One of the challenges that comes with owning a business is staff training and continuous professional development (CPD). This article is designed to make that process a little easier when selecting a particular course, in this case, the First Aid at Work qualifications.
If you are an employer, the HSE stipulates that you should carry out a First Aid Needs Assessment http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l74.pdf, this will identify specific risks and indicate how many trained first aiders you should have in your workplace, and the level of training they require.
The bad news is there are no hard and fast rules governing numbers laid out by the HSE, it depends largely on the nature of your business and the number of employees and customers that are regularly in your building. This should all be identified when carrying out you needs assessment. The good news is that if you visit http://www.vanguardtraining.co.uk/ you will find a free calculating tool that will carry out all of the hard work for you! All you need to do is enter as much information for your premises as accurately as you can, such as how many staff and customers you have on site, the different areas within the building (such as warehousing, kitchens, offices), shift patterns, remote and mobile staff (delivery drivers etc.). The calculator will then produce a printable report that you can then use as your First Aid Needs Assessment. How simple is that?
The next challenge you may face is getting to grips with the training courses themselves. We all want to ensure that our businesses are the safest possible places in which to work but it is difficult to know how to go about training personnel. Selecting the right training provider for the right price, selecting the right staff and allocating time for them to undergo training are all tasks that can be a minefield for any small business owner, office manager or business development manager. So, where do you start? Firstly, since 2013, the First Aid industry has been de-regulated so any provider can provide First Aid training. This means that any training provider that purports to be “HSE approved” is basically stating a falsehood as the HSE no longer approves any training providers. What they may state is that they “meet HSE and/or Ofsted guidelines” which is perfectly acceptable as these organisations produce the minimum standards. Since 2013 however, the onus is on businesses to carry out the due diligence to ensure that the training their employees are receiving, is adequate and from a reputable source. This can be a time consuming and difficult process that may involve researching a provider, then studying the qualification offered to ensure it ticks all the required boxes. However