In accordance with a recommendation in Professor Lofstedt’s “Reclaiming health and safety for all”, steps are being taken to remove the requirement for HSE to approve the training and qualifications of first-aid personnel.
No formal consultation will occur as the Government have accepted the recommendations within the report, and HSE is working towards implementing them. HSE will, however, be making a ‘pop-up’ questionnaire available on its first-aid web pages for those who are impacted by the changes, and this will be used to inform an impact assessment.
The necessary changes will require amendments to the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, and it is understood that this work is now under way. The HSE is currently considering the most appropriate date to initiate the change, and will provide more information in due course (although changes to health and safety legislation follow common commencement dates in April and October).
Following the changes, the HSE will no longer approve training providers and qualifications, although it will continue to manage the standard for first aid by which all courses should be set. As a result, training providers will no longer have to seek HSE approval, and employers should have greater flexibility in choosing first aid training.
It will be a decision for training providers as to whether they wish to gain approval from other awarding bodies, and there will be no legal obligation to seek approval elsewhere once the regulations are amended.
Also, for those who are self employed, there will no longer be a statutory requirement to provide equipment to render first aid to themselves if injured at work.
Do you think that these changes are a good idea? Will workplaces benefit from increased flexibility, or could the proposals result in a deterioration in the standards of training?
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