HSE Update on First Aid Training

Over the previous 12 months we have witnessed some learners being apprehensive about attending  First Aid Courses as they have been concerned about demonstrating rescue breaths during Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation assessment.

Now we are delighted to announce that The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have informed Essential 6 Ltd that we may temporary remove the need for delegates to demonstrate rescue breaths in training during the current period of high transmission rates if the learner does not want to demonstrate this skill due to Covid-19 concerns.

The Resuscitation Council UK (RCUK) has stated that they are fully supportive to omit practical teaching and assessment of rescue breaths in first aid training while coronavirus transmission rates are very high for those who wish to do so.

RCUK are leaders in the field of CPR and the HSE support their position on this for most First Aid at Work and Emergency First Aid at Work training courses.

This is a temporary precautionary measure and Essential 6 are able to safely deliver practical teaching and assessment of rescue breaths should the learner want to. We achieve this through strict manikin hygiene protocols and dependent on numbers attending the course most learners may have their own individual manikin assigned to them for the duration of the course to totally eliminate cross contamination.

Rescue breaths will continue to be practically demonstrated and assessed in training courses for Paediatric First Aid training (PFA), front-line emergency services or if the first aider is, for example, a lifeguard who may be expected to treat someone who is drowning.

On all First Aid at Work, Emergency First Aid at Work training or requalification courses we shall include practical teaching of rescue breaths through methods such as:

  • a practical demonstration by the trainer themselves and or a video demonstration of rescue breath techniques
  • full training in the theory for giving rescue breaths
  • options for the learner to demonstrate if they want to

Employers can be assured that the learner is competent to give rescue breaths, as far as can be expected without being assessed in practice.

The HSE always strongly recommend that workplace first aiders undertake annual refresher training. If first aid training or requalification during the coronavirus outbreak has not included practical training and assessment for giving rescue breaths, then employers should ensure that this is included in your next refresher course.

This guidance will be reviewed as transmission and infection rates improve and we’ll keep you updated.

Essential 6 ensure your First Aiders are able to act  Promptly, Safely and Effectively for First Aid situations that could occur in your place of work.

To discuss any of the wide range of First Aid Courses for delivery at your premises or one of our public courses then contact us on  0845 272 3558 or email: [email protected].

View our range of First Aid Courses here. for delivery at your premises across the UK or for public first aid courses in Devon visit here.



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