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The Health and Safety Executive have today announced that they will be offering a three-month extension to the validity of the following qualifications if the learner or Trainer/Assessor is unable to requalify because of the coronavirus:

  • First Aid at Work
  • Emergency First Aid at Work
  • Paediatric First Aid
  • Emergency Paediatric First Aid

This means that a Trainer/Assessor can continue delivering regulated qualifications in first aid for up to three months past the expiry of their current FAW or Paediatric certificate.

This is also the case for learners who may be covering first aid within a workplace holding any of the qualifications stated above.

The HSE will keep this situation under close review over the coming months and will issue further statements as necessary.

We will of course keep you informed with any updates and changes as soon as we hear them.

If you have any questions or need any additional information then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Please see below for the full 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: and the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (First-Aid) Regulations 1989 is that those holding an OM, OFA, FAW or EFAW qualification 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 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.

The Department for Education supports the HSE statement regarding the extension of first aid certificates during coronavirus emergency and that it can be applied to paediatric first aid certificates held by staff in early years provision.

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A summary from the Resus Council (UK) of their 2015 updated guidance on the use of AED and Basic Life Support.


There has been a significant change to requalification rules. Please see the Guidance, particularly sections 74 – 79. This is the guidance that all employers must adhere to. The L74 Guidance replaces what was known as the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) and came into effect on 1st October 2013.

Below is an important extract, which may be particularly relevent for your business, for the full details from the HSE, please review this document HSE_L74_guidance_-_October_2013

Certificate validity, requalification and refresher training

  • 74: All first-aid training certificates, whether FAW, EFAW or some other appropriate training, are valid for three years. Employers need to arrange retraining before certificates expire. The FAW requalification course lasts two days and should cover the same content as the initial FAW course (Appendix 5). If the first-aider does not retrain or requalify before the expiry date on their current certificate they are no longer considered competent to act as a first-aider in the workplace. They can requalify at any time after the expiry date by undertaking the two-day requalification course. However, it may be prudent to complete the three-day FAW course, especially where a considerable period – ie in excess of one month – has elapsed since the FAW certificate expired. It is for the employer to decide the most appropriate training course to requalify the first-aider. An EFAW requalification course should be of the same duration and content (Appendix 6) as the initial EFAW course.¬†This has the following implications:
    • Once a certificate has expired, the employee is no longer a First Aider, whereas previously, they still could be within their 28 day grace period.

    If you have any queries regarding this, please contact us.


Andy Littlechild
First Aid, Paediatric First Aid, AED
Medical Emergency Response Trainer (MERT)
H.S.E. and OfQual Recognised Tutor

Tel: 07879 643157