Thanks to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) deregulating First Aid Training in 2013 the barriers to entry are pretty low. Whether that is good or bad is debatable. It does make it easier to set up as a Trainer – it certainly made it easier for me when I returned to teaching First Aid, but on the other hand it does allow trainers whose standards can be, shall we say, somewhat dubious, without all the checks and balances.
Those that can, do. Those that cannot, teach. Those that cannot teach, teach teachers.
Here are the minimum qualifications that you need:
A teaching qualification at Level 3 or higher.
An assessing qualification at Level 3 or higher
Occupational competency in the subject.
That’s it, qualification-wise. Obviously you need equipment, clients and a way of certifying but I cover that elsewhere. This post is about your qualification.
Teaching and assessing
These two often go hand in hand. Pre 2013 you could just hold a teaching qualification and you would need a separate person to assess your learners at the end of the course. You still need someone to assess, however the requirement for it to be a separate person is no longer there and you can assess as well as teach. It makes sense, therefore, that if you are starting from scratch that you look at gaining a qualification that covers teaching and assessing.
The most common route for those without any qualifications is the Level 3 Award in Education and Training. It takes about a week and will qualify you for teaching and assessing and it is widely recognised. There are many ‘train the trainer’ providers out there that can get you through this qualificaton. See our list of some of them here.
You need Occupational competency to be able to deliver First Aid training. As a minimum this could be the 3-day First Aid at Work course (FAW). Some Certifying / Awarding Organisations allow this to be a springboard to teaching a range of qualifications, however many will need to you get additional training. For instance, to teach Paediatric First Aid you may need a Paediatric First Aid qualification as well, since the FAW does not cover paediatric topics. Note the following:
The FAW needs to be renewed every three years so that you remain competent. Additional qualifications often only need taking once to give you a lifetime of competence.
A FAW qualification will allow you to teach FAW. Some subjects may require you to be qualified to the level above. For instance, Awarding Organisation QNUK will allow you to teach Outdoor First Aid with an Outdoor First Aid qualification, whereas ITC First will only allow you to teach it if you hold an Advanced Outdoor First Aid qualification.
Make sure that your FAW qualification is a Regulated qualification if you wish to work through an Awarding Organisation (AO). Because of the difficulty ensuring that non-Regulated courses meet the required standards, AOs often insist on a Regulated Certificate as it is easier for them to accept.
Most Awarding Organisations also need Annual evidence of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). It is not onerous – about 6 hours a year, but it demonstrates that you are keeping your skills up and expanding your knowledge. It could be as simple as taking an online course or attending a seminar.
Real life skills
As you can see from the above, you don’t actually need any real-life experience to become a First Aid trainer – the FAW is a qualification based on simulated casualties. In practice (and I appreciate that it is a generalisation) you tend to be a better trainer if you have some real-world experience – such as being an Event First Aider, or with a (military) medical background.
Some people with medical backgrounds don’t make very good teachers (they are not effective at communicating or their higher level of experience makes it hard to teach basic First Aid principles) and there are also very good communicators with minimal ‘real life’ experience. So yes, in some ways it is a sweeping generalisation but usually you will be a better Trainer with actual medical experience. If you have none, spend some time as a First Aider or a Community Responder. It will help you deliver your courses more effectively.
Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity, and cash is reality
One of the commonest questions asked by new Trainers on discussion forums is “How much do I charge?”. The answer is not completely straightforward and those asking the question usually get several answers back.
The simple answer is “work out all your costs, add on how much profit you want to make and then charge that”. That is what you should be doing, irrespective what others are charging. If you don’t charge enough to make a profit then there is no point considering it.
Many people make the mistake of thinking “Well, I won’t charge much as I am starting out, then I’ll raise my prices once I am established. The problems with this approach are
When do I become established – at what point can I raise prices? By how much?
What will my existing clients think if I raise prices? Will I lose them, will they lose their trust in me as a value provider?
Have I dragged down the average price in the area – others may reduce prices to compete with you and a vicious spiral starts.
If you are too cheap, people will wonder why. That could be put people off.
Working out your costs
How do you work out your costs? Generally there are two, possibly three types of cost.
1. Fixed costs. For instance if you are running a public course, this would be the cost of hiring the venue. It is also the minimum you are willing to accept as income.
2. Variable costs. These are costs that vary according to numbers – e.g. Certification and manual costs, consumables such as bandages and wipes.
3. Hidden costs. Each time that you use your equipment it becomes a little bit more worn. It only has a finite lifespan and will need replacing. If you spent £200 on a manikin and it was worse for wear after 50 courses then it has cost you £4 a course. Multiply that by the number of manikins you use per course (say 3 for a full course) then that is £12 a course you need to put aside from the profit to replace them.
Having a mixture of fixed and variable costs, therefore, makes it really hard to work out the cost of running a course. The fewer that you have on a course, the higher the cost per learner. You may budget for 12 on a course but if 6 turn up, can you still make a profit? Do you run the course anyway so as to not let people down and give you a bad reputation or do you pull the plug?
What are my costs?
Here is a suggested list – it is by no means comprehensive but will give you an idea of what to consider. You may disagree with how I have categorised some items, that is fine as it shows you are thinking about it. Some items could conceivably be in more than one category. A printer could be viewed as a fixed cost for example as its cost will be spread over many students. There is, however, a small wear and tear cost per learner.
Your minimum income
Variable costs – costs that vary per learner
First Aid manual
First Aid consumables – dressings, bandages, cleaning materials, manikin lungs, faceshields
Hidden costs – could be fixed or variable but they all need to be factored in.
Depreciation / wear and tear
Holiday and sick time. You are not earning so the days that you are earning also need to cover non-earning days
Compliance, insurance, qualification renewal, quality assurance, CPD (Continuing Professional Development – courses and other learning to keep your skills up)
Dealing with queries, emails, ‘phone calls, missing certificates, misprints. Admin costs are still costs and take time, dragging down your average hourly rate.
From this, if you can estimate the number of courses you can teach per year you can calculate your cost per student and therefore how much you should be charging. Don’t forget to add 10% for contingency. Stuff breaks, gets lost / stolen. A course may not happen because of a misunderstanding, a vehicle breakdown, unexpected traffic. You need to factor all of this in. Plan for the worst and hope for the best.
I recommend that you compile a list of costs (as above) then feed them into a spreadsheet, along with an estimate of the number of courses you can be expected to run each year. Then you can see in black and white how much you should be charging. You can create a spreadsheet yourself or you can use my template. The full version of this spreadsheet, where you can adjust the variables yourself is available in the Premium section.
Keep an eye on costs
It is so easy to get carried away. You may end up with money in the bank, but that can be an illusion. Don’t forget some of that is needed to pay tax at some point in the future, or to replace equipment.
On the other hand, having cash can give you the freedom to leap on a special offer, or get a bulk discount. My First Aid manuals for my Emergency First Aid at Work courses currently cost £1.95 each. I like the Personalised ones as that is advertising for me. If I buy 200 books at once, I get the personalisation for free (so free advertising) and the price drops to £1.50. Win, win. Recently my supplier gave notice of an imminent price rise, so I was able to buy ahead. I took advantage of a price break at 1,000, which mean they cost me £1.15 each and I see that my new x200 price is now actually £1.70. My 1000 books, cost me £1,150 this month, whereas buying 5 lots of 200 at the new price would cost £1,700 so I have just added £550 to my bottom line.
I could only do that because I had the cash in the bank (and also confidence that I will have that many students in the next 12 months or so).
Always be looking at costs and how to drive them down. There are always deals to be have. I upgraded my manikins in 2020. Nine were bought brand new at between 10 and 12% off List after a bit of haggling. Another 3 were bought from someone that bought them new, then had a career change. He had not even opened the packaging. He advertised on a Facebook Group. I happened to be online. I made an offer there & then, paid cash and completed my collection. Everything is negotiable.
A lot of people, when they get a bit of cash in think “Ooh, I’ll buy a few bits and pieces, maybe treat myself, upgrade my ‘phone” … and suddenly that cash is gone. No chance of grabbing a bargain and they struggle with the cashflow when the tax bill arrives. As it will. Install strict financial discipline from day one and you will get into good habits that will help your business grow further down the line.
The other thing that can happen over time is that stuff accumulates. Old equipment. Items you bought that seemed a good idea at the time. Anything that still has some monetary value that you don’t use should be sold off. Not only is that cash that is tied up, you may also be paying rent to store it somewhere. Get rid of it, put the cash in your bank instead.
Finally, take a look at “Managing my clients” for more tips on becoming more profitable.
When you start off, it is quite easy to keep track of your courses, especially if you are a Freelancer – Google Calendar is pretty much all you need. Perhaps a basic spreadsheet to keep track of courses and invoices.
As your Business grows and you take on your own courses, all at different stages of enquiry, it becomes harder to track and you need something more robust. If you get to the stage of employing freelancers or other admin staff the Organisation has to grow up and robust procedures put into place to allow different people to manage the processes.
When I started out, I started off with a spreadsheet, one row per course with various fields to fill in. As you can see, this became unmanageable as the number of courses grew. Excel is not very user friendly unless you spend a lot of time with coding behind the scenes. Still, we worked with it for a few years.
And then came Airtable. Airtable prides itself as a cross between a Database and a Spreadsheet. I tried it for a short period, couldn’t get the hang of it so abandoned it. I revisited it in January 2020, having looked at other software and this time it all fell into place. It is easily the best tool that I have found to manage my courses. There is a learning curve to it, but it is not steep and they go out of their way to make it user friendly.
You have Bases, Tables and Records. A Base is the complete Universe. Your Account can have more than one Base, but they cannot interact. I have one for courses, another for managing stock and so on…
Within a Base, a Table is a list of items along with attributes for that item. For example:
Trainers: Some of the attributes are First Name, Surname, telephone, qualifications and so on.
Courses: Some of the attributes are start and end dates, status, course type and so on.
The tables can interact so, for instance I can link one of the Trainers to a course. The course type can be a separate table that also links to courses. If a course type is updated then Airtable automatically updates all the references to it.
The power in the system is the ‘views’ feature. Each Table can have a lot of attributes (my course table currently has 31) which is too much to view at once, but I can created a View of, say ‘incomplete courses’. Within that View I filter out the attributes that I am not interested in. It will hide all courses that have been completed. Another View could be courses that have not yet been paid for. In other words if I am chasing invoices I would focus on that View, which hides anything irrelevant.
Needless to say, all the records can be sorted, columns can be rearranged for a view and colour coding helps me see progress at a glance.
Airtable works on the ‘Freemium’ model. You can register and get going with a Free version of the Plan, however with a limit of 1200 records it does not take long to complete this. Paid for models are still a bargain, though and I am using the Pro version, which is just $144 (about £100) a year. This gives me 50,000 records and a raft of other features for not a lot of money. They are bringing out additional features all the time.
Records, Bases & Views can be securely shared with third parties.
Compared to fighting with a spreadsheet it has easily saved me the $144 in Annual fees in my time alone.
All I can do is suggest you give at least the Free version of Airtable a go. In this website’s Premium section, the Base that I use for managing my course is available to start you off.
The easiest way of taking Bookings and payment is to raise an invoice – either through an Accounts package or a Template in Word (or your equivalent). This is how I started and for Group Bookings this is still the case.
For Open (public) courses, however, where you are liaising with up to 12 people, some of whom Book, but never pay and are a no-show on the day this can be a real hassle.
I now use a ticketing website. I enter the course details onto the ticketing site. I use WordPress for my Business websites and the Ticketing App has a WordPress plugin. I have installed that and the course then magically appears along with a ‘buy ticket’ button. Visitors can click the button, buy as many available tickets as they need and pay online. I get a confirmation email. A couple of days later the money arrives in the Bank. All for £1-2 fees.
Payment is made at the time of Booking. No chasing of invoices and if there is a no-show it is not a problem as they have already paid – no voids. How you deal with no-shows is, of course, up to you. We ran a COVID guarantee for a while so that no-one lost out if they had to isolate for instance. Now we take a pragmatic view. if someone just doesn’t show up, then they will lose the fee, however if they get in touch beforehand with a reasonable reason for not being able to attend we will consider a reschedule or a refund.
My Ticketing website of choice is Ticket Tailor. I tried Eventbrite but have found Ticket Tailor to be more flexible and, more importantly, cheaper. It uses Stripe to manage the payment side so you will also need a Stripe Account.
The mantra for organising courses is to automate as much as you can. The less time that you spend managing a Booking, the more time you have to develop the Business – or take a break. Time is also, of course, money so your business will be more profitable.
Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.
If no-one knows that you deliver First Aid Training, or that you run public courses then your Business is dead in the water. The trouble is that there are so many ways of sucking your time and money in advertising courses that it is hard to know where to begin.
This Post deals with a number of options and some of their advantages and disadvantages. I will also give you a brutal summary of what works for me and what has not worked.
Whilst this used to be pretty much the only way of advertising it is in decline as circulation numbers decline and more & more people get their news and gossip online.
Whilst there are specialist magazines, I can’t think of any (apart from the hyperlocal ones) that would target your audience enough to make it cost-effective. Health and Safety magazines, for instance cover all aspects of H&S, not just First Aid.
Circulation figures / print run numbers are all very well, but not copies all will get read and many will be sent for recycling.
The other main downside is that your advert lasts as long as the repeat rate of the publication. If it is weekly you are going to have to advertise week in, week out to stay in front of the audience. That can get very expensive, especially compared to electronic media where publication & distribution costs are much lower.
Local free magazines seem to have the sole aim of cramming in as many adverts as possible. There will be the occasional article, but often that is an advertorial. Generally there is very little actual content, it is skimmed through then binned.
You can tell that I am not really a fan of printed media.
Local event programmes
I do make an exception to hyperlocal events such as a Fete or Carnival. Usually they are looking for adverts to cover the cost of printing the programme. Fees are low and it is a Community event so the advert is getting in front of many that might need the training.
If you have a story that you think the local Press might like, get in touch. They are always looking for copy, so if you can put together a piece, or even a series of articles they may be happy to run it for you. This is me in a previous life. Free advertising.
Andy Crowhurst – Google Trusted Photographer
TV and radio advertising
We can rule out TV advertising for our First Aid training Businesses. Whilst 30-second slots can start at £150, the production costs of getting a TV-ready advert will run into tens of thousands. Factor in an advert running several times before it will start to make an impact then £50,000 is not an unreasonable budget.
Radio advertising is somewhat cheaper, obviously, with costs about £2 per thousand listeners. A few ads a week could come in at £250 and upwards – somewhat more manageable, but still expensive for a start-up. In addition, think about your target audience. If you are advertising Workplace First Aid then your audience will be…at work. Are you actually going to hit those ears?
There is one area where TV and Radio does work and that is if you can get onto the list of ‘experts’ to call. Consumer shows often need a person to be interviewed about something that has hit the news – for instance a Terror Attack or a choking incident. They are looking for a Talking Head that can come on and advise what to do in those situation. This is free advertising for you. They will give you and your Company a namecheck and you will be heard as someone that knows what they are talking about on Primetime TV or Radio.
I have been on a few local Radio programmes here and one colleague from a different Training Company managed to bag a slot on Virgin’s Breakfast Radio Show following a choking incident within the Presenter’s family. This sort of advertising can be priceless.
This can be leaflets through doors, pinned to Community noticeboards, inserts into papers & magazines – or literally handed out in the street.
For the cost of the leaflet many Community Boards (and Big chains such as Supermarkets often have them) will allow you to post a leaflet for free or very low cost. There is really nothing to lose.
Letterbox drops need to be targeted. Family First Aid – sure, residences are good. For Workplace First Aid target the Industrial Estates, but don’t forget the smaller Businesses. And be persistent. I walked up to a car repair place when the staff were on a break outside. “Whatever it is, we don’t want it” came the pre-emptive statement from the Boss. I carried on walking, chatted and he ended up Booking three people on to a course!
I’ve tried leaflets in the local newspaper, however it was not cost effective. It was not targeted enough and I would have had to run it for several weeks to make an impact.
Handing leaflets out in the street is unlikely to work for business First Aid courses, however targeting people with prams could be effective for parenting First Aid classes. Try it and let me know!
Electronic media – email campaigns, Social Media (SM) posts & adverts
You have to have a Social Media presence nowadays. Keeping your followers up to date with courses, what you do, anything newsworthy keeps your business name in front of your prospective clients. Even if you don’t immediately plan on using them it is worth registering appropriate SM usernames (handles) so that they don’t get registered maliciously or otherwise by someone else. One of the Businesses I started was registered about 2 weeks before a Canadian one with the same name. By that time I had bought the .com and .co.uk Domains as well as registering the obvious Social Media handles. They weren’t very pleased but if I hadn’t done so it would be us using the second best versions.
I am not a SM expert so cannot advise you on how best to Market yourself via this Media but I do recommend regular posting of events when you get a moment. It helps when being picked up by Search Engines.
Advertising on Social Media. Lots of Organisations do and SM is very good at allowing you to tailor your adverts to your Client base, as well as A/B testing. I have tried it, not that successfully it has to be said, but will persist as I refine my technique.
Search engines & Directories – Free listings, paid for listings and promotions
Search Engines. Yes, you need a presence on Search Engines. Specifically you need a presence on Google. If you are not showing up there, you will not be found. Sure there are others, but when Google has 85% and its nearest competitor, Bing has under 10% it is quite obvious where you should focus your efforts. If you tailor your efforts towards Google, then that will also have the knock-on effect of improving your presence elsewhere.
Ranking well on Google is an art. Anyone can throw money at the paid ads at the side, but if you can get onto the natural listings for free you have it made. I have achieved this several times over for the Companies that I am involved with and can do the same for you. See the Premium Package page for more information.
Listings Directories. Yell, 192, Thomson Local etc. Put your Company details on the Free section of their website by all means. Don’t be persuaded to upgrade to a Paid version. Rarely do people go to those Directories directly, only when they appear on (say) Google. It’s good to have a presence, but with Google being the de facto place to start Searching, you are better off focusing your efforts there. No-one has ever said to me “I found your details on <insert name of Listing website>”.
Word of mouth
Free and effective. Tell your friends, talk about what you do on Social Media. If you run a course, ask the learners to recommend you if they like what you delivered for them. A personal referral is far more effective than an advert – people are putting their reputation on the line to recommend you so anyone receiving that recommendation will seriously consider it. Ask for referrals whenever you can.
Cold calling – telephone, door to door
There is a place for it. I’m not comfortable calling by telephone. I’m more comfortable interacting face to face. On the other hand, if you are comfortable it is easier to sit at home or in your warm office dialling loads of numbers than traipsing around. Each to their own and I have certainly picked up Business walking around. Either way, you do need to be able to handle rejection without taking it personally.
If you want to use the telephone, there are plenty of books and courses for it. Stand up and smile as you introduce yourself. Those two techniques help the way you come across at the other end.
Stunts and guerrilla Marketing
Richard Branson has made a career of this.
Don’t think “what’s the cheapest way to do it?” or “what’s the fastest way to do it?”, think “What’s the most amazing way to do it?”
Richard Branson is known for his stunts and hair-raising activities. He knows these activities will get him into the Press – and therefore the Virgin Brand will be plastered everywhere. Free (well, not free, but at a cost far less than traditional advertising for that level of exposure) Marketing.
Try something radical. Try a 5K run in relevant fancy dress, adorned with your website. It might just get your photo in the local paper.
Trade Shows and Community Events
These are both options, but choose carefully. A Business Trade Show for the area might work for you, whereas a medical convention or exhibition almost certainly won’t – no-one there will be looking for First Aid training!
Local events such as fetes and carnivals – even local Business conferences are good if you are trying to develop your presence. Get yourself a hook – something that will grab the attention of people passing by. A challenge, free sweets. That sort of thing. They can have a free sweet as long as they take a leaflet!
Everyone likes a freebie and you can stick your logo on pretty much anything nowadays. Pens, mugs, stress balls and mouse mats have been the staples, but you can be a lot more creative. You need something that will stay on a desk, not dropped in a drawer. It could also be relevant to First Aid. For instance all our students get a 4 Minutes branded faceshield on a key fob. They have it all the time, reminding them. I’ve had people come to renew after 3 years and they still have it dangling with their keys!
Branded Faceshield key fob
Mouse mats have had their time and, although I have mugs for refreshments during my courses I don’t use them as a give-away promotional tool.
Sponsoring an individual, a team, or an event can be a good way of getting your name out there. Clearly an event will be a one-off project, although the right package will get you Social Media mentions and perhaps branding on the website. Sponsoring a Sports team will get you exposure for a season, but on the downside you will have to pay for all the branding of the kit (and the kit itself).
Although COVID brought to an end a lot of face to face Networking events, they still exist and are now supplemented by Zoom events.
Some of the biggest organisers are BNI, Athena and the CBI. Bear in mind that all Business representatives are there to try and sell their own Business. Don’t go flying in pushing your Business left, right and centre. Take time to listen to others’ proposals. Part of the culture is to refer others onwards – you won’t be able to do this if you don’t listen and take details.
Personally I find BNI too full on. It is quite pricey and you are expected to bring fresh prospects to meetings – as well as being bright and breezy at a crazy early time. As my Training Business is National I don’t really have a close circle of local Business associates I can tap into. I quite often get hit on at other Networking meetings by BNI members that are hoping to bring me as their +1 to top up their quota!
Athena is female-only, which rules me out!
If you Google ‘Networking events in my area’ you will find a lot to choose from. Try some out – most have a free period where you can see if it works for you. Don’t become a Professional Networker though – you do have a Business to run and I do find I keep bumping into the same faces.
Unless you are employed by others you will need your own set of training equipment. As with most occupations there is equipment that you need to buy, equipment that is useful and then there is ‘nice to have’ equipment. It is very easy to get carried away!
HSE Guidelines recommend a minimum ratio for certain equipment (e.g. manikins). I am assuming that you want to teach up to the course maximum of 12 and the numbers below reflect that. You can have more. For instance I actually have 1 manikin per learner to make life easier, however I appreciate that is a big outlay – as well as needing a decent size vehicle.
Prices are for new. Expect to pay about half this for second hand.
Magic whiteboard is white plastic on a roll that can stick to walls with static. Used for writing on or projecting onto
Used for practising dealing with choking. Comes in adult and child versions. Trainers are divided as to how good they are but I find them great for reinforcing learning
Useful for group work
This a head that can tilt demonstrating how a head tilt and chin lift can open an airway. Used as a visual tool by some trainers
Back Office – to manage courses
PC / Laptop
I’ve bitten the bullet and got a Laserjet as I’m fed up of unclogging inkjets if I don’t use them for a while. If you plan on printing your own Certificates a decent one plus decent card is a must
Landline or virtual landline
Having a mobile number as your main contact screams ‘small business / one person band’. Giving out a virtual 01 / 02 number that is on permanent redirect to your mobile looks so much more professional. Couple that with….
… virtual assistant. When I’m teaching I can’t be answering the ‘phone. I have a service where unanswered calls are diverted to a real human answering service who will take a message then email and text me the message so I can call them back. Again this gives the impression of a larger Organisation. We use Answer.co.uk and can highly recommend it
This is a summary of the main qualifications available and what some of the terms mean. You can get qualified to deliver all of these, although some may require additional qualifications
Emergency First Aid at Work
First Aid at Work
First Aid at Work requalification
Paediatric / School Courses
Emergency Paediatric First Aid (6 hours)
Paediatric First Aid (12 hours)
Forest School First Aid (16 hours)
Outdoor First Aid (8 hours)
Outdoor First Aid (16 hours)
Advanced Outdoor First Aid
Activity First Aid
Forest School First Aid (16 hours)
Sports First aid
Motorbike First Aid
Martial Arts First Aid
Bespoke First Aid
In fact there are as many courses as you want as all can be tailored to a particular category (Nanny) or specialism (Anaphylaxis) and marketed as such.
Here is a brief summary of some of the courses – the main ones that are taught regularly and that Businesses need for compliance.
Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) / First Aid at Work (FAW) / First Aid at Work requalification
First Aid at Work is an 18 hour qualification often (but not always) delivered over three daily 6 hour sessions.
The first 6 hours covers topics such as Action at an Emergency and dealing with the more major emergencies. It can be taught as a standalone course called ‘Emergency First Aid at Work’.
The second part is more geared to medical emergencies in the workplace.
As a Trainer, you can advertise both courses running at the same time, boosting bums on seats – EFAW students just turn up for the first part (6 hours / day 1). Those doing the full FAW turn up for all three days. The only stipulation is that you are not allowed to exceed 12 students per trainer overall – you cannot have 10 EFAW students and 5 FAW students for instance.
Some Clients that have a mixture of FAW staff and EFAW staff will appreciate you combining the courses for them to cut costs.
The Certificates last three years and you need to take the same course again to requalify, however for FAW it is possibly to take the course over 2 days rather than 3 as long as the learner’s existing certificate is still in date (there is a small amount of leeway if it is out of date). The assumption is that less teaching is required.
Emergency Paediatric First Aid (EPFA) / Paediatric First Aid (PFA)
Paediatric First Aid is a 12 hour qualification often (but not always) delivered over two 6 hour sessions.
The first 6 hours covers topics such as Action at an Emergency and dealing with the more major emergencies for children. It can be taught as a standalone course called ‘Emergency Paediatric First Aid’.
The second part is more geared to medical emergencies in the childcare environment..
As a Trainer, this allows you to advertise both courses running at the same time, boosting bums on seats – EPFA students just turn up for the first part (6 hours / 1 day). Those that need the full PFA turn up for the full 12 hours. Note that you are not allowed to exceed 12 students per trainer overall – you cannot have 10 EPFA students and 5 PFA students for instance.
Some Clients that have a mixture of PFA staff and EPFA staff will appreciate you combining the courses for them to cut costs.
A Blended course is one that is taken partly online and partly in a classroom. None of the above can be taken completely online, there is a certain minimum that has to be classroom-based, however it is a good option for some clients as it reduces the time staff are out of the office / classroom.
All of the above courses have their content (Learning Outcomes) publicly defined and if you are delivering one of them you need to Teach and Assess all of the course content to all of the learners to satisfy the HSE or Ofsted (for instance).
A Childcare environment needs staff with appropriate Paediatric First Aid qualifications, but it is also a workplace environment and therefore some staff may also need a First Aid at Work qualification. It is possible to deliver two or more courses at the same tile as long as the Learning Outcomes for both courses are covered – this will usually mean a longer duration course, however it can be more cost-effective for Clients.
Regulated, Accredited and non-Accredited courses
A non-Accredited course is a course that is delivered by an Organisation and that Organisation Certifies it to state that the competence to work to a specified standard has been achieved. Depending on the qualification and due diligence by the Client this may be acceptable.
An Accredited Course is a course that has been recognised by an Authoritative Body that the competence to work to a specified standard has been achieved. This holds more weight than a non-Accredited course due to the reputation of the Authoritative Body.
A Regulated course is one that has been developed by an Authoritative Body and also approved by a recognised Regulator – e.g. Ofqual or SQA. This is evidenced as the course details and the Authoritative Body’s details are listed on the Regulator’s website’s Register of Regulated qualifications.
All three can be a valid qualification, however there is more weight to the Accredited or Regulated certificates. With an internally Certified course the client has to satisfy itself that the training was carried our correctly by competent and qualified trainers. See our Post on Training and Awarding Organisations for more information.
If you wish to deliver an Accredited course you will have to do so through a Authoritative Body (Awarding Organisation).
The HSE and its involvement
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) no longer Approves courses and Training Providers but it does lay down recommendations for Training Provider requirements and First Aid at Work course content requirements. You need to demonstrate how you meet these requirements if you are going to deliver a course.
Prior to October 2013, the HSE approved Training Providers and also the Qualifications delivered. Only HSE Approved Providers could deliver Workplace courses.
In October 2013, the HSE stopped approving Providers and Qualifications. Clearly this means a reduced workload for the HSE, but it has dressed it up as letting Businesses decide on the level of First Aid provision needed. All Businesses now need to carry out a Risk Assessment at their Workplace(s) to determine First Aid equipment and First Aider requirements and then carry out Due Diligence on any Training Company to ensure that they are suitably qualified and competent to deliver this training.
Ofsted / EYFS and their involvement
The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) lay down the criteria for Training Provider requirements and Paediatric First Aid course content requirements that a Company in the childcare environment will need.
Apart from the courses previously mentioned, most other courses are generally not Regulated. To be Regulated, they need to be set up and registered with Ofqual/SQA via an Awarding Organisation. There is a cost to this, both in time and money and there may not be the financial justification.
Awarding Organisations do offer additional Accredited courses such as Basic Life Support (BLS), Motorbike and Outdoor First Aid (OFA).
These courses are as tightly defined as the Workplace and Paediatric courses without the regulatory framework overhead.
You can also create and deliver non-Accredited and Bespoke courses, tailored to your Client’s needs. Some Clients will have a Governing Body that sets out First Aid qualifications for its leaders / tutors etc. Make sure that any course that you provide complies with the minimum requirements so that any Certificate that you issue will be valid.
If you are already delivering Regulated or Accredited courses, then the infrastructure that you need to put into place will also support non-Accredited courses. Use this to your advantage rather than thinking “It’s not Accredited, I can skip parts”.
As a First Aid Trainer and also Director of a couple of First Aid Training Companies I often get asked for advice about setting up as a First Aid Trainer. I have now condensed this into a series of articles on this website that you can read and follow advice / ignore as you please.
Why have I done this? Firstly it should reduce the number of calls or emails I get asking the same things. I don’t mind answering, but when you have a Business to run it would be easier if I can point someone to this guide rather than saying the same things over.
Secondly it introduces people to my Business and my websites. Who knows, perhaps you will end up Freelancing for me or making use of my other resources or buying something from my shop.
Speaking of which, there are links in these pages that lead to products or services. Some of those links might be referral links, in which case, if you buy something I will get a small commission. Nothing outrageous and it won’t affect the price you pay. I’m providing this information to you for free, so surely you won’t begrudge me a few pennies?
If you want to become a First Aid Trainer you will find plenty of advice here. This is not the place to give you advice about setting up a First Aid Event cover Business or, indeed teaching subjects such as Fire Safety or even Mental Health First Aid. Whilst a lot of the advice here is generic, I am not qualified to advise on those particular topics and First Aid Event Cover requires a completely different skillset and equipment.
Onwards. Work through the pages in turn or jump to whatever interests you. If it is not clickable I’ve not yet written it! If you see any errors or omissions please do let me know. Summary of progress: