Last updated: 23.02.13

HSE drafts guidance for first aid training changes

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is drafting a set of guidelines that will provide information for businesses on forthcoming changes in first-aid training regulations.

A review commissioned by the UK government and chaired by Professor Ragnar E Lofstedt of King's College London recently called for amendments to the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981.

It said rules need to be altered to remove the requirement for the HSE to approve the training and qualifications of first-aid personnel and stated at present, the HSE approval process goes beyond the minimum requirement outlined in European Union legislation.

As a result, the HSE is working towards implementing the necessary changes and is using responses to a round of public consultation to shape the guidance documents, which are set to detail the arrangements necessary for putting first aid provision in place.

The first publication will help businesses to assess the first aid requirements in their company and assign competent personnel to the task, while the second is going to be dedicated to advising firms on selecting an appropriate provider that will deliver training within the new system.

Moving forward, businesses do not need to take any action until the new regulations are passed, but the HSE is advising them to provide the body with feedback on the draft guidance.

Once the HSE approval process is removed, companies are likely to have greater flexibility when it comes to choosing a training supplier and first-aid instruction that is right for their organisation and based on their individual needs. However, all providers will need to meet a certain standard set by HSE first.

Virtual College is one reliable firm companies could turn to, as the West Yorkshire-based institution offers e-learning in a whole host of health and safety-related topics.

The company boasts a training module in First Aid - The Primary Survey, which gives a detailed overview of what organisations need to know to act effectively in the event of an incident that requires first aid assistance.