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Following a review of the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981, the HSE have introduced changes to the qualifications available and the way in which First Aid in the Workplace should be approached. It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure they have sufficient qualified First Aiders to fulfill their First Aid needs at all times. It is also the employer’s responsibility to decide what those First Aid needs are.

In line with the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981, employers must ensure that first aid provision is ‘adequate and appropriate in the circumstances’. To fulfill this criterion it is recommended that employers assess their First Aid needs by identifying any specific work hazards and ensuring that sufficient first aid equipment,

facilities and personnel are available to deal with the possible consequences of these hazards. This could range from calling for an ambulance to providing assistance to a casualty by administering first aid.
The HSE recommends that the following factors should be considered when assessing First Aid needs;
  • the nature of the work and workplace hazards and risks;
  • the size of the organisation;
  • the nature of the workforce;
  • the organisation’s history of accidents;
  • the needs of travelling, remote and lone workers;
  • work patterns;
  • the distribution of the workforce;
  • the remoteness of the site from emergency medical services;


  • employees working on shared or multi-occupied sites;
  • annual leave and other absences of first-aiders and appointed persons;
  • first-aid provision for non-employees.
Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW)

A Qualification achieved through a 1-day course that enables a first-aider to give emergency first aid to someone who is injured or becomes ill at work. Suited to working environments that have a minimum amount of hazards along with a low number of employees.
First Aid at Work (FAW)

A Qualification achieved through a 3-day course that includes all the features of the EFAW and also equips the first-aider to administer first aid to a range of specific injuries and illness. This course replaces the old 4-day course. More suited to working environments that have a high hazard count and/or a high number of employees.

Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work (QCF)