Many people that have a first aid training certificate have questions about how long their certificate will last and whether they need to renew it. So, how long does a first aid training certificate last for?

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In most cases, first aid certificates last for three years before they need to be renewed, but the HSE recommends a refresher course every year. When you complete your first aid at work training course or an emergency first aid course, you will be awarded a certificate, which will be valid for three years. When it comes time to renew your first aid certificate, you need to take a two day refresher course to get your new certificate. This refresher needs to be completed within 28 days of the expiration date on your previous certificate. 

Other types of first aid certificate have different rules about expiry and renewal. For example, a paediatric first aid at work certificate can be renewed every three years but an AED defibrillator certificate is only valid for one year before you need to take a refresher course to renew it.

This guide will give you more information about the different types of certificate and how often they need to be renewed. The question, how long does a first aid training certificate last for does not always have a straightforward answer, but after reading this guide, you should have a clear idea about your own first aid certificate. 

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The Different Types of First Aid Certificate

The two main types of first aid courses are: 

The type of course that you need to attend depends on a lot of different factors. Firstly, you need to consider the level of risk in your workplace and the potential dangers that you and your colleagues face. This will give you some idea of the kind of treatments that you may be required to administer. 

Your employer will carry out a first aid needs assessment to determine what level of first aid certificate you need, based on the hazards in the workplace, the number of employees, and the overall health of the workforce. If you work with children under the age of 8, you may need a paediatric first aid certificate as well.

Do You Need A First Aid Certificate? 

Some people are unsure as to whether they need first aid training at all. If you are named as a first aider at work or in any other organisation, you are required to have a first aid certificate, so you must go through the training. There is no set number of first aiders that an organisation should have, but the HSE does provide some guidance to help employers select the right first aiders. A first aider is required to administer basic first aid treatments, manage and replenish the first aid equipment when needed, and call the emergency services if necessary. 

The HSE also provides examples to help different kinds of organisations determine how many first aiders they need in the building at any one time. 

Why Do First Aid Certificates Expire?

You may wonder why first aid certificates expire at all because, once you have learned the skills that you need, you can effectively deal with any situation that may arise. You don’t have to take your driving test once every three years, so why do you have to keep taking refresher courses to renew your first aid certificate? 

This may seem like a logical comparison, but it isn’t. You use your driving skills on a daily basis, so it’s not likely that you will suddenly wake up one day having forgotten how to drive. But first aiders are only called upon on rare occasions and there is a chance that you will never use what you learned during first aid training. When skills, like CPR and dealing with choking or serious wounds, start to fade that can lead to some very serious situations. However, if you have a refresher course every three years, you will maintain those skills even though you don’t need to use them that often. 

Do You Need To Renew Your Certificate? 

Renewing your first aid certificate is important because it helps to hone your skills and ensure that you are ready to respond in a crisis situation. It’s also important because medical technology is always changing and new treatments are being developed all of the time. When you renew your first aid certificate, you will learn new skills and improve your ability to administer first aid. 

You may also need to renew your first aid certificate from a legal standpoint. Even though you may feel that you know how to administer treatments and deal with a medical emergency, you are no longer considered qualified once your certificate has expired. According to The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981, employers are required to ensure that their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured at work. If your first aid certificate expires and there are no other trained first aiders working at the company, your employer may be in breach of these regulations. 

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How Do You Renew Your Certificate? 

Now that you have answered the question of how long does a first aid certificate last for, and why you need to renew it in the first place, you’re probably wondering what the process for renewal is. 

The process is simple and to make it more convenient for you, the certificate can be renewed from 90 days before expiry, and the new certificate will start once the old one expires. If you have an emergency first aid at work certificate, you will be required to take the full one day course again before your certificate is renewed. However, if you have a standard first aid at work certificate, you only need to do a two day refresher course, rather than the full three day course. 

If you leave your first aid at work certificate for more than 28 days after expiry, you will be required to take the full course again, as opposed to the two day refresher course. 

First Aid Refresher Courses

Even though you only need to renew your certificate once every three years, it is strongly advised by the HSE that you take an annual refresher course. These three-hour courses give you a reminder of all of the essential parts of the first aid training, like treating unconscious patients, dealing with wounds and shock, and delivering CPR. 

Hopefully, this guide has given you an answer to the question, how long does a first aid certificate last for, as well as some more information about first aid certificates.

Skills Training Group offer a range of first aid courses in Glasgow and around the UK. If you’d like further information on these courses call us on 0808 164 2780.

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