We’re back… first aid training with a distance

by | 28 May 2020 | News

We hope you’ve been keeping safe and well during these unprecedented times!

In light of the latest advice from the Government, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Department for Education (DfE) regarding the easing of national ‘lockdown’ measures, we are once again in a position to start delivering face-to-face training.

The following aims to give you all the information that you need ahead of booking (or rebooking) your training with us.

Apologies for the length of this post, but we wanted to re-assure you by giving you as much detail as possible around what we’re doing to ensure that everyone who attends one of our courses is kept safe.


Training update

With more businesses and settings re-opening after a lengthy closure, the responsibility returns for employers to make sure that they have sufficient first aid arrangements in place. This includes having the appropriate number of suitably qualified staff in accordance with the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981.

The HSE previously announced that anyone with a certificate due to expire on/after 16 March 2020, would have an extension to their qualification. This week, they have issued a further statement requiring any requalification of anyone affected by the coronavirus situation to take place by 30 September 2020.


Open (public) courses

We will be resuming a face-to-face training on Monday 8 June, and have planned in a series of open courses from this date. You can view all of our forthcoming dates on our course calendar here.

For the immediate future, our courses will be somewhat different to normal. The steps we’ve taken to ensure hygiene and safety are covered later in this email.

If we don’t have a date to suit you, or you have a larger group that need to be trained, we are also re-commencing on-site / in-house training, see below for details.


On-site training

We are once again able to arrange training at your venue, on a date and time that suits you. As always, this is a more cost-effective way to train larger cohorts, and makes managing staff training (and expiry dates) much easier.

Given the increased regulation around social distancing and hygiene control, many training providers are taking the opportunity to inflate their course fees. We are pleased to guarantee that all of our prices have been frozen, so remain exactly the same as pre-lockdown.

As you would imagine, when arranging on-site course we need to work closely with clients to assess the suitability of venues and training spaces. For further details, or to check our availability, get in touch!


Distance learning

Over the past couple of months, we have been working hard to review and refresh the ways that we’re able to offer our training. We’re able to introduce you to the following options…

  • eLearning – many of our courses will be available online, for learners to complete in their own time. There is even the option for participants to book assessments to achieve nationally recognised qualifications.
  • Virtual courses – our webinar-style training enables face-to-face delivery and assessment to take place remotely, using the ‘Zoom’ web conferencing platform.

Please note: the HSE and DfE / Ofsted DO NOT recognise distance learning as a substitute for face-to-face delivery of first aid training. So our full first aid qualifications will not be available via this method. 

To find out more about our distance learning packages, get in touch.


Course management

The following sections details what we are doing to keep everyone who attends one of our face-to-face courses (especially first aid) safe. In summary though, here are the key points…

  • We have redesigned our course programmes, our training rooms (for open courses) and will be discussing suitability of spaces with clients (for on-site training) to ensure we’re strictly adhering to the guidance around social distancing, hygiene and infection control.
  • Unlike other providers, we are able to provide enough equipment (such as resuscitation manikins and bandages) for learners to have their own throughout the course wherever possible, and not need to share with others.
  • Our assessment methods have been changed temporarily, so that we can ensure learner safety whilst meeting our qualifications’ learning outcomes.


Group sizes and room layout

We have carefully considered the layout of our training venues to ensure the maximum protection for our learners and instructors. This includes the spaces that we use for both theory and practical sessions, and breakout areas used for refreshments and lunch…

  • To ensure that distancing can be managed effectively by instructors, we have limited group sizes on open courses to a maximum of eight learners. This may vary for on-site / in-house courses, but arrangements will be agreed in advance based on an assessment of the space(s) available.
  • When entering venues and travelling to training rooms, learners will be asked to follow any signage and adhere to access restrictions (such as one way systems) that may be in place.
  • Our instructors will be making sure that learners are seated at least two metres
  • Sufficient space will be provided (via a separate training room if necessary) to ensure that learners maintain a distance of two metres when taking part in practical activity.
  • To minimise the amount of contact with surfaces, there will be no desks in the room. Learners are encouraged to bring their own stationery and leaning surfaces for written work (i.e. clipboards). If they don’t, there will be clipboards and pens available for them to use throughout the course.
  • We will still provide free tea, coffee, water and (individually wrapped) biscuits throughout the day. However, access to the refreshments area will be limited to one person at a time. Learners are encouraged to bring their own travel mugs to use during the course, but there will also be disposable cups available.
  • There will be hand sanitiser, alcohol wipes, disposable gloves, tissues and a face shields available for learners to use.


Learner inductions and course etiquette

On arrival, the instructor will discuss with learners a few important points before commencing training, and give guidance that should be followed throughout the course…

  • Anyone who is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (a new/continuous cough and/or a fever and/or a loss of taste and smell) will be politely excluded from taking the course. This will also apply to anyone who should be self-isolating due to a family member experiencing symptoms or them being in a vulnerable group, or they (or someone in their household) have experienced symptoms within the 14 days prior to the course.
  • We have a system in place to ‘track and trace’, meaning that we will use the registration information provided to contact learners should anyone on the course develop symptoms within two weeks of attending training.
  • If learners need to cough or sneeze, they will be encouraged to do so into a tissue that should be disposed of immediately. Failing this, they should cough into a bent elbow (instead of their hand) and ALWAYS ensure that their mouth and nose are covered.
  • Learners will be asked to wash and/or sanitise their hands at regular intervals. This includes prior to commencing training, between theory and practical sessions, before and after breaks/lunch time.
  • Learners will be asked to maintain distancing throughout the course unless everyone is correctly wearing a face mask (note that masks protect others from an individual’s cough/sneeze but provide very limited protection from others).


Training resources and equipment

  • As usual, learners will be provided with course registration forms and stationery to use during the course. This will be placed on their chair prior to arrival. A course register will not be passed around between learners, this will be completed by the instructor following the course.
  • National guidance states that one resuscitation manikin should be made available for use by very small groups to reduce the risk of whole-course infection, and most providers will be adhering to this. However, we have invested in additional resources and are able to guarantee, wherever possible, a ratio of one manikin per learner, meaning that the equipment will not need to be shared during the course. This also applies to other equipment such as dressings and bandages.
  • All training equipment will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each course.


Practical assessments

We have made several adjustments to practical assessments to ensure that we are maintaining physical distancing, whilst continuing to meet qualification requirements. These are summarised below…

CPR: This will be assessed as usual, but using the ratio of one manikin per person (please see above regarding equipment). Our instructors will also provide learners with information on current national guidance regarding carrying out ‘real’ CPR during the coronavirus pandemic.

Unconscious casualty: Our instructor may demonstrate the recovery position on a learner if both individuals are wearing face masks and sanitise their hands before and afterwards. If this is not feasible, the instructor will demonstrate placing themselves in the recovery position. For the assessment, learners will be asked to demonstrate primary survey on their manikin and place themselves into the recovery position.

Choking: Learners will be asked to demonstrate action for choking on their manikin (please see above regarding equipment).

Wounds, bleeds and slings: Learners will be asked to apply dressings to themselves (leg injury), or their manikin (head injury) to demonstrate wound dressings. They will also be asked to simulate on themselves how a sling would be applied effectively.

Secondary assessment: Top-to-toe surveys will be performed on a conscious casualty. Learners will maintain a distance of two metres and verbally describe their actions or any injuries encountered.

Management of anaphylaxis: For courses where this is covered (i.e. First Aid at Work, Paediatric First Aid), learners will be asked to simulate the administration of adrenaline on themselves. Adrenaline Autoinjector trainers will be cleaned thoroughly with alcohol wipes if shared between learners, and learners will be asked to sanitise their hands before and after the activity.


We hope to speak soon…

Once again, we’re sorry for the lengthy post, but hope it gives you confidence that we’re doing everything we can to keep our learners safe.

If you’d like any further information, to check availability, or would like any advice and guidance, please feel free to contact a member of our team.