The following statement has come directly from the HSE.

I am setting out the HSE position below, so that you can provide clarity to your potential customers as necessary.

The amendments made in 2013 to the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981, followed recommendations made in a Government commissioned report by Professor Ragnar Lofstedt.

The report recommended the removal of HSE's responsibility to approve any particular providers of training and qualifications in First Aid at Work (FAW) and Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW).

The report stated that this could open up the First Aid at Work training market to a wider range of Training Providers and enable more choice for Employers in how they fulfilled their legal obligations under the Regulations.

The recommendations were accepted by the Government and implemented through the 2013 amendment to the Regulations.

Since 2013, the responsibility to ensure adequate and appropriate first aid cover and facilities are provided for Employees lies with the Employer. Employers must identify, through their First Aid needs assessment, the level of First Aid cover appropriate for their circumstances. Guidance to help employers undertake their needs assessment accompanies the Regulations here:

HSE no longer has any Legal Authority to approve or endorse any particular route to how this is achieved, but has published dedicated guidance:
which describes the steps an Employer should take to satisfy themselves that they select training to meet their needs, or the competencies required should they choose to provide their training in house. HSE does not and cannot state that any particular source of training is better than another, as that is a decision for the Employer.

There is no legal basis which allows HSE to require any Training Provider to recognise qualifications from another source and this is not a matter for the Regulator of workplace health and safety. HSE only requires an Employer to be able to show that their first aid cover meets the needs of their workplace.

If you have evidence that an Employer (Public or Private Sector) is choosing a source of training based on a misunderstanding of the legal position under the Regulations or HSE's guidance, and the contents of this e mail do not provide them with sufficient clarification, you can refer them directly to me.

First Aid Policy Unit,
Health & Safety Executive, Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle. L20 7HS


IMPORTANT: Please let us know if you have seen, received, or been told anything that contradicts the above statement and the HSE will investigate.


Please also read:The First Aid Industry Body - Information for Employers


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