Choosing Your First Aid Course

Choosing Your First Aid Course

Choosing your first aid course can be tricky.  We have a flooded marketplace and every provider can easily create a glitzy website.  How do you know whether you are choosing wisely and does the training offered even meet your legal requirements? The following information should help your decision making.

Does the course meet your legal requirements?
In 2013 the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) stopped issuing training licenses to first aid training companies. Any business or individual selecting a provider since then has been required to carry out due diligence to ensure the provider meets their requirements.  The HSE can’t advise you on this, but it published a list of questions that you should be asking a potential provider.

We are always happy to answer questions about choosing your first aid course, but we thought we might be able to save everyone some time by listing the questions and our answers.  You can find those below.  Having said that, we can make your job even easier by saying that we meet all the HSE requirements for every first aid course we offer.

Do the trainers/assessors have a current First Aid at Work (FAW) certificate?
All our trainers have a current FAW certificated these are updated every 3 years.

Do the trainers/assessors have an appropriate training/assessing qualification?
All our trainers have a minimum of a PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the lifelong Learning Sector) qualification.  Many have full teacher status.

Is there a documented quality assurance plan designating an individual to take responsibility for quality assurance? This should include assessment of the performance of trainers/assessors at least annually?
We have a Quality Assurance policy and this is a requirement of both the HSE and our Awarding Organisation.  All our trainers are required to be assessed both running first aid courses and verified as competent assessors.

Does the designated person have a current First Aid at Work (FAW) qualification?
Paul Lewis is the designated person and he holds a current FAW certificate.

Does the designated person have an assessing and verifying qualification?
Yes.  Paul holds full teacher status and is a qualified assessor.

Is there a documented course evaluation procedure?
All course candidates are asked to provide feedback on evaluation forms towards the end of all courses.

Is there a documented complaints procedure?
We have a clearly defined complaints procedure.

Is the course taught in accordance with current guidelines on adult basic life support published by the Resuscitation Council (UK), and for other aspects of first aid, in accordance with current guidelines published by the Voluntary Aid Societies?
The syllabus is taken from the relevant guidelines of the UK Resuscitation Council and Voluntary Aid Societies.

Does the course content adequately meet the needs of your workplace as indicated by your first-aid needs assessment?
The syllabus of each course is published on our website.  Additional topics can often be covered to tailor the course to your specific requirements, but please ask if this is possible in advance.

For FAW, does the syllabus include the topics in Appendix 1 and include at least 18 contact hours over 3 days?
Yes.  We meet all the standards laid down by the HSE.

For FAW requalification, does the syllabus include the topics in Appendix 1 and include at least 12 contact hours over 2 days?
Yes.  We meet all the standards laid down by the HSE.

For Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW), does the syllabus include the topics listed in Appendix 2 and last 6 contact hours?
Yes.  We meet all the standards laid down by the HSE.

For EFAW requalification, does the syllabus include the topics listed in Appendix 2 and does the course last at least 6 contact hours?
Yes.  We meet all the standards laid down by the HSE.

Do the certificates issued to students assessed as competent contain the name of the training organisation, the title of the qualification (eg FAW or EFAW), reference to the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981, the date of issue and confirmation the certificate is valid for three years?
Yes.  All our certificates are produced by our awarding organisation.  ITC First Ltd is a recognised awarding organisation approved by OfQual and the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA).

Can I take an Outdoor First Aid course rather than a FAW course for my workplace setting?


We sometimes get asked what type of course you need.  We can advise individually on choosing your first aid course, but the HSE states that should a business requires specialist first aid training they can take an appropriate course.  This is significant.  It means that, should you be best served by taking an Outdoor First Aid course rather than First Aid at Work, you can make that choice.

How can you know if the course will be delivered to a high standard?


If you’ve followed the information above it should be relatively easy to work out whether your choice of course suits your legal requirements, but choosing a provider that will deliver a top quality course is likely to be harder.  Here are 10 reasons we know our courses are the best out there.

1. Trainers that walk the walk as well as talk the talk.  Our training team have a broad experience relevant to delivering first aid.  We have worked as teachers in schools and outdoor professionals operating all over the globe.  We understand the challenges of delivering effective first aid in real world situations.   

2. Our teaching and business practices are measured against stringent standards.  Being part of the ITC First family requires us to operate to the highest levels and these standards are measured against a stringent Internal and External Verification system.

3. We are a team of experienced educationalists and our courses are based on long standing and proven educational theory.  Our student centred learning methods ensure effective and engaging training.

4. The best way to learn is to do and the best way to do is as realistically as possible.  Our courses take the theory out of the classroom and provide opportunities for candidates to realistically apply knowledge and skills.

5. We love PowerPoint, but only when it genuinely aids the learner.  We focus on practical training and only use PowerPoint and other visual aids when it will be of proven benefit to course participants.

6. Casualty simulation is key to our learning strategy.  This makes treating casualties easier because it effectively prepares you for treating actual casualties.  All of our courses feature casualty simulation.

7. We want your learning to continue long after your course ends.  We send out regular updates on first aid developments and tips and tricks to ensure your skills stay current.

8. Clients that come back time after time.  Many of our course participants have been with us for 

9.  Don’t just take our word for it, read what some of our previous candidates think.  We use Trip Advisor for transparent and honest reviews. Our review page can be found here.

10. We are here for you.  We pride ourselves on our personalised service and strive to offer the very best advice.  If we don’t feel we can offer you the training you need we will be happy to tell you.  We will not sell you a course not suited to your needs.

We hope this information has helped you in choosing your first aid course. Details on all our first aid courses is available here. We hope to welcome you onto a course very soon.