HSE approval no longer needed for first-aid trainers

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Businesses that require first-aid training will from this month be free to choose their own training provider, under reforms being brought in by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The changes to the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 came in on 1 October 2013 and have removed the requirement for the HSE to approve first-aid training and qualifications. The HSE said the changes were designed to make it easier for businesses and other users to understand how to comply with health and safety law, while maintaining standards.

The move is also part of the Government’s wider agenda to reduce red tape around health and safety.

The changes apply to businesses of all sizes and from all sectors, the HSE added. To help businesses understand and manage the change, the it has published new guidance.

Andy McGrory, the HSE’s policy lead for first aid, said: “The guidance documents clarify what the law requires and provide practical help to businesses in assessing and understanding their first-aid needs. Where a first aider is required, the guidance documents make it clear that the employer is free to select a training provider that is best suited to those needs.”

However, the HSE has stressed that the legal requirement for employers to ensure that they make adequate provision for first aid, in accordance with their first-aid needs assessment, will remain unchanged.

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