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Technical Notice: COVID-19 – Lifesaving and First Aid Qualification Expiry Dates

Posted on 23rd March 2020

Following guidance from the Health and Safety Executive and First Aid Awarding Organisation Forum, Safety Training Awards are able to grant a qualification extension for learners who hold a STA lifesaving or regulated first aid qualification which are due to expire.
Due to the Coronavirus, if a learners’ qualification expires on or after the 16th March 2020, their workplace is closed and they are unable to revalidate their qualification, a learners’ qualification may be extended for up to 3 months. This will enable learners to retake their STA qualifications without the need to attend a full course.

Learners with the following STA qualifications may apply for the extension:

  • STA Pool Lifeguard
  • STA Pool Emergency Responder
  • STA Safety Award for Teachers
  • First Aid at Work
  • Emergency First Aid at Work
  • Paediatric First Aid
  • Emergency Paediatric First Aid
  • CPR and Automated External Defibrillator
  • CPR and Anaphylaxis

The Health and Safety Executive have released the following statement:

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is aware that people holding Offshore Medic (OM), Offshore First Aid (OFA), First Aid at Work (FAW) or Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) certificates nearing expiry date, might experience disruption to access to requalification training as a result of events or circumstances generated by the coronavirus pandemic.

HSE’s current guidance on the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981: here and the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (First-Aid) Regulations 1989: here is that those holding an OM, OFA, FAW or EFAW qualification should undertake retraining before their original certificate expires and HSE strongly recommends that employers, and individuals holding those qualifications should plan for requalification training well in advance of expiry dates.

If however requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with coronavirus or by complying with related government advice, it is reasonable and practical to extend the validity of current certificates by up to 3 months. Anyone taking advantage of this extension should be able to describe clearly their reasons for delaying requalification training, and demonstrate steps they have taken to undertake the training, if required.

This guidance comes into effect for certificates expiring on or after 16th March 2020. HSE will review this matter over the coming months and will issue further statements as necessary.

The Department of Education has commented as follows:

The Department for Education supports the HSE statement regarding the extension of first aid certificates during coronavirus emergency and that it can be applied to paediatric first aid certificates held by staff in early years provision.

We would recommend that any internal quality assurance monitoring activities are conducted remotely until the travel restrictions are removed. Please continue to document the remote internal quality assurance evidence following current procedures within Synergy.

Anyone wishing to apply for the extension, please contact us below.

Contact Safety Training Awards