First Aid At Work Level 3, And First Aid At Work Level 6. What Is The Difference?
In this blog we’ll explain the differences, and answer a question we get asked a lot: What are the equivalences of different first aid courses and what do the different levels mean? First Aid At Work Level 3, And First Aid At Work Level 6. What Is The Difference?
Well the simple answer is geography. But before we go there, just a note about how first aid courses are certificated. There are now four ways to accredit first aid training (as stated by the HSE) –
- Meet the HSE’s due diligence requirements for first aid providers
- Be a Centre of an Awarding Organisation (England/Wales) or Awarding Body (Scotland)
- Be a member of a first aid trade body
- Be one of the traditional voluntary sector bodies (Red Cross / St John’s / St Andrews)
If you have been on a First Aid at Work course, which is delivered by a training provider who runs courses through an Awarding Organisation or Awarding Body, then this is likely to be the cause of the difference in ‘Level’ of the qualification –
In Scotland – if your training provider is a Centre of an Awarding Body, the course will be part of a national frame of qualifications called the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF).
The SCQF has 12 levels. Nominally, a Level 6 qualification in Scotland is the equivalent to a Level 3 qualification in England.
In England – if your training provider is a Centre of an Awarding Organisation then the course will be part of a national frame of qualifications called the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).
The RQF has 8 levels. Nominally, a Level 3 qualification in England is the equivalent to a Level 6 qualification in Scotland.
However, the venue that the course was held at doesn’t dictate which system your training provider is using. For example, if you took your course in England, it may be delivered by a training provider who registers the course using the Scottish system, and hence you may receive an SCQF L6 award (and visa versa).
Note that some training providers have created their own Levels so you do see L1, L2, L3 and L4 courses advertised as well. These Levels may well have nothing to do with the Awarding Organisation / Body system and are developed by private businesses. If you are unsure, ask them what the equivalency is, they should be able to tell you this quickly and easily.
First aid training is a confusing sector to work in and is unfortunately even more confusing for the course participants! In any case, the onus is on you to make sure your first aid training provider is running an accredited course through one of the approved methods. See our blog on this topic.