What to expect on your first aid training course after lockdown

Written by James Reed
Jul 27, 2020

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

To keep learners and staff safe, a range of new measures and changes to the delivery of first aid training courses have been put in place in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Here’s what you can now expect on your course with Red Cross Training after lockdown.

To reflect demand from customers, we have gradually resumed training, using locations where we are able to establish the required measures necessary to protect our learners and employees.

We will be adhering strictly to the advice of UK Public Health agencies, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and the First Aid Quality Partnership.


How we'll ensure the health and safety of people on our courses

We will implement the following measures and adaptations to our course delivery to keep learners and our employees safe:

Before you arrive on your course

  • We will advise any learner booked on to a course who is unwell with symptoms of cold or flu or who are required to self-isolate under current government guidance that they must not attend the course.
  • Each training location has undergone a rigorous health and safety risk assessment to certify them as ‘Covid-19 secure’. 

On arrival at your course

  • Each learner will be asked to complete their details on an individual Health Declaration form and confirm that they are not aware of any health reasons or other restrictions that will stop them attending the course. At the start of each day of a course, learners will be asked to read the health declaration again.
  • In some training locations (British Red Cross buildings), we are issuing a face mask on arrival which is to be worn in all indoor communal areas outside of the training room. 
  • We encourage regular use of hand washing facilities on arrival and throughout the day and provide hand sanitisers in each training room for regular use.
  • The seating in our breakout areas and training rooms will be 2 metres apart to allow social distancing on arrival and throughout the day. Learner numbers on courses have been reduced to permit this.
  • Whenever reasonably practical, social distancing will be maintained except where absolutely necessary for assessment purposes.

In the training rooms

  • Seating in the training rooms will be 2 metres apart and floor tape will be used where possible to reinforce this distancing
  • Learners will be provided with a face mask at the beginning of each day of the course and these will be disposed of at the end of each day.
  • For sessions of training and assessment where it is necessary to come within 2 metres of other learners, related to a situation where a first aider would be expected to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in a real emergency, appropriate PPE will be provided.
  • Where close contact is required for the purpose of assessment, each session of contact within 2 metres will last for up to 15 minutes, in-line with the close contact definition used by NHS Test and Trace. The number of such sessions will be based on the topics covered on the course, and the time taken for learners to achieve competence in these elements.
  • Trainers will also wear a face mask when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Necessary small group work will be done within the same groups to minimise the number of people with whom learners come into closer contact with.
  • One resuscitation manikin will be provided per learner. We have also significantly increased stocks of manikin faces and face shields with rigorous cleaning and sanitising procedures.
  • All equipment is cleaned regularly.


Some changes to the first aid skills you will learn

We have made adaptations to our first aid training delivery in light of Covid-19 so learners can expect the following changes to how they will learn, to ensure their safety.

Delivery of unresponsive and breathing sessions (all ages):

  • Learners may demonstrate an effective breathing check on a manikin, and then simply state “I would now tilt the head back and check breathing” at the appropriate time when engaging in scenarios with other learners. This is sufficient for the purpose of assessment, so long as the trainer is satisfied that all skills have been demonstrated competently.

Delivery of unresponsive and not breathing sessions (all ages):

  • Learners must still deliver rescue breaths on manikins for the purposes of assessment. However, learners only need to demonstrate this competently on one occasion and this does not need to be repeated if they choose not to repeat the skill during further activities. During further activities, learners may verbally state, “I would now give two rescue breaths,” if they prefer this than giving actual rescue breaths.

Delivery of choking:

  • Each learner should perform back blows in turn, thoroughly wiping the manikin with disinfectant wipes and allowing it to dry between uses. Learners should demonstrate the anatomical position required for abdominal thrusts on themselves, and the inwards and upwards motion can be assessed away from their body to avoid any harm being caused.

    Delivery of all other topics will remain broadly unchanged with consideration on how social distancing can be maintained on these activities as outlined previously.

    Courses will also include information about how first aid can be performed safely during the current Covid-19 pandemic, following current guidance from the Resuscitation Council (UK) and UK Public Health agencies. For more information on this and how these additional changes to standard first aid practice covered on our courses can be used in a real emergency click here.
“I am pleased to say that Janette put me at ease straight away. She managed to deliver a course that was fun and practical, whilst providing extra precautions, making sure that we were safe and hygienic at all times. I will go away from this course with a sound knowledge and confidence with the skills that I have learnt.”
- Learner (July 2020)

Further information:
Up to date information from the Resuscitation Council UK can be found here.
Up to date information for first aiders from Public Health England can be found here.
Up to date information for first aiders from the Health and Safety Executive can be found here.
Up to date information from First Aid Quality Partnership (FAQP) can be found here.
Our blog, highlighting some of the additional first aid information that will be covered on first aid courses can be found here.
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Topics: First Aid

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