Starting a First Aid Business, Step 3 – Industry Compliance.
In this 3rd step of our mini-series – 5 Steps To Becoming A First Aid Trainer, we take a more in-depth look at the various regulations and legalities that you will need to adhere to as a first aid training business. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, but should help you get everything in order.
Insurance: Professional, Public and Employer
Businesses must have insurance and usually this takes a minimum of two forms: Professional Indemnity and Public Liability; a first aid training business needs to be covered for both of these liabilities. In simple terms, Professional Indemnity covers you if you are giving advice professionally – ie training a student, while Public Liability covers you in the case of a student hurting themselves on a course, or a training room being damaged during a course, or similar.
As well as these basics, you should consider whether you’ll require the following: Employers’ Liability if you are going to employ staff, loss of earnings insurance if you are forced out of work by illness, injury or perhaps jury service, Medical Malpractice Insurance if you are planning on supplying first aid cover for events or similar as part of your business.
Insurance doesn’t need to be expensive but it is essential, and can be confusing! FirstAidInsurance.co.uk are a good place to start – they have specialist policies for the industry and can help you through the process.
As a business that will be collecting and retaining your clients’ personal information, you will need to adhere to the Information Commissioner’s Data Protection Rules, and register as a Data Controller, plus make sure that you are compliant with all GDPR guidelines. This is a simple process and there is lots of guidance available on the Information Commissioner’s website: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/
It is important not only that you understand what the rules on data protection are but also put practical steps in place within your working processes that allow you to adhere to them easily but without causing extra hassle.
Resources and Certification
As a first aid training business, you’ll need to consider how you are going to resource your training. You might want to create your own suite of training resources, manuals, and certificates, or you may prefer to join an organisation who can provide all of this for you at a cost.
Developing course resources is a time-consuming process in itself. Once you consider that you will need to repeat that process for every course type that you plan on delivering, and then keep all of these resources up to date each year, it becomes a major task! Depending on how you plan on delivering your training, you may also want Audio Visual resources such as slide sets or videos, which may require professional input as well.
As we mentioned in our Step 2 – Get Kitted Up blog, you are also going to need to invest in IT hardware that is capable of printing and potentially scanning these resources in large quantities if you are to produce them yourself.
Continuous Professional Development (CPD).
One requirement of first aid trainers is that they carry out at least 6 hours of CPD annually. This can take many forms, but must be considered as ‘developing’, rather than ‘refreshing’ one’s skills or knowledge. For example, an update on new technical guidelines for a particular technique would be considered as development, as would upskilling to deliver a new course type perhaps.
Internal Quality Assurance (IQA)
Quality Assurance is the process of continual feedback and improvement across all areas of a business. It pertains to all aspects of a clients’ experience, as well as considering all internal systems and processes, and whether they are fit for purpose.
There are a few ways you can satisfy the requirement for including a robust Internal Quality Assurance process within your business. One is to sign up with a membership organisation who may charge you for the provision of the service, either through subscription fees, or directly. Another is to pay an external IQA provider to carry out the process for you on your behalf, again at your cost.
Alternatively, you can develop and carry out your own IQA process, which would involve qualifying as a QA practitioner and developing your company’s internal systems (read our blog here: Award in Understanding IQA). This last method is only relevant to slightly larger organisations; as a sole trader type small business, you would effectively just be checking yourself, which doesn’t really work!
These are up to you as a business, and various memberships offer different benefits. Organisations like the Federation of Small Businesses can be a great help with general business advice. First aid specific organisations may include Awarding Bodies or Organisations like the Association of First Aiders, the First Aid Industry Body, or the ourselves at the First Aid Training Co-operative. All of whom can help you with certification of your courses as well as CPD requirements, and Internal Quality Assurance.
Save Time and Money: Join the First Aid Training Co-operative
One of the many benefits of joining us at the First Aid Training Co-operative is that we take care of all of these things we’ve discussed as part of the service, at no charge. The Co-operative working model allows us to share the cost across all of our members and effectively ‘buy in bulk’ in areas that a sole trader would find prohibitively expensive alone. We also take care of all IQA, and resource provision and management, which removes not only a large chunk of work, but also hassle from our members’ workloads.