Health and Safety Executive
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Draft guidance unveiled on workplace first aid changes

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published new draft guidance to help employers get to grips with proposed changes to workplace first aid.

Two pieces of guidance have been published on the HSE website following a consultation on proposals to amend the First Aid Regulations (1981) and remove the requirement for HSE to approve first aid training providers.

The guidance documents are available at

The changes are expected to take effect on 1 October, subject to final approval by the HSE Board and Ministers.

HSE policy advisor Peter Brown said:

“Removing the HSE approval process will give businesses greater flexibility to choose their own training providers and first aid training that is right for their work place, based on their needs assessment and their individual business needs.

“The draft guidance documents aim to provide practical support to help businesses assess and understand their first aid needs and find a provider best suited to them.

“HSE has used the feedback from the recent consultation exercise to shape the guidance, but would welcome any further feedback on the guidance before the regulations come into place.”

Until the regulations are changed businesses requiring first aid training will still have to use a HSE approved provider.

Employers will still have to ensure that they have adequate first aid provision, based on an assessment of their individual business needs.

HSE will retain a role in setting standards by controlling the syllabus content for the basic first aid at work qualifications.

Notes to editors

  1. In the Löfstedt report, it was recommended that: “The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 should be amended to remove the requirement for HSE to approve the training and qualifications of appointed first-aid personnel.” The report noted that “this requirement seems to have little justification provided the training meets a certain standard”, noting further that the HSE approval process went beyond the minimum requirement laid out in EU legislation. The full report is available on the Department for Work and Pensions website: 
  2. The Government response to Löfstedt is also available on the Department for Work and Pensions website: 
  3. Until 1 October 2013 first aid training for the purposes of work can only be delivered by HSE approved training providers and training centres for Ofqual etc, (Ofqual, SQA or DfES Wales) accredited awarding organisations approved by HSE.  A list of HSE approved providers can be found on the HSE website:
  4. A list of Ofqual accredited awarding organisations is available at
  5. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.

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