How long does an emergency first aid at work qualification last?

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If you’re taking on the responsibility of becoming a first aider for the organisation you work for, it’s important to understand the rules surrounding the expiry and renewal of your first aid qualification.

To become an appointed first aider for your employer you will be required to pass a professional emergency first aid at work qualification, equipping you with all the skills and knowledge you require to provide first aid if someone within your workplace falls ill or suffers an injury.

The skills and knowledge you learn during emergency first aid at work training could be life-saving, so keeping these skills up-to-date and fresh in your mind is extremely important.

For this reason, all professional emergency first aid qualifications have an expiry date, meaning you will need to retake the qualification before this date to ensure your competence in your role as a designated first aider.

How long does an emergency first aid at work qualification last?

Most emergency first aid at work qualifications, including the level 3 award that we offer here at Care Business Associate Training, are valid for three years before they need to be renewed.

When you come to renew your qualification after three years, you may find that the course content is very similar, if not exactly the same as the first time you took the course and wonder why you are required to take the qualification again.

The reason emergency first aid qualifications expire is to ensure that appointed first aiders keep their skills up to date. The skills you learn during emergency first aid at work training could mean the difference between life and death if someone suddenly falls ill or becomes injured at work. In most organisations, emergency first aiders are not called on very frequently, so the fear is that if they’re not using their first aid skills regularly they may lose them. Making it mandatory for emergency first aiders to retake the qualification every three years helps to ensure their competence in their role.

Am I required to take regular refresher training?

Whilst your qualification does not need to be renewed for three years, the HSE’s website states that it is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that its first aiders ‘remain competent to perform their role.’ It also ‘strongly recommends that first-aiders undertake annual refresher training, over half a day, during any three-year certification period.’

Whilst refresher training is not mandatory, emergency first aid skills are (hopefully) not skills that you’re likely to use regularly in the workplace, so brushing up on your knowledge regularly can be very useful. Attending annual refresher courses also allows first aiders to ensure that they are up-to-date with any changes in procedure.

The importance of having a valid emergency first aid at work qualification

If an organisation’s nominated first aider’s qualification has lapsed then they are no longer considered to be competent to act as a first aider at work. This means that the organisation will no longer be meeting their legal requirements for looking after the health and safety of their employees and may be in breach of the HSE’s Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981.

First aiders should ensure that they know when their qualification is due to expire and make sure that they enrol on a course to requalify before that date. It can help to mark the date on a calendar or set yourself a reminder when you know it is coming up to your qualification’s expiry date.

Changing employers

If you qualify as an emergency first aider for your employer and then leave the business, your qualification is still valid until your certificate’s expiry date. If you join a new business then you could still use this qualification, but you will need to receive training in the organisation’s unique health and safety risks and arrangements.

Emergency first aid training with CBAT

Here at Care Business Associate Training, we provide a regulated 1-day QA Level 3 Emergency First Aid at Work qualification.

Our healthcare training courses are delivered by trainers with extensive, practical experience working in healthcare and are trusted by some of the largest healthcare organisations nationwide.

Our emergency first aid training is run in classes of no more than 12 attendees at a time and combines both theory and practical work in a friendly and engaging atmosphere. This course is available to be booked for individuals or for groups from establishments who require multiple members of staff to be trained in first aid.

If you are an individual looking to book your place on a course, please visit our Emergency First Aid at Work Course page and select a date suitable to you. If you are booking on behalf of a group, please call our Sales team on 01772 816922.