First Aid at Work Qualifications for Diving

First Aid Courses

As a HSE approved First Aid at Work training provider, I get to deliver a lot of first aid training courses in accordance with HSE best practice. The majority of the first aid training courses I deliver are for divers and for diving related work.

As with all aspects of modern training across the world today, technological advances have helped to ensure that training is delivered and carried out to the the best of the trainers abilities and in line with current best practice. I pride myself in delivering exceptional training and service whether it be first aid or diving related courses.

Recently I was asked to deliver a First Aid at Work L3 qualification for someone about to do their HSE part 4 course. I offered them the course as a blended learning option which involves doing a lot of theory online, including an exam online. This is then followed by a minimum of two days in the classroom to ensure that the theory is learnt correctly and includes hands on skills sessions and assessment. This would exceed the minimum of 18 hours of training and contact that is demanded by the HSE.

I was informed by the individual that they had checked and this course was not an acceptable course for HSE First Aid at Work L3. As a provider of these HSE First Aid at Work courses through Pro-Training, I was concerned as I wouldn’t want to be offering a course that was not fit for purpose. As a result I have investigated this myself to ensure that what I offer is suitable.

I started with checking the HSE diving site (http://www.hse.gov.uk/diving/aid.htm) which states clearly;

“As part of diver training and assessment, commercial divers in Great Britain are taught diving physiology (which includes the function of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems), and diving medicine (which includes decompression illness and ear problems). At the same time as the diver undertakes training and assessment, they will also be taught and assessed for separate first-aid and oxygen administration qualifications (oxygen administration is an essential element of diving first aid procedures). Both these qualifications will be valid for three years.”

The generally minimum accepted qualification is a First Aid at Work L3.

When selecting the first aid provider, HSE again provides guidance in their information sheet  (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/geis3.pdf).  This provides a checklist for evaluating the competence of first aid training organisations. As a first aid provider certified by Pro-Training, I comply with all aspects of that checklist for the relevant courses that I offer.

In May 2016 the HSE and Awarding Organisations announced that computer-based blended training was allowed for all workplace first aid courses. You can now become a fully qualified First Aider in the workplace, with two days of classroom training after completing this online course. This reduces your training and travel costs by using an engaging, blended online video-based course. It allows you to learn at your pace, one to one with your instructor at a time that suits you.

This blended FAW course meets all of the requirements under the HSE and Awarding Organisations.  In relation to the e-learning blended options the HSE states;

“Some training providers offer training that is a mix of e-learning and face to face. This is known as blended learning and is an accepted means by which workplace first-aid training can be delivered.”

In addition to this, I spoke to the HSE whilst at the Dive Show 2018 who confirmed that a blended first aid at work L3 is an acceptable way of studying for a First Aid at Work L3 qualification, and that an accredited First aid at Work L3 is the accepted minimum first aid course for HSE Part 4 training.

So I am pleased to say, that despite my original concerns that the enquirer was correct in his comments, the reality is he wasn’t and the First Aid at Work L3 qualifications that I offer through Pro-Trainings do comply in all respects with the HSE diving requirements whether taught as a blended option or as a full time face to face option and are ideal for those already working or preparing to work within the diving industry wishing to become a First Aider for the purposes of the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 and the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations (NI) 1982.

For more information on doing one of our courses, please get in touch with me on 07534 387152 or diving@diveservices.co.uk

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