As an employer, you are responsible for the health and safety of all people at your workplace – this includes employees, staff, and visitors who are on the premises. It’s a big responsibility and one not to be taken lightly. Not only does the employer or manager need to ensure that proper procedures are in place to minimise risk and avoid unfortunate incidents, they also need to be prepared to handle eventualities and be able to provide first aid – or at least have an appointed person who can do so.
Many employers therefore wisely choose to have a good number of their employees undergo first aid training. It’s a great solution that benefits everyone. But how do you select good teachers and mentors? Here’s how to choose the best first aid training provider for your company.
The needs assessment
The training that certain staff will have to undergo will be different from company to company – the first aid training requirements for office staff are different from those working on a construction site, for instance. Each environment is different and will therefore require different levels of training. The employer will first make a risk assessment, and based on this risk assessment, suitable procedures (including first aid requirements) will be determined. In a similar way, there are no hard rules on how many first aiders should be trained; this will all depend on the circumstances at work.
Criteria to follow
For those who provide training, there are certain criteria determined by the HSE. The ‘Guidance on Selecting a First Aid Training provider’ (HSE) sets out those criteria – and these include:
The required qualifications of trainers
Monitoring and quality assurance systems the providers need to have in place
Teaching standards of first-aid practice
The employer’s options
Based on the risk assessment and the recommendations by the HSE, the employer will have different options. Here’s a short list of possible providers:
Those who choose to offer regulated qualifications
Those who operate under a voluntary approval scheme
Those who operate independently but can demonstrate that they have all the necessary qualifications as prescribed by the HSE
Voluntary Aid Societies
It’s always wise to go for regulated qualifications. These are nationally recognised and can be obtained from a training centre for an awarding organisation (AO).
These AOs have dedicated policies and quality assurance processes and must approve and monitor the training sessions to ensure that they meet a certain minimum standard. As such, they have specific criteria for trainers, training centres, and training methods that make sure the competence of trainers and quality of training meets high standards for any first aid course.