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Minor Changes - New date and Franchising

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David Arnold View Drop Down
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    Posted: 23 Jun 2008 at 7:30pm

From HSE web site...

Updates on guidance and delivery of first aid at work training by third parties

June 2008


This note, aimed mainly at HSE approved first aid at work training providers, focuses on the introduction of three interim changes related to their work.  The first of these is relevant to the provision of first aiders by employers.  In addition, the note considers the delivery of current and future first aid at work (FAW) and emergency first aid at work (EFAW) training courses by third parties.

Interim changes

During a recent consultation exercise, HSE invited comments on a number of specific issues. Overall, consultees supported a number of proposals, including the following:

  • Paramedics registered with the Health Professions Council are exempt from the requirement to hold a valid FAW certificate to administer first aid in the workplace.
  • Paramedics registered with the Health Professions Council are exempt from the requirement to hold a valid FAW certificate to be trainers/ assessors for FAW courses, providing they can demonstrate their competence to train/ assess.
  • One assessor can conduct assessments on an FAW course with no more than six students.

HSE will introduce these three changes to current arrangements from 1 September 2008.

Delivery of FAW training by third parties

Currently, HSE approved training providers are permitted to develop arrangements with a third party for the delivery of FAW training courses.  In effect, the third party runs FAW courses on behalf of the HSE approved organisation but is not approved in its own right.  It is often referred to as ‘franchising’, although this term is probably inappropriate.  It encompasses a spectrum of arrangements from relatively informal to formal (supported by a written contract).  The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981, do not prevent the provision of FAW training in this way.   

For the purposes of approval and monitoring, the HSE approved training organisation is responsible for the quality of FAW training delivered by third parties on its behalf.  On this basis, the third party offers a way of accessing suitably qualified trainers and assessors and is acting as an additional site from which FAW courses can be run.  To safeguard the quality of FAW training, all the following conditions should be met:

  • The HSE approved training provider should conduct FAW courses in its own right and is responsible for ensuring that all FAW courses run by a third party meet the requirements defined in HSE’s guidance: How to gain and maintain approval for first aid at work training under the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 [200KB]PDF).
  • The HSE approved provider should internally verify that all trainers and assessors used by the third party are appropriately qualified and experienced and should monitor their skills at least once a year.  Each trainer and assessor should have a personal portfolio containing relevant information that supports this verification.
  • Only the HSE approved provider can issue FAW certificates.  Therefore, any training delivered by the third party will be supported by a certificate bearing the name of the approved provider.
  • There needs to be a good, regular level of communication between the approved provider and the third party.
  • The third party should make it clear that it provides FAW courses on behalf of the approved provider and is not HSE approved in its own right.     

Where the above conditions are met, third parties will be able to deliver FAW and EFAW courses in the future.  To support the change to a new training regime, HSE intends to ask its Contractor (SCOUT Enterprises (Western) Ltd) to collect relevant information when they conduct post approval monitoring visits.  It will cover the number of training courses being run and the number of sites from which the approved provider delivers them, including third parties.  Where organisations are operating from ‘multiple sites’ they may require more than one monitoring visit every five years in accordance with guidance on HSE’s website.  The approved training provider will be charged for each monitoring visit.

If a monitoring visit identifies any problems with the provision of FAW training by a third party, HSE will work with the approved provider to resolve them.  In the event that major problems are found which are not addressed and which relate to inadequate oversight by the approved provider, HSE may revoke the Certificate of Approval.

The collection of information on numbers of first aid training courses and training sites is likely to start before the end of 2008. 

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