We have some important news regarding updates to HSE (Health and Safety Executive) guidelines for first aid recertification.

These changes are relevant for both employers and first aiders, and understanding them is key to maintaining a safe and compliant workplace.

Saying Goodbye to the Grace Period

The HSE has officially removed the informal “grace period” that previously existed for first aid recertification. This means:

  • Once your first aid certificate expires, you are no longer considered qualified, even if you have booked a requalification course.
  • Employers must ensure all designated first aiders consistently hold valid, up-to-date certificates.

The Importance of Annual Refresher Training

In addition to the standard 3-year recertification cycle, the HSE strongly recommends that all first aiders complete an annual refresher course. While not mandatory, this helps to maintain your skills and knowledge, ensuring you’re always prepared to provide effective first aid.

Our Approach to Recertification

We understand that scheduling conflicts can arise, so we offer some flexibility:

  • 1-Month Window: We are happy to welcome first aiders onto our requalification courses up to one month after their certificates expire. However, please be aware that you are not considered qualified during this time.
  • Rare Exceptions: In specific situations, such as a serious illness or bereavement, we may extend this window up to three months. But again, you remain unqualified during this extended period.
  • Skills Refresher: If your certificate has been expired for over a month, we highly recommend taking a full three-day FAW requalification course to brush up on your skills and knowledge.

Prioritising Your Skills

We encourage all our first aiders to take advantage of annual refresher courses to stay confident and competent. Keeping your skills current benefits everyone:

  • You: You maintain your ability to respond effectively in an emergency.
  • Your Workplace: Your employer fulfils their duty to provide adequate first aid cover.
  • Those in Need: Injured or ill individuals receive the best possible care.

Let’s Keep You Certified!

We are here to support you in maintaining your first aid qualifications. If you have any questions about these changes or would like to book a requalification or refresher course, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Richard - Founder & Course Originator

Richard is the Founder & CEO at SkillBase First Aid

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