The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) announced a three-month extension to the validity of First Aid qualifications, where the individual cannot attend re-qualification training due to the COVID-19 virus or due to complying with government advice regarding the virus. The Department of Education has supported the HSE decision and applied the same extension to Paediatric First Aid qualifications. The extension applies to qualifications coming up to renewal from or after the 16 March 2020, which include:

  • Emergency First Aid at Work
  • First Aid at Work
  • Emergency Paediatric First Aid
  • Paediatric First Aid
  • Offshore First Aid
  • Offshore Medic

We understand that in some environments training is essential to keep your staff or the people you work with safe and this training will need to continue. If you require support in training your staff as an isolated group, please get in touch to discuss how we can make appropriate safe arrangements.

HSE statement

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is aware that people holding Offshore Medic (OM), Offshore First Aid (OFA), First Aid at Work (FAW) or Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) certificates nearing expiry date, might experience disruption to access to requalification training as a result of events or circumstances generated by the coronavirus pandemic.

HSE’s current guidance on the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981:  https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l74.pdf and the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (First-Aid) Regulations 1989 https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l123.pdf is that those holding an OM, OFA, FAW or EFAW qualification should undertake re-training before their original certificate expires and HSE strongly recommends that employers and individuals holding those qualifications should plan for requalification training well in advance of expiry dates.     

If however requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with coronavirus or by complying with related government advice, it is reasonable and practical to extend the validity of current certificates by up to 3 months.  Anyone taking advantage of this extension should be able to describe clearly their reasons for delaying requalification training and demonstrate steps they have taken to undertake the training if required.

This guidance comes into effect for certificates expiring on or after 16th March 2020. HSE will review this matter over the coming months and will issue further statements as necessary.