New PHECC First Aid Training Requirements – NOW Extended To 31st December 2017
Employers need to review their first aid training and staffing arrangements, as the PHECC FAR first aid standard will become the HSA recognised occupational first aid qualification from 31.12.17
Since the HSA and PHECC first announced the transition from the QQI first aid standard, attention has mainly been focused on the impact on occupational first aid trainers. The deadline was originally September 1st but due to representation by the CIF Safety Policy Committee to HSA and PHECC regarding issues arising from this transition, the deadline has been extended to December 31st. The HSA has agreed that dual recognition of QQI 5N1207 and PHECC FAR will continue for a further period of 4 months, up to 31.12.17. Thereafter the HSA will only recognise PHECC FAR.
Perhaps the first thing for those in the OSH world, who for 20 years or more have been used to the term occupational first aider, is to become familiar with PHECC terminology. From September occupational first aiders will become PHECC first aid responders: PHECC FAR.
The next phase employers need to become familiar with is: ‘Recognised Institution’. PHECC courses are delivered by people, businesses or voluntary organisations who are PHECC Recognised Institutions (RIs), or by people who are affiliated to the faculty of a RI.
In relation to first aid there are two categories of RIs: those approved to deliver instructor courses and those approved to deliver FAR provider courses. Some RIs are approved in both categories. The one that employers seeking to train staff need to look at is the list of RIs approved to deliver FAR provider courses. Currently there are about 18 approved FAR provider RIs. New applications for registration are being processed and the number of RIs is expected to grow.
Not all people who can deliver FAR provider training will be themselves RIs, but if they are not an approved RI, they need to be affiliated to an approved RI. What employers training PHECC FARs need to do is check with the person providing the training that the person is either a recognised institution or is affiliated to a recognised institution. Unlike OFAAA, there will not be a full list of qualified trainers easily accessible.
One possible cost saving is that the trainer will now be able to assess the trainees. An external examiner will not be needed, which will result in a saving of about €200 per course. However some in the field do not consider this sum significant in the context of the overall cost.
Another issue of concern is that in future refresher training will take two days, as opposed to a day currently. This again raises costs, but for some employers who operate shifts the two-day course presents shift organisation problems.