The HSE has this week announced changes to the validity of existing First Aid qualifications due to the backlog of people needing First Aid Traning and the reduced capacity of many training organisations who are delivering courses with fewer candidate numbers in order to ensure that courses are covid-secure. The details are as follows:



First aid certificate extensions


Offshore Medic and Offshore First Aid Certificates


From 31 October 2020 offshore medic (OM), or offshore first aid (OFA) certificates, must be current and in date. The temporary COVID-19 extension arrangements end.


First Aid at Work (FAW) and Emergency First aid at Work (EFAW) certificates requalification


First aid providers have resumed first aid training and assessment. In some cases, there remains a back log or limited availability.


FAW or EFAW certificates that expired after 16 March 2020 can remain valid until 31 October 2020 or 6 months from date of expiry, whichever is later. All requalification training for these certificates should be completed by 31 March 2021.


To qualify for the extension, employers must be able to demonstrate that:


  • they have made every effort to arrange requalification training as soon as possible and can explain in detail why they have not been able to do so. For example, they must show evidence that staff with expired certificates are booked on to EFAW or FAW requalification courses,  if requested by an inspector
  • they have adequate and appropriate equipment and facilities to give first aid to any employee who is injured or becomes ill at work
  • the level of first aid cover provided remains appropriate for their particular work environment
  • the level of first aid provision necessary in high risk settings is fully maintained, eg in construction, agriculture, engineering and chemicals


This guidance now applies to employers in England, Scotland and Wales.

This update can be viewed together with other guidance on first aid cover during the pandemic at

Regarding Paediatric First Aid see information at

7.10 Renewing paediatric first aid (PFA) certificates

If PFA certificate requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with coronavirus (COVID-19), or by complying with related government advice, the validity of current certificates can be extended to 25 November 2020 at the latest. This applies to certificates which expired on or after 16 March 2020. If asked to do so, providers should be able to explain why the first aider hasn’t been able to requalify and demonstrate what steps have taken to access the training. Employers or certificate holders must do their best to arrange requalification training at the earliest opportunity. The EYFS: coronavirus disapplications guidance will be updated to reflect the recent extension of the validity of PFA certificates.

Article uploaded on 26/09/2020


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