Important changes to workplace first aid training for 2017

Keep up to date - Regulation changes

The Health and Safety Executive has implemented key changes to workplace first aid training. As of 1 January 2017, workplace first aid training includes training in using a life saving defibrillator.

Please note that specialist Defibrillator (AED) training is available both on scheduled and onsite courses.

Details of changes

As of 1 January 2017, St John Ambulance provides delegates that attend our First aid at work (FAW), First aid at work requalification (FAW Requal) and Emergency first aid at work (EFAW) courses with basic defibrillator training. Delegates are:

  • taught the basic step-by-step prompts given by defibrillators and how to respond
  • taught how to place defibrillator pads on a casualty.

Please note:

  1. The duration of the FAW course (3 days), FAW Requal course (2 days) and the EFAW course (1 day) have not changed.

  2. Students who successfully complete the FAW, FAW Requal or the EFAW course will receive 1 certificate which will last for 3 years.

  3. We have taken this opportunity to review the EFAW course. As the course is aimed at lower risk workplaces and to accommodate the new defibrillator skills, we have made the following changes:

    • Complications to a severe bleed and severe burns are no longer taught as these do not reflect a lower risk workplace.
    • Fainting is no longer assessed on the EFAW course.

      St John Ambulance encourages employers whose risk assessment indicates that their first aiders require training on these subjects to please consider our 3 day comprehensive FAW course.

  4. St John Ambulance recommends that all workplaces are equipped with life-saving defibrillators and that the wider workforce, in addition to the designated first aider, are trained in its use to ensure a casualty who is unresponsive and not breathing receives fast treatment if required.

Why is it important that the wider workforce is trained on how to use a defibrillator?

Training a wider range of staff is important as they could provide vital support to the trained first aider who may be required to manage the overall emergency situation and brief the emergency services on details of the patient's status.

While defibrillators are very simple to operate, and no previous training is required, the St John Ambulance defibrillator course gives delegates the confidence to act quickly and effectively in an emergency. Crucially, defibrillator operators will also learn how to perform effective CPR.


Discover our great value defibrillator and training package offers.

What does the St John Ambulance AED training course contain?

The St John Ambulance Defibrillator or AED course is a comprehensive 3-hour course that will teach delegates:

  • the basic step-by-step prompts given by defibrillators and how to respond
  • how to place defibrillator pads on a casualty
  • how to use the different types of defibrillators currently available
  • how to manage the machine and check it before and after use
  • how to pull off reports
  • how to deliver effective CPR.

Students will also get time to practice using a trainer defibrillator unit, ask questions, and review different scenarios in the use of defibrillators. This full course is particularly recommended for organisations that already have defibrillators.

What can you do to stay on top of the regulation changes and your first aid provision?

We're here to cut through the complexities and make sure you have everything you need to stay on top of your workplace first aid requirements. There are several ways to make sure you know everything you need to:

*Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company's access charge.

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