Starting a First Aid Training Business – Get Qualified
In the second of the series of blogs on starting a first aid training business, we’re going to look at each of the steps from our first blog “5 Steps to Starting a First Aid Training Business” in more detail and expand on the points raised in it.
Hopefully this will help you as an aspirant first aid trainer get your head around exactly what is involved!
So, let’s consider the ‘Get Qualified’ step in a bit more detail.
In order to become a first aid trainer you will need to either hold or gain the required qualifications. These are qualifications in both training and assessing, set out by the First Aid Awarding Organisation Forum (FAAOF), who produce this guide.
It is important to note that these requirements relate to the training and assessment of some specific ‘standard’ courses such as First Aid at Work, Emergency First Aid at Work, Paediatric First Aid, and Emergency Paediatric First Aid courses.
The FAAOF document details the requirements of Trainers and Assessors separately, although accepts that the same person may perform both roles. This tends to be the case in first aid training, so it is most likely that you will become both a trainer and assessor.
Starting with Trainers
The guidelines state:
Those involved in the training of these qualifications must have knowledge and competency in first aid as well as knowledge and competency to train based on qualifications and experience. An acceptable portfolio must show:
- Occupational knowledge and competence in first aid ‐ evidenced by holding a first aid at work/medical qualification. As detailed in Appendix 1 of the guide.
- Knowledge and competency in teaching/training first aid ‐ evidenced by holding an acceptable teaching/training qualification. As detailed in Appendix 2 of the guide.
At the most basic level, to satisfy 1. you must have a valid First Aid at Work qualification, and a basic teaching qualification to satisfy 2. For reference, a link to the full FAAOF document, including Appendices 1&2 is included at the end of this blog.
As well as these requirements, you must also provide one of the following:
- An acceptable log of teaching first aid within the last 3 years
- An acceptable record of competently teaching theoretical and practical first aid sessions under the supervision of a suitably qualified Trainer/Assessor
This last section is a vital requirement and can be harder to satisfy – building up experience can be tricky without a willing “suitably qualified trainer” to help you on the way. Don’t worry though, our Trainer Induction Week can help you with this too!
Next, Assessors requirements –
Which are very similarly worded:
Those involved in the assessment of these qualifications must have knowledge and competency in first aid as well as knowledge and competency to assess based on qualifications and experience. An acceptable portfolio must show:
- Occupational knowledge and competence in first aid ‐ evidenced by holding a first aid at work/medical qualification as detailed in Appendix 1 of the guide.
- Knowledge and competency in assessing first aid ‐ evidenced by holding an acceptable assessing qualification/CPD Training as detailed in Appendix 2 of the guide.
Similarly to the training requirements, satisfying these are a First Aid at Work qualification or higher for 1. and a basic assessing qualification for 2.
You must also provide one of the following for assessing, again similar to training:
- An acceptable log of first aid assessments conducted within the last 3 years
- An acceptable record of competently assessing theoretical and practical first aid qualifications under the supervision of a suitably qualified assessor.
Again, this last section is often the crux of the issue, demonstrating competence with limited practice potential. Gaining qualifications is fairly easy in the grand scheme of things, but practicing skills and demonstrating competence is much trickier.
How to Get Qualified: Trainer Induction Week
As mentioned in our initial 5 Steps To Starting a First Aid Training Business Blog, the First Aid Training Co-operative’s Trainer Induction Week has been created to get around this problem for new First Aid Trainers.
By combining the First Aid at Work qualification, with the new Level 3 Award in Teaching And Assessing First Aid Qualifications, you will both achieve the required qualifications, at the same time as learning to deliver and assess these courses, and gaining experience of doing so.
This way of putting you into a real training environment, can be uncomfortable to start with, but is an important step in becoming a trainer. This is especially true if you have limited training experience – and means that the first time you deliver a live course, you will have ‘been there before’ and learned from that experience of training students.
Satisfying these FAAOF requirements would allow you to start your first aid business and deliver some general courses as listed above. At the First Aid Training Co-operative however we feel that this is a bit ‘loose’, and potentially gives very inexperienced trainers the ‘go ahead’ to deliver quite technical subjects that may be covered within a more involved course such as Paediatric First Aid.
We’d rather set our standards considerably higher than that to ensure that the training that we are doing is as high quality as possible, not just the minimum standard.
Therefore within the Co-operative’s trainer pathway, the initial Trainer Induction Week would qualify you to deliver Emergency First Aid at Work only. This is a core course, and allows you to develop your skills as a trainer. Beyond that we continue the theme of industry or operational competence as being a requirement for delivering other course types too, coupled with further personal development as a trainer.
We’ll cover all that, our reasons for this approach, and more in the very last blog in this series, covering Step 5 – Go Out And Teach People To Save Lives. In the meantime however, we’ll look at Step 2 – Get Kitted Up; the equipment you’re going to require, in more detail next time, so stay tuned!