first aid at work

How long does first aid training last?

The first-aid certificate lasts for 3 years since your first aid certificate has been issued. You need to renew it every 3 years, note no refresher course qualifies you as a first aider for 1-day emergency first aid at work or paediatric first aid. There is a bit of difference with the 3 days first aid at work. 

If you completed 3 days first aid at work training and want to renew your certificate you are eligible for 2-day re-qualification first aid training. You should know that according to the HSE rules you should renew your certificate within 28 days after expiration. 

Different types of first aid training

There are different types and levels of first aid courses and so the content is different. 


If you work in a low-risk environment like an office, dental practice, or the gym you will be required to hold 1-day emergency first aid at work certificate. The training covers the most common topics such as cpr training, bleeding, chocking, burns, anaphylaxis and others. The training usually lasts 6 hours. 


The law requires to hold 3-day first aid at work certificate for those who work in high-risk environments such as construction, manufacture, railway etc.  The content of the course is different and includes more in-depth knowledge like spinal injuries, head injuries, heavy bleeding, chest injuries. The training lasts 18 hours. You can do this training in 3 consecutive days or attend blended first aid at work training. The blended options consist of 18 hours, you will be completing 12 hours of self-directed training – reading, watching videos, doing quizzes. However, you still need to attend 1 day face to face training to complete your practical training. 


Those who are working with kids are required to complete paediatric first aid course which meets OFSTED requirements. Usually, this course is chosen by those who work as a nanny, au-pair, child careers, education staff. The pediatric first aid training includes such topics as unconscious baby or child, choking, bleeding, burns, foreign bodies in eyes and ears, and many others.

What do you learn in first aid training?

A first aider’s role is to provide initial or immediate support to a casualty in need. Through the knowledge and first aid training you have received, you need to decide if the care you are giving is appropriate and sufficient. Alternatively, perhaps the casualty needs professional medical assistance. In all scenarios, your role is to provide support, whilst keeping yourself, the casualty and other bystanders safe. 

As a first aider you would be responsible for: 

  • Manage the incident and ensure the continuing safety of themselves, the casualty, and the public

  • Discover the nature & cause of their injuries or illnesses

  • Arrange for further medical help or other emergency services to attend. 

  • Prioritize casualty treatment based upon medical need

  • Provide appropriate first aid treatment that you have been trained to do, and that is reasonable in the circumstances

  • If able to, record observations of casualties vital signs, symptoms and feedback

  • Relay this information when further medical help arrives

  • Complete an accident report form following the incident

The first aid evolves around 3 P, which stands for Preserve Life, Prevent the condition from worsening, Promote recovery. Let’s break down what each P means. 

Preserve life – First of all calmly and quickly assess the situation, protect yourself and everyone at the scene from danger, prioritise, treating the most serious conditions first.

Prevent the condition from worsening – Call for appropriate medical help, if necessary, identify the type of injury or illness, minimise the risk of cross infection

Promote recovery – Treat any injuries or illnesses, arrange the next steps such as transfer to hospital, communicate details of the injury or illness and your actions to those taking over care of the casualty


As you can see, there are a few different training courses. You should ask at your workplace which type, of course, you should attend.



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