Health and Safety Executive (HSE) First Aid updates

Following the recent HSE First Aid bulletin, we are pleased to publish First Aid updates that will be implemented with the delivery of our 1 Day Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) and the 3 Day First Aid at Work (FAW) training courses.

First Aid updates for Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

First Aid updates from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)The HSE have stated that the use of an AED should now be included as standard on all workplace first aid courses. This brings first aid training in line with the Resuscitation Council (UK) opinion that using an AED now forms a standard part of the basic life support training lesson plan.

The Resuscitation Council UK guidance on AEDs is that this equipment is safe to use and can be readily used by untrained bystanders.

AEDs are becoming more prevalent within the wider community.  For example there are national strategies in place actively promoting their placement in schools; public places such as stations.  Many workplaces have voluntarily invested in this equipment.

Evidence suggests that the first aid updates are necessary as where AEDs have been used the outcomes are far more favourable for an individual who suffers from a heart attack than if it is delayed until the arrival of the emergency services.

How we will blend the First Aid updates into our training delivery

How we will blend the First Aid updates into our training deliveryThe Health and Safety Executive – First Aid updates (HSE) will require all training providers to introduce training and assessment in AEDs into first aid courses by the end of 2016. The HSE does not expect every first aider to have an in-depth knowledge of AEDs, but Learners will need to cover the correct placement of AED pads and following AED instructions.

From July 2016, we will be introducing additional Lesson Plans for all first aid qualifications that demonstrate how to incorporate the safe use of an AED into courses. We will also be introducing new CPR Practical Assessment Papers that include the option to assess Learners in this subject. Learners who complete the training and assessment will have additional text included on their certificate that acknowledges these skills.

From December 2016, all Centres will be required to deliver and assess the use of AEDs as part of first aid courses.

First Aid updates for Tourniquets and Haemostatic Dressings

Following their introduction into the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) first aid guidelines, the HSE have now fully confirmed that haemostatic dressings and tourniquets can be included in workplace first aid training.

Tourniquets and Haemostatic DressingsThe HSE advises that when carrying out a first aid needs assessment, employers who identify a specific risk of life-threatening bleeding (e.g. those working in arboriculture, construction, glass work, agriculture or those who use dangerous machinery) should consider providing tourniquets and haemostatic dressings and ensure that their workplace first aiders are trained in their use.


With employers now being required to consider life-threatening bleeding as part of their first aid needs assessment, training providers are now likely to be asked by employers to cover these first aid updates on courses and asked to provide advice on suitable tourniquets and haemostatic dressings. It is therefore essential that all first aid training providers are able to provide training and advice.

As such, from July Qualsafe Awards will be introducing new Wounds and Bleeding Practical Assessment Papers that include the option to assess the application of tourniquets and haemostatic dressings. Learners who complete the training and assessment will have additional text added to their certificate that details their competency in these skills.