In October 2013, the Health and Safety Executive removed their requirement of first aid companies to be registered with themselves to provide HSE standard first aid courses, in essence they deregulated the industry. Their main purpose for this was to allow businesses to have a greater choice of courses and for them to have a better selection training providers. In turn what this has done is given the first aid industry two options when providing first aid training – Regulated or Non Regulated.
The main question here is what’s the difference?
When the HSE removed the requirement for training providers to be registered with them, they shifted the responsibility onto businesses to complete their own due diligence on the training received by its employees. Due diligence is a process that ensures that training received is valid, trained by suitably qualified tutors for both education and industry, ensures what is taught is documented, makes no doubt that learners have been assessed as competent and that the training as a whole conforms to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
So what happened was a number of awarding organisations decided to do was to create their own suite of first aid courses that come under the OfQual regulations, OfQual being the national regulator of adult qualifications in England. As part of training providers administering first aid qualifications it meant that due diligence was effectively done already. All the things that an employer needed to do for due diligence was already completed by the training provider by virtue of them offering qualifications in first aid.
As a consequence of this the industry broke into two different categories, regulated (providing OfQual qualifications) and non regulated (in house). Now the main point is that an Emergency First Aid at Work course should be the same with every single training company, however this isn’t always the case. Because unregulated courses are an option and these providers are not regulated by anyone, it means that anything can be taught on those courses without any means of documentation or verification about what is being taught. Businesses can use this to their advantage by adding additional pieces of first aid information relevant to their jobs however if there is no verification process then the HSE would deem this not good enough.
When you choose an OfQual regulated provider there is a set standard that the training provider much met, trainers are audited at least on a yearly basis, the trainers are suitably qualified with at least a First Aid at Work certificate and a qualification in Education and Training (Level 3,4 or 5 – used to be called PTTLS, CTTLS and DTTLS), they have a minimum of 35 hours training experience and that they also are able to assess learners on these courses to ensure the course criteria is met.
For some businesses non regulated works perfectly because the standard first aid courses do not meet their needs and they need a more bespoke approach to those courses. The majority of business though would need a standard Emergency First Aid at Work or First Aid at Work course of which we would always recommend a regulated course as this removes the need of due diligence by employers.
Does regulated mean more expensive?
That purely depends on what the training provider decides to charge. We can say that there is a cost to the provider to offer regulated certificates and that cost is dependant on the awarding body they are with, however we would always counter this question with “How much do you value your time?”. If you have the time, energy and skills to be able to complete your own due diligence on training then this may be the viable option – that said an OfQual certificate is valid in any workplace and so can be taken by the learner to any employed work (and some volunteering work).
More more information
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