A plastic first aid kit for the workplace.

HSE and Ofsted First Aid Updates during coronavirus pandemic

The HSE and Ofsted are regularly updating their advice on First Aid cover during the coronavirus pandemic.

The HSE issued its latest update on 31 March 2021.  Full details can be found here.

Main points :

  • Check your first aid at work needs assessment
  • Ensure your first aiders are aware of the latest advice from the Resuscitation Council for treating a casualty and for giving CPR
  • Ensure First Aid certificates are up to date or comply with the HSE extensions.
    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 backlog 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.

Provide annual refresher training

If first aiders are unable to access annual refresher training face to face during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, HSE supports the use of online refresher training to keep their skills up to date.HSE still strongly recommends that the practical elements of actual FAW, EFAW and requalification courses are delivered face to face, so that competency of the student can be properly assessed.

Book your online Annual First Aid training here

Ofsted – Updated March 2021

Click here for Ofsted guidance and information relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) for schools, early years, children’s social care and further education and skills providers.

Main points:

  • First aid certificates

    If your paediatric first aid (PFA) certificate expired on or after 1 October 2020, the DfE has advised that this will be valid until 31 March 2021. After this you will need to have an up to date certificate.

  • EYFS 

Requirements for Paediatric First Aiders (PFA) being on site

As set out in the section on the application and disapplication of the early years foundation stage framework, unless a setting is using the new regulations to disapply elements of the EYFS due to further local or national coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, providers must ensure a member of staff with a full PFA certificate is on site at all times when children are present, as set out in the EYFS.

See the section on the application and disapplication of the early years foundation stage framework for further information.

Renewing paediatric first aid (PFA) certificates

If PFA certificate re-qualification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with coronavirus (COVID-19), or by complying with related government advice, the validity of current certificates were able to be extended to 25 November 2020 at the latest. This applies to certificates which expired on or after 16 March 2020 and includes paediatric first aiders in provision registered on the General Childcare Register and all early years provision.

If asked to do so, providers should be able to explain why the first aider has not been able to re-qualify 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.


See details of our Paediatric First Aid course here or call us on 020 8445 8998 for further advice