Important guidance about first aid certificates expiring on or after 16th March 2020

Written by James Reed
May 27, 2020

James is a Training Product Manager at Red Cross Training responsible for the development and review of our training products.

In light of the ongoing coronavirus situation, the HSE has now updated its guidance on first aid at work certificates expiring on or after 16th of March 2020. Please see the full statement below...

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 First Aid 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 and the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (First-Aid) Regulations 1989 is that those holding an OM, OFA, FAW or EFAW qualifications should undertake retraining 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 that you qualify for an extension. The final deadline for requalification is 31 October or 6 months from the date of expiry, whichever is later. However, all requalification training for EFAW or FAW certificates should be completed by 31 March 2021.

Any employer taking advantage of this extension must be able to demonstrate, if requested by a HSE inspector, steps they have taken to arrange requalification training as soon as possible (e.g. be able to show evidence of course bookings for staff with expired certificates), have adequate first aid cover and facilities to give first aid to any employee who becomes ill or injured at work, and demonstrate that they maintain a level of first aid cover appropriate to their work environment.

There is no extension for Offshore Medic (OM) or Offshore First Aid (OFA) beyond 31 October 2020; certificates must be current and in date from this date.

This guidance applies to employers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and comes into effect after 16 March 2020.

Topics: First Aid

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