How to choose a first aider

How do I choose a first aid training provider?

Since 2013 the Health and Safety Executive has not approved first aid training providers, making it a little harder to know how to choose a first aid training provider.

To help make a decision we have outlined below key factors you should consider.

All first aid training providers will need to be able – and should be prepared to demonstrate how they satisfy certain criteria set by HSE.

These criteria include:

  • the qualifications expected of trainers and assessors
  • monitoring and quality assurance systems
  • teaching and standards of first-aid practice
  • syllabus content
  • certification

All first aid training providers should now be running their first aid courses and generating first aid certificates.

This is achieved by using one of four different methods:

  • By meeting the HSE due diligence requirements for training providers
  • By a member of a first aid trade body
  • Running courses through an Awarding Body or Awarding Organisations. These courses are referred to as ‘regulated’ courses
  • Be the Red Cross or St Johns (Voluntary Aid Society).

These methods are a way training providers can train and assess first aid courses and be able to generate first aid certificates. The wording on the certificates is specific and the HSE give guidance on what should be written on the certificates.

Training organisations should also meet the principles of assessment.

The principles of assessment are set by the HSE for first aid training and include:

  • competence and qualifications of first aiders
  • the quality assurance systems required
  • how training is delivered
  • how training is assessed

It is not appropriate for providers to say that ‘they deliver first aid courses that are approved or accredited by the HSE’, but they can reasonably say that they ‘meet the requirements of the HSE to run’; ‘recognised’, ‘approved’ or ‘accredited’ first aid courses. As long as they meet the criteria of one of the four methods listed above.

Please note that the HSE introduced a requirement for employers to carry out a first aid needs (risk) assessment to show how many and of what type of first aiders they require. It is up to the employer to decide how many staff they need trained, what type of course is appropriate for them. We have a FREE Download which describes this process click here.


Needless to say, we have ensured that we comply with all of the HSE guidence as outlined above. If you would like to know more about the course that we can offer you, please check out our courses page by clicking here.

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