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What is a first aider?

A first aider will have completed training appropriate to what is needed in their workplace. They will have a certificate of competence in either first aid at work, emergency first aid at work or another equivalent qualification.

There is a mandatory three-day course and one-day option for small businesses. All qualified first aiders must attend a two-day requalification course every three years. The guidance (free to download from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website) also suggests that refresher training taken annually would be beneficial to first aiders and their employers. There's information about available courses on the website of St John Ambulance (SJA).

First aider training should be undertaken during work time. Employers are not required to make a separate annual payment to trained first aiders, and a survey by the Labour Research Department in March 2011 found that in 36% of workplaces there was no payment to first aiders at all. Where payments were made, the average was £150 a year.