First Aid Training at Work - Guidance Notes

Employer Responsibilities

The Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires employers to provide appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision to ensure, as far as practicable, the health & safety of all employees while at work. It is also good practice to consider visitors within your planning,particularly for example;in educational establishments, health care, retail and recreation where the public may be on-site.

The First Aid Regulations (1981) require all employers to risk assess their workplace and then provide suitable and sufficient numbers of first aiders and equipment to render first aid to those injured or taken ill at work. The Statutory minimum requirement is at least one 'Appointed Person' but since 2009 the HSE does not classify Appointed Persons as first aiders and they should not attempt first aid for which they have not been trained. To safeguard your employees you should have at least one member of staff with an approved qualification.

The two qualifications approved under the Regulations are First Aid at Work (FAW) and Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW). A full risk assessment of your workplace will be required to determine which qualification is appropriate for your staff. Specific guidance is available from the HSE website @ Please note you will need to provide sufficient first aiders to cover for holidays and other absences.

Selection of First Aiders

The First Aid Regulations give guidance on the selection of first aiders and emergency first aiders, you will need to consider;

  • Reliability, disposition and communication skills
  • Aptitude and ability to absorb knowledge and learn new skills
  • Ability to cope with stressful and physically demanding emergency situations
  • Normal duties - these should be such that they may be left to go immediately to an emergency