: Coronavirus Disapplications. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 20 August 2020].

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