This is a joint statement by the Health and Safety Executive and the First Aid at Work Quality Partnership (FAWQP)

It has been brought to the attention of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that some organisations seeking to commission First Aid at Work (FAW) training have required the training to be delivered over significantly shorter time periods than those recommended in HSE guidance and with student/trainer ratios that could compromise the effectiveness of the training.

The HSE guidance strongly recommends that First Aid at Work training (FAW) should be for 18 hours over a minimum period of 3 days and Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) 6 hours over a minimum of 1 day. FAW re-qualification training should be for 12 hours over a minimum of 2 days, and all of these recommended periods exclude breaks.

Class sizes for the training should be appropriate. For example, where first-aid training is provided in class sizes of greater than 12, unless additional trainers and/or assessors are provided there may be concerns over addressing the training needs of individual candidates or adequately assessing their competence.

We believe that adhering to the recommended training hours and having appropriate trainer/student ratios are important factors in ensuring that the training syllabus is covered adequately and that students absorb fully what they have learned and are able to demonstrate relevant competencies.

Employers are required to undertake due diligence when selecting their first aid training and may be asked to demonstrate to an HSE or local authority inspector that their first aid provision is adequate and appropriate.