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Employers free to select a first aid training provider that best suits their needs

Until recently, under the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, employers were required to seek approval from the HSE regarding the training and qualifications of their appointed first aid personnel.

However, Professor Ragnar Löfsted highlighted in his report ‘this requirement seems to have little justification provided the training meets a certain standard’. From 1 October 2013, The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, Regulation 3(2), will be amended to remove this requirement.

It remains a legal requirement for employers to obtain first-aid needs assessment and ensure suitable provision is made for first aid in accordance with such requirements. However, the requirement to seek approval from the HSE is no longer necessary. Employers will be free to select a training provider that best suits their needs as long as they are competent and have the right quality assurance systems. Training may be chosen through an approved centre by an awarding organisation such as Ofqual, SQA and the Welsh Government or by a voluntary aid society such as St John Ambulance, British Red Cross and St Andrew’s First Aid.

The Red Cross has supported the freedom of choice for employers but cautioned employers against ‘viewing changes to the training market as implying that first aid somehow becomes less important or serious.’

This article first appeared in Law-Now, CMS Cameron McKenna's free online information service, and has been reproduced with their permission. For more information about Law-Now, click here.

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