First Aid training on Radio 4

BBC Radio 4 recently featured first aid training on their popular consumer affairs programme “You and Yours”, in particular focusing on the situation regarding the regulation of first aid training.

The current situation if that the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) regulate first aid training in the workplace, this includes all the first aid that employers are obliged to provide under the health and safety legislation.  As an executive agency ofcentral government the HSE have both plenty of power and expertise in both regulation and enforcement of health and safety matters.  However there is often little or no regulation of first aid training which falls outside the workplace health and safety requirements, this includes first aid training provided to schools, nurseries and crèches for the treatment of children. Both the head of the independant body the Federation of First Aid Training Organisations and a representative from St John’s Ambulance were interviewed for the programme.  Some might say that the BBC thus invited only those with a vested interest in further regulation were able to put their point of view accross.

The spectre of unsuitable or in adequate first aid training being provided by unreglated organisations was raised and the HSE gave a written statement.

Here at Carlton Training we continue to remain neutral on the issue of more regulation for first aid training.  However there seems to have been in recent years and increase in “empire building” by non-HSE organisation seeking to regulate/specify/control various aspectes of first aid training.  These organisations often lack the influence and expertise of the HSE regarding first aid regulation, and their methods remain very variable.  Examples include exam boards / awarding bodies demanding that candidates acheive this or that type of certificate before qualifiying on certain courses.  Another area of contention is Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education) “regulate and inspect to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages.” who now make demands on chilminders, nursery schools and crèches regarding the duration and type first aid training provided, without regard to the HSE standards or any requirement for testing or standards (a cynical person might say that this is because Ofsted do not have the ability or skills to set standards or tests in this area)

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