Coronavirus Update - 29th September 2020

If you have a certificate that you need to renew please note that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have updated their guidance on the deadline for requalification of certificates.

Please refer to the following page on the HSE website for full details.

You can also read a summary of the requirements as provided by the First Aid Industry Body (FAIB).

During the Coronavirus pandemic our courses may have been cancelled, rescheduled or replaced with alternatives such as online learning. If you are interested in a course or want more information about a course already completed please contact the relevant trainer as their policies will vary. For details of courses already scheduled please look at our course diary page.

Thank you.


Can I do a first aid course?

The answer is still technically 'Yes', where circumstances allow. Theoretically, a private course could still be run with mitigation measures in place if there was a specific and critical need. The continuing ability to provide essential training such as first aid is seen as a priority by government agencies such as the HSE.

The latest HSE guidance states (For England):

The policy position of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is that first aid training required to comply with health and safety or other legislation can continue to take place under relevant coronavirus restrictions in England. All possible measures must be taken to ensure that both training activities and environment are COVID-secure.

However, now that the UK is in 'lockdown', and schools are closed for the time being we are in a situation once again where most non-essential courses of any type are very unlikely to run. As ever through this pandemic, the future is extremely difficult to predict, so for now we are hoping for a return to more regular training again from the end of February.

I need to do a first aid course imminently to allow me to work, what can I do?

The majority of our clients do first aid courses because of some form of statutory or regulatory requirement. If you're existing first aid qualification has lapsed during the lockdown period, or indeed you have just gained a workplace qualification that also requires you to hold an appropriate first aid certificate; the best advice we can give is to register for a public course from our calendar that suits your requirements.

With the current restrictions, this won't be possible immediately, but evidencing that you have done everything possible in the circumstances would be current best practice.

My organisation needs to refresh our staff members' first aid qualifications imminently, what can we do?

In first aid terms, the responsibility for workers' safety rests with the employer. Many types of business are still able to operate currently, indeed some essential workplaces must stay open. Therefore, if you as the employer feel that updating your first aid provision is as essential during the pandemic as at any other time, we are here for you.

We can take bookings for private courses, with availability depending on what type of course is required and what style of learning your organisation would prefer.

Given the latest restrictions, we will analyse each enquiry with clients on a case by case basis and will only ever run a course if we are fully confident that the safety of everyone involved can be maintained.

Alternatively, if you would like to ensure that you are doing everything you can to meet the HSE's requirements, we can arrange a course with you for a date in the future. This allows you to have something in the diary at least and would be considered best practice during the current time.

What about existing first aid qualification expiry extensions?

The HSE and Department for Education's statement has not yet been updated. This details the guidance for the extension of validity for workplace first aid qualifications including Paediatric First Aid qualifications, effectively extending the validity of certificates by 6 months for any expiring between 31st March 2020 and 31st October 2020.

As an example, if your existing qualification expired on the 1st August 2020, it would now be valid until 1st February 2021.

However, this 6 month extension only applies until the 31st March 2021. Any qualifications that expire between 31st October 2020 and the 31st March 2021, will only be extended until 31st March 2021. (I.E. will not be eligible for the full 6 month extension)

The HSE's latest statement on First Aid qualification extensions is below (Reviewed 08/01/21). This is supported by the First Aid Awarding Organisations Forum and remains as follows at the present time:

First Aid at Work (FAW) and Emergency First aid at Work (EFAW) certificates requalification

First aid providers have resumed first aid training and assessment. In some cases, there remains a back log or limited availability.

FAW or EFAW certificates that expired after 16 March 2020 can remain valid until 31 October 2020 or 6 months from date of expiry, whichever is later. All requalification training for these certificates should be completed by 31 March 2021.

To qualify for the extension, employers must be able to demonstrate that:

– they have made every effort to arrange requalification training as soon as possible and can explain in detail why they have not been able to do so. For example, they must show evidence that staff with expired certificates are booked on to EFAW or FAW requalification courses, if requested by an inspector

– they have adequate and appropriate equipment and facilities to give first aid to any employee who is injured or becomes ill at work

– the level of first aid cover provided remains appropriate for their particular work environment

– the level of first aid provision necessary in high risk settings is fully maintained, eg in construction, agriculture, engineering and chemicals

This guidance now applies to employers in England, Scotland and Wales.

There is no equivalent overarching guidance for Outdoor First Aid Qualifications currently as these do not fall under the regulatory remit of the HSE or DfE. However, the IOL and some Governing Bodies are beginning to issue their own advice on this, and we'll add these to the resources section at the foot of this page as it becomes available.

The IOL's statement is as follows: “In line with the above [HSE & DfE] statement, and the IOL Statement of Good Practice on Outdoor First Aid Training, the Institute view is that Outdoor First Aid courses should be treated in a similar way and a 3 month extension to the validity of Outdoor First Aid (1 Day), Outdoor First Aid (2 Day) certificates be available to these people able to describe clearly their reasons for delaying requalification training, and demonstrate the steps they have taken to undertake the training, if required.

Blended learning first aid courses

We are now able to offer Blended Learning format private first aid courses to employers and other organisations for:

  • Emergency First Aid at Work,
  • Emergency First Aid at Work +F (Forestry),
  • First Aid at Work,
  • First Aid at Work +F,
  • Outdoor First Aid,

Blended Learning courses provide a much easier way of satisfying the Covid Mitigation requirements and greatly reduce both the number of people who are in a room at any time, and the length of time they need to spend there.

We are also now providing a completely online Annual First Aid Update course. This is recommended as 'best practice' by the HSE and in the current circumstances provides a great way of keeping yourself or staff up to date until you can refresh your full qualification.

Professional Membership

Active Aid is a member of the First Aid Industry Body (FAIB)

Any Concerns?

If you are unhappy about the service you have received from Active Aid or one of its trainers you can make a complaint by logging in to the Student's Area of this site and clicking on 'Your Courses'.

This shows a list of the courses you have attended. Next to each course is a link to 'Complain about this course'. This will allow you to complete a form to make your complaint.

Alternatively you can make a complaint by sending an email or writing to Active Aid using the details of our registered office.