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Can You Do a First Aid Course Online?

schedule 2 months, 3 days ago by Roger Moore in Health and Safety

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With first aid a highly desirable and hugely useful skill, it’s no wonder that there is considerable demand for courses that help people understand the basics. But not everyone has the time to undertake a full practical course. In this article, we’re going to take a look at how you can take an online first aid course, what this involves, and why you might pick one.

Virtual College offers a variety of Health and Safety related courses, including the First Aid Primary Survey course, which is designed as an introduction to first aid. Click here to find out more about what it involves.

Why Choose an Online First Aid Course?

Businesses up and down the UK are increasingly taking advantage of the wealth of courses that are available online, and those that relate to first aid are amongst the most popular. There are many reasons for this. The first, of course, is that having members of staff trained in first aid is hugely useful - it means that the business is better prepared to deal with accidents, injuries and even some illnesses in the workplace. Accidents can happen in just about any place of work, which makes first aid a very valuable skill indeed. Having a proper response to accidents has a variety of benefits, ranging from giving employees a better standard of life at work, to reducing time off sick, to reducing the likelihood of legal challenges.

Online courses also offer some major benefits over physical training that are especially attractive to businesses, such as:

  • They can be lower cost than practical training
  • The time commitment is lower
  • Training can be undertaken at a time that is convenient
  • Courses can be put down and picked up again at any point
  • They are useful as a refresher and are not as challenging as official first aid qualifications

What Do Online Courses Cover?

Naturally, online courses are slightly limited in what they can cover when compared with physical training because there can be no practical application, and there are many different types of course out there. If you are looking for a course, either for yourself or your employees, then it is important that you research your options to find out exactly what each one offers. It is very important to note that online first aid courses do not make the learner a qualified first aider - there are strict legal requirements about what must be undertaken in order for this to happen, and more information around this can be found on the Government’s Health and Safety Executive website. However, all good online courses are put together by fully qualified individuals and organisations.

Typically, online first aid courses will explain all of the procedure and knowledge behind administering first aid. Much of this does not require practical application, as the information is around recognising symptoms and understanding what you can do until further, more technical medical help is given. Some of the things that are likely to be covered in an online first aid course include the following:

  • What to do if you’re the first person on the scene of an accident
  • How to decide if the situation is still hazardous
  • How to assess a casualty’s response, breathing and circulation
  • Recognising symptoms of certain conditions such as shock
  • How to place a person into the recovery position and why this should be done
  • When and how CPR should be applied to a casualty
  • Other specific treatments such as controlling bleeding or dressing wounds

How Does an Online First Aid Course Work?

Online courses are designed to be as straightforward as possible. Once you have chosen a provider and a particular course, you will be able to purchase it online. Depending on whether you have purchased it for yourself, or a number of employees, you will then need to enrol your chosen learners. Once this has been done, the course can be completed at any time you or your employees wish. Unlike many traditional courses, online ones can be stopped at any point, and picked up again when convenient.

All that is required is access to a desktop computer (note that online courses can generally be completed on a tablet or mobile device, but that the desktop experience is generally better) and an internet browser. You may go through various types of media, including videos, graphics and audio explanations, and then asked to complete various interactive tasks. Should you have any difficulties, support will usually be available, just as with any other type of training. Once the course requirements have been met, a certificate will be issued to show that you (or your employees) have completed the course and are familiar with the content within it. It’s then up to you to refresh your knowledge in future, though it is generally recommended that certificates are retaken every three years to maintain good first aid knowledge. Do be aware of course that there are different types of first aid course, that may work in different ways.

To see some examples of the courses that Virtual College offer, including what they cover and how they are delivered, then visit our health and safety courses page by clicking here.


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Roger Moore - Virtual College

Author: Roger Moore

Roger graduated in economics from Warwick University and first had a career in teaching, progressing to head of business studies in a large comprehensive school. His long and varied marketing career included working for the world’s largest PR agency. He enjoys reading, swimming, country walking and watching and participating in racquet sports.

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