Socially distanced seating ready for training course

Safely Returning to First Aid Training during COVID-19

During the Covid 19 crisis first aid training stopped for everyone except essential workers. However with the move to level 3, First Aid Training is beginning to restart. Below we describe the safety measures we're taking, and that you'll need to think about, to make your training safe.


The HSE extended first aid certificate expiry dates for those whose certificates were due to expire on or after 16th March by three months and have since further extended that deadline to 30th September.

They feel that everyone who needs to requalify should have done so by 30th September 2020, and so they do not expect to extend the deadline further.

Training is allowed to resume now that the Government Coronavirus risk level is at level 3. But Government restrictions remain, and there's advice that must be adhered to. Inevitably, that guidance will change again.

Before your training commences, as a course organiser, you'll need to risk assess the courses you have planned and take measures to ensure the safety of all involved.

We've been doing the same - making sure that we all have clear, practical instructions on how to train safely. Those instructions are listed below.

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How We're Keeping Learners & Trainers Safe

The following measures have been brought in to ensure the safety of our learners and trainers:

  • Anyone displaying symptoms of Covid-19 will be asked not to attend the course
  • Anyone who subsequently displays symptoms after attending will be asked to contact the course organiser so that others can be informed to self-isolate
  • Seating will be 2 metres apart throughout the day. It is likely that learner numbers will be reduced to accommodate this
  • Seating distance may move to 1metre+, but for now the 2 metre distancing remains.
  • Social distancing will be maintained as far as is reasonably practical except for periods of necessary teaching and assessment
  • Where it is necessary for learners to come into closer contact than 2m for purposes of teaching and assessing, then face coverings and gloves should be worn.
  • Where possible there will be one manikin per learner, where this is not possible and manikins are shared, each manikin will be kept to the same small group of learners throughout the course and individuals will be issued with a face/airway/face shield for their use during the course
  • Rigorous cleaning and sanitisation of equipment will be maintained and cleaned regularly
  • Handwashing/hand sanitisation will occur before and after each practical session and at other times during the day as required
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PPE Still Required

Maintaining Workplace Safety

All measures that your workplace currently requires you to follow in terms of remaining Covid Secure should be adhered to.

This may include using your usual suitable PPE if your workplace risk assessment requires it or if you used it prior to Covid 19.

Please ensure you bring it with you if this is the case. If you don't have suitable PPE for your environment, you may not be able to attend the course.

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Room Sizes and Student Numbers

Rules for Social Distancing

Prior to Covid-19, 12 people were allowed as a maximum on a first aid course.

To allow for social distancing, numbers are likely to be much smaller. Room sizes will mean limiting the numbers of students to ensure that all can respect the 2 metre social distancing measures.

Exact room size and layout will determine course numbers, but the following gives you a bit of a guide:

Room Size

Max Attendees

  • 8 x 8 metres
  • 8 x 6 metres
  • 6 x 6 metres
  • 6 x 3 metres
  • 12 + trainer
  • 9 + trainer
  • 6 + trainer
  • 4 + trainer

Training rooms must be set up to ensure strict 2 metres social distancing measures and each training room size will be assessed before the course is booked.

The rooms must allow for entry and exit without compromising social distancing. Rooms also need to be well ventilated.

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COVID Symptoms

Before a Course

Keeping all students safe

No student will be allowed to attend training if they or a member of their household has symptoms of Coronovirus, or has had symptoms in the last 14 days.

On arrival we will screen each student for evidence of a temperature over 37.8 and will turn any candidates away who are showing symptoms.

Symptoms include a new and persistent cough fever, loss of taste or smell.

If a person develops symptoms whilst on a course they will be immediately be sent home to self-isolate and asked to book a test via or call 119 if they have no internet access.

In short, please be fair to your colleagues, other students and the trainer. If you're unwell, please don't come along to the course.

After a Course

Helping with Track & Trace

All students and their managers must inform us if they or members of their household develops symptoms within 14 days of attending the course.

If any of our trainers develop symptoms within 14 days of running a course, we will inform all course organisers/students that that a member of their staff has had contact with someone who has developed symptoms.

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Client / Venue Requirements

Creating a Safe Training Environment

For in-house courses, where we come to you to train your staff, there are a number of things we need from you to make sure the training environment is suitable.

  • The room must be of suitable size for the number of students being trained (see above).
  • Please don't ask a trainer to accept additional students on to the course. It makes for an awkward conversation and risks the health of both students or trainer.
  • The room must have been sanitised - chairs (and tables if required) disinfected
  • Chairs set out with suitable social distancing
  • Clean hand-washing and toilet facilities provided and easily accessible
  • If particular PPE is required in your environment, please ensure that there is a new, clean set available for the trainer to use
  • All students will need to adhere to social distancing and cleaning requirements
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Course & Equipment Measures

Minimising the Risk of Transmission

We've always practiced good infection control measures around our equipment and continue to do so. 

  • CPR manikins have lungs/airways and valves that are replaced each day
  • The one way valves stop air coming out of the manikins mouth and direct expired air to the back of the manikins head
  • Alcohol/sanitising wipes will be used between learners after handling equipment such as CPR manikins.
  • Manikins will be disinfected after each session.

(These are the measures we have always taken to ensure the cleanliness of equipment and have been approved by the HSE and consultant microbiologist at NHS England as sufficient).

  • In addition we have always used face shields as a double safe protection
  • Each learner will be issued with a face shield and should use it the same way up each time
  • Handwashing/hand sanitisation will occur after before and after each practical session and available at other times during the day
  • Gloves will be provided
  • Tissues will be available
  • Spare lungs/faces will be available if necessary to change between learners
  • Where possible there will be one manikin per learner, where this is not possible and manikins are shared, each manikin will be kept to the same small group of learners throughout the course
  • Individual bandages will be available
  • Some in-course adjustments to content may need to take place to minimise risk of transmission. If necessary, these will be in-line with latest HSE, Resuscitation Council and Awarding Organisation guidelines.

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