Are You a First-Aider at Work?


What is a first-aider?

A first-aider is someone who has undertaken training appropriate to the circumstances. They must hold a valid certificate of competence in either:

  • first aid at work

  • emergency first aid at work

  • any other level of training or qualification that is appropriate to the circumstances

Employers can use the findings of their first-aid needs assessment to decide the appropriate level to which first-aiders should be trained.

  • Emergency first aid at work (EFAW) training enables a first-aider to give emergency first aid to someone who is injured or becomes ill while at work.

  • First aid at work training includes the EFAW syllabus and also equips the first-aider to apply first aid to a range of specific injuries and illness.

To help keep their basic skills up to date, it is strongly recommended that first-aiders undertake annual refresher training.


Certificates for the purposes of first aid at work last for three years. Before their certificates expire, first-aiders will need to undertake a re-qualification course as appropriate, to obtain another three-year certificate. Once certificates have expired the first aider is no longer considered to be competent to act as a workplace first aider.


Employer Responsibilities

You must make appropriate first-aid arrangements for your workplace. In doing so you should consider the circumstances of your workplace, workforce and the health and safety risks that may be present to help you decide what arrangements you need to put in place.


An employer is expected to have:

  • completed a first-aid needs assessment

  • ensured that there is either an appointed person to take charge of first-aid arrangements or there are appropriate numbers of suitably trained first-aiders

  • ensured their are adequate facilities and a suitably stocked first aid kit

  • provided you with information about the first-aid arrangements

COTS are an accredited training centre for First Aid at Work. Should you be interested in taking a course please contact us on 01792 587250.


Our next First Aid at Work course starts on 11th March 2019. A full course breakdown can be found on our course outline page.



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