Over the past two years, online learning tools have taken over many aspects of our lives. From remote work to remote learning, collaboration tools, video apps, and virtual training features have become the rule. And, undeniably, it is easy to see why these tools are so convenient: training can be delivered at any time, anywhere, and at a reduced cost!

But are online first aid courses legitimate in the UK? It depends.

In the UK, online first aid courses are suitable for those users looking to grasp the basics of first aid for private use, but they don’t offer a qualification suitable for the workplace.

So, what is the legitimate and most suitable choice for your needs? In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know to make the right choice.

are online first aid courses legitimate in the uk


Online First Aid Courses: An Overview

Online first aid training courses are an important evolution of in-person classes. They allow training providers to share their first aid skills and teach to a wide range of students, without geographical limitations. Also, online courses allow providers to cut significant overhead costs, thus offering more accessible prices to their users.

Thanks to today’s tech tools, online courses are more interactive than ever, and they allow for self-paced learning. Because of this unparalleled convenience, flexibility, and accessibility, they have become a great option for private citizens to learn the basics of first aid.

However, online first aid courses don’t meet all of the criteria set by HSE to grant the user a qualification as a certified first aid provider.

Blended Learning and eLearning Components

While not all users can take advantage of online first aid courses, online training delivery tools are revolutionising how first aid is taught in other ways.

For example, today’s first aid providers can make the most of blended learning or introduce eLearning components in their training program. This strategy allows training providers to customise their programs, reduce costs, and improve the user’s experience.

HSE sets specific guidelines for blended first aid learning:

  • The employer or user should carry out additional due diligence and checks to ensure that this is a suitable choice for their needs
  • The user receiving the training needs to be familiar with the technology being used
  • The training provider should adapt their programs for online element
  • The training provider should be able to prevent identity fraud through a robust security system in place
  • The training provider needs to have a robust system in place to assess and certify the student’s level of preparation

Lastly, for those who wish to pursue an official first aid qualification, it is important that the course allocates sufficient time to practical elements and classroom-based learning.

First Aid in the Workplace

While fatal and nonfatal injuries in the workplace have been steadily decreasing, in the UK, over 50,000 injuries are reported under RIDDOR each year and, according to the Labour Force Survey, over 440,000 employees sustained an injury in the workplace.

These statistics make it immediately evident that first aid training is vital for everyone, from employees to contractors and managers. It is the employer’s responsibility to select an appointed person in first aid and ensure everyone’s training is up to date.

Establishing Your Workplace’s Needs

While all employees should have a basic understanding of the first aid syllabus and procedures, no two workplaces are exposed to the same level of risk.

For example, a 1-Day Emergency First Aid at Work Course (EFAW) might be all that’s needed to keep everyone in an office, library, or retail shop safe. However, for a team in riskier industries like chemical manufacturing or engineering, a more comprehensive and specialised 3-Day First Aid at Work Course is a far more suitable option.

But how can you make sure to choose the right first aid training course for your team? It all starts with a First Aid Needs Assessment. Similar to a risk assessment, this is a process that allows employers to carry out their due diligence, identify risks, and provide adequate first aid training.

Required Standards and Certifications To Be a Qualified First Aider

As an employer, if you have identified the need for a first aider in your workplace, you’ll be responsible for providing training that is appropriate to the level of risk involved.

To receive a qualification, a FAW (First Aid at Work) trainee will need to complete at least 18 learning hours of training over a three-day course.

Oppositely, EFAW (Emergency First Aid at Work) trainees will be required to complete six learning hours of learning over a one-day course to receive a qualification. The content and length of the training may vary depending on what kind of specialised training is required. For example, if you work in a childcare setting, you might be required to provide Paediatric First aid.

Today, most off-the-shelf courses meet the guidelines set by the HSE and are accredited by the First Aid Industry Body (FAIB), making it easier for you to choose a reputable provider. The Blended Learning in First Aid – Quality Assurance Standards sets specific guidelines for courses that use eLearning tools and components.

Online First Aid in the Workplace: What You Need To Know

Online tools have grown to cover an always more important role in the design and delivery of first aid courses. However, currently, in the UK, all-online first aid courses don’t provide users with a certification in:

  • First aid at work
  • Emergency first aid at work
  • Paediatric first aid

However, once these basic courses are covered, additional certifications might be pursued online. For example, if a team member in your workplace suffers from a certain long-term condition, and you wish for the other members of your staff to know more about it, this kind of training can be completed successfully online.

It is also important to keep in mind that employers are legally required to provide adequate First Aid training, even if you are self-employed or you work with contractors. Most insurance providers will also require you to meet these standards, and offering your employees online first aid courses can void your insurance cover in the case of an accident.

First Aid Training for Private Use

In the UK, each year, around 6,000 people report fatal accidents while at home, while nearly 3 million people have to visit an emergency room as a consequence of a nonfatal domestic injury. What’s more, as households adapt to working from home and at-home fitness routines, the number of home accidents is bound to increase.

With this data at hand, no household can ignore the importance of investing in high-quality first aid training. In the case of a domestic or car accident, knowing how to help your loved ones, friends, or family members while emergency services are on the way can truly make a difference.

If you are looking to learn the basics of first aid for private use (as opposed to using it in the workplace or when serving in an official role in an organisation, like volunteering) online first aid courses can be a viable choice.

Since you don’t need to obtain a first aid certificate – but just feel capable of helping others and confident in your abilities – you can tap into a much wider range of choices.

For example, you might choose a basic first aid course to build your first aid skills, learn paediatric first aid to care for your newborn baby, or you might specialise in a certain first aid training (i.e.: epilepsy first aid) to help a member of your family suffering from a certain condition.

Online First Aid for Private Use: Is It a Viable Option?

First aid courses for private use are different from regulated certifications. And, more importantly, they are adapted to your specific circumstances.

For example, when providing first aid to a family member or friend who fell victim to a domestic accident, you might not have the necessary medical equipment at hand to perform complicated interventions.

In turn, first aid courses for private use are designed to be simplified and more accessible to everyone. That is why, in this case, online first aid courses – like the Online First Aid Course (Baby, Child & Adult) – can be a much more viable, affordable, and accessible option.

Online Theory Elements

Common elements on these courses will include:

  • Common risks / general health & safety
  • Primary survey & secondary survey
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Minor injuries
  • Minor burns
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Allergic reactions
  • Spinal injury
  • Rescue breaths

No practical training and no practical assessment will take place.

No direct observation of practical demonstration will take place.

Online Training Costs

There are a range of courses and osts of training for the e-learning modules will vary depending on your need, but most courses cost from £15 – £30.

Selecting a First Aid Training Provider

Employers are not only responsible for providing first aid training. According to the Health and Safety at Work Act, they are also in charge of carrying out due diligence checks and choosing a reputable and accredited first aid training provider.

In compliance with the guidelines offered by HSE, some of the boxes the right first aid training provider should tick are:

  • The training provider and assessors should have relevant qualifications
  • The provider should have monitoring and quality assurance systems
  • The training program should comprehensively cover the syllabus content
  • The provider should assess the user’s knowledge and provide a relevant certification
  • The training should aim to teach the highest first aid training standards and teach practical skills

Consult the Experts at Skills Training Group to Find the Best Course For Your Needs

If you have just started your business, recently welcomed a newborn baby into your household, or a loved one has been diagnosed with a long-term condition, first aid training is a lifeline. But how to choose the right course for your needs?

Working with the experts at the Skills Training Group can help you navigate your choices and find the first aid course that works best for you. Get in touch today to learn more.