HSE Withdrawal from First Aid

Following the Government's acceptance of the Lofstedt Report, the HSE has now confirmed that the HSE approval system for first aid training providers will end. For the past 30 years, having HSE approval has allowed independent first aid training providers, such as Wren Training to illustrate to customers and potential clients that they delivered high quality training to a recognised standard. Without doubt, this has allowed smaller, private training providers to compete with big name brands such as St. John, Red Cross and St. Andrew.

Having recognised the importance of HSE approval, it was actively campaigned to protect training providers for many years. Deregulation could potentially open the door for large numbers of low quality first aid training providers to enter the market. Unfortunately, any confusion about standards in the independent sector will hand an advantage to organisations such as St. John and Red Cross, whose brand names are generally trusted by employers.

All instances of HSE approval of first aid training providers will, irrespective of individual expiry dates, expire at midnight on 5 April 2013, at which point new arrangements will be put in place or legislative change will take effect. This holds true irrespective of individual approval expiry dates and therefore there will not be a requirement to renew any certificate of approval. HSE may revoke or amend the conditions of existing approvals prior to this date if it considers it appropriate to do so.

It's important therefore that genuine, quality training providers, who are about to lose HSE approval, can replace this with something equally as credible. Wren Training, who work closely with us, will be moving to Ofqual regulated qualifications. Employers and the HSE already have a high level of confidence in Ofqual regulated qualifications, so this option will allow them to compete effectively with the big name brands. This should seamlessly replace the current qualification and will be ready before the HSE approval system is removed.

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