We love it when people leave our courses brimming with confidence, and ready to take on any first aid emergency that heads their way. True standby-superheroes. We’re even told sometime by delegates that they can’t wait for an emergency to happen, which is maybe a little worrying!

All of our courses teach confidence, not just competence – and we work really hard to make sure that our first aiders are ready to become Standby Superheroes.

When delegates leave us feeling like they are downright fabulous first aiders, then we’ve done what we always set out to do!


Most of our courses have certificates that are valid for three years. That’s 1095 days of being a first aider (1096 if it falls on a leap year). And of course, we don’t *really* want our first aiders to have had to practice their skills in that time! It’s a really long time to retain skills and information, and naturally our confidence in those skills will start to fade.

If a first aider hasn’t had any practice, and then suddenly find themselves in an emergency, it can be scary again. We know that the knowledge will still be there, but naturally it’s going to take a little bit longer to bring it front of mind. That’s why First Aid Annual Skills Updates exist! 


The big wigs HSE ‘strongly recommend that first-aiders undertake annual refresher training, over half a day, during any three-year certification period. Although not mandatory, this will help qualified first-aiders maintain their basic skills and keep up to date with any changes to first-aid procedures’.

So in non-stuffy speak; first aiders don’t have to complete annual training, and first aid certificates will remain valid even if someone does not complete an annual skills refresher. but it is a great idea for most workplaces to always follow the strong recommendations of the HSE. 

We keep our courses fast paced, and workshop based. We have loads of confidence building practice, so that the first aider leaves ready to take on the world again! Click here to see the full details of the course.

So, just to clarify:

  • Become a First Aider by completing a course & receive a certificate (usually valid for three years)
  • 12 months: ‘Strong recommendation’ that first aiders complete an annual skills refresher. Certificate still valid if first aiders don’t complete the refresher, but skills may have faded.
  • 24 months: ‘Strong recommendation’ that first aiders complete a further annual skills refresher. Certificate still valid if first aiders don’t complete the refresher, but skills may have faded.
  • 36 months: First Aiders need to re-qualify, by completing a suitable course, which may to to take the initial course again, or do a slightly shorter re-qualification course if available.

If you need any further details about  First Aid Annual Skills Updates speak to our team today. We’re on 0330 335 1234.

The bottom line: Annual refreshers help keep first aiders confident, and more prepared to own an emergency!  

Richard Craddock

Richard is the Managing Director at SkillBase First Aid

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