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Providing First Aid training

In response to the recent changes introduced regarding paediatric first aid, the Alliance has produced a guidance document explaining the requirements and how to evidence first aid activity in the setting entitled the First Aid Management Record. Here, we provide background information on paediatric first aid requirements and the importance of due diligence when selecting a training provider.

The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS, 2014) recognises the responsibility of all early years providers to ensure children who attend are safe and healthy, through the following mandatory requirements in relation to first aid:

"At least one person who has a current paediatric first aid certificate must be on the premises and available at all times when children are present, and must accompany children on outings. Childminders, and any assistant who might be in sole charge of the children for any period of time, must hold a current paediatric first aid certificate. Paediatric first aid training must be relevant for workers caring for young children and where relevant, babies. Providers should take into account the number of children, staff and layout of premises to ensure that a paediatric first aider is able to respond to emergencies quickly.

Providers can choose which organisation they wish to provide the training (preferably one with a nationally approved and accredited first aid qualification or one that is a member of a trade body with an approval and monitoring scheme) but the training must cover the course content as for St John Ambulance or Red Cross paediatric first aid training and be renewed every three years. (EYFS, 3.25)"

From 1 September 2016, newly qualified early years staff who achieved an early years qualification at level 2 or 3, on or after 30 June 2016, are required to have a paediatric first aid certificate in order to be counted in the adult:child ratios (this rule does not apply to staff employed before that date). Paediatric first aid certificates must be renewed every three years, as medical techniques develop over time and knowledge needs refreshing.

The current market

The market for First Aid training is very variable, and the number of providers are expected to increase to meet demand of upcoming changes proposed by the DfE.  The current providers can be categorised as follows:

  • Training providers offering regulated qualifications (regulated by Ofqual in England). These training providers would refer to awarding organisations in the advertising materials, for example NCFE Cache, Qualsafe.
  • Training providers who operate under voluntary accreditation schemes. This means that they abide by a quality assurance scheme set up by a trade or industry body and have external accreditation through them. The trade bodies carry out ‘due diligence’ checks as part of their recognition of first aid training provider members, and explain what this means on their websites.
  • Training providers operating independently; that is without an awarding organisation or trade body providing accreditation. These providers choose to demonstrate their competence to an employer directly, normally providing evidence to allow the employer to make a ‘due diligence’ check.
  • Voluntary Aided Societies such as St John Ambulance and British Red Cross. These organisations offer training services which are highly respected and trusted.

When choosing a training provider for Paediatric First Aid, the HSE[1] provides a useful information sheet, describing the due diligence process. Another valuable resource is Ofqual’s Register of Regulated Qualifications[2] which will help you to identify paediatric first aid providers.

Keeping evidence of why you chose a specific training provider, in relation to the due diligence, will help to show your commitment to the safety of children in your setting. The Alliance’s new First Aid Management Record will support this process, as it allows managers to evidence that their setting is equipped to provide first aid. It does this by recording:

  • the choice of first aid training provider and evidence of ‘due diligence’
  • staff deployment decisions
  • a list of staff with approved paediatric first aid training (for display)
  • internal activities and exercises relating to first aid and accident prevention
  • first aid related queries from parents and how these were answered

The First Aid Management Record therefore allows settings to keep a useful log both for Ofsted inspections and to support applications for a quality assurance mark for first aid provision. The publication also explains the requirements of paediatric first aid in more detail, to ensure that you feel confident that you have met each requirement sufficiently. You can find out more about this resource by visiting our online shop 


[1] Selecting a first-aid training provider - A guide for employers which can be downloaded from www.hse.gov.uk/firstaid/approved-training.htm

[2] Ofqual’s Register of Regulated Qualifications - register.ofqual.gov.uk