Last updated: 06.09.13

HSE releases first aid training guidance for employers

The Heath and Safety Executive publishing new guidance in September 2013 which was designed to help businesses within the UK provide their employees with proper training in first aid.

Why was this guidance published?

This guidence was in response to changes made to the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 which made it so that the HSE was no longer responsible for approving first aid training and qualifications in the workplace.

Because of these changes, HSE created frameworks that British companies could use in order to ensure all businesses, regardless of size, could comply with the law and maintain their Heath and Safety standards.

The HSE website was updated with links directly to this guidance in full so that businesses could adequately prepare for the upcoming changes, as well as an accompanying document entitled ‘Selecting a first aid training provider (GEIS3)’.

According to the Policy Lead for first aid at the HSE, Andy McGrory, the publication provides clarification on what the law requires from businesses in regards to Health and Safety Standards, as well as providing practical help to businesses around assessing and understanding what their first aid needs are.

He added: "Where a first aider is required, the guidance documents make it clear that the employer is free to select a training provider who is best suited to those needs."

How were these new recommendation formed?

HSE conducted public consultations to help inform the new recommendations, listening to the comments and suggestions made around streamlining and improving the regulations, as well as extended stakeholder discussions.

The GEIS3 paper which accompanies the new guidance was designed to help companies select a competent training provider which can provide adequate first aid training in line with a businesses specific requirements.

How can employers comply with this new guidance?

In some cases, an online training provider can be the right option for carrying out first aid training as it can cut unnecessary administrative costs and frees up employees to undergo the training at times to suit them, rather than attend sessions at inconvenient times.

Virtual College, a West Yorkshire-based e-learning company, supplies a Health and Safety in the Workplace digital module, which consists of a detailed overview of the subject, while it also has a dedicated first aid module and an online course in manual handling.

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