Applicants to the current FSA Recognised FS Provider scheme must meet our first aid benchmark (taken from band 3 in the Outdoor First Aid Training guide published by the IOL) which is that their course is:
16 hours + with an outdoor element + with a paediatric element
In March 2020 HSE stated that they would accept gaps between first aid re-qualifications due to the lack of courses Covid-19 had caused. The FSA mirrored this and also accepted applications from providers who had Level 3 practitioners with gaps in their first aid qualifications that were due to Covid-19. Also at that time the FSA stated that they would not accept applications from providers whose Level 3 Leaders had online qualifications for first aid.
9 months on, we would like to amend our benchmark relating to first aid for the provider scheme. At this point in time there are providers who have Level 3 Leaders with a gap of nearly 4 years since gaining their first aid qualification. We consider it preferable for leaders in this situation to requalify by attending a blended first aid course that meets certain criteria (see below) than to leave the gap to become even longer. This is echoed in IOL’s statement ‘Online Learning in Outdoor First Aid Training’ dated 23 December 2020. We recognise that due to Covid-19 there is less First Aid training available.
The proposal, therefore, is that, whilst the FSA will continue not to recognise qualifications gained purely online, as an interim measure we will accept qualifications where the course comprised 8 hours of theoretical study online/virtually and 8 hours face-to-face with a trainer, covering all practical elements and competency assessments. This amendment to our benchmark is a temporary measure due to Covid-19 and will be in place until the FSA can see good provision of face-to-face training again in the First Aid training market.