What is a Regulated Qualification?
In the past, when someone needed their staff to be first aid trained, all they had to do was find an HSE (Health and Safety Executive) approved instructor or company who could teach their staff and issue a certificate with their approval number on it.
I'm afraid things have changed a bit this year, and some of my students have been a bit confuzzled by it all. I'll try and keep this short and sweet, but I want to make it clear at the same time, so here goes.
The HSE inspectors are still the people who you (the employer) have to keep happy when they come and check that your staff are trained in first aid, they will just be looking for different things.
Now you could use any instructor you like, so long as you have checked that they are insured, they are qualified to teach, and indeed, know their stuff (have they got the qualification they are teaching you?) Then you'll need to check that they are following the right syllabus, and not missing that all important subject, or wasting your time teaching you stuff you don't need and possibly shouldn't be doing as a first aider anyway!
You could just use a trainer who can offer you a certificate with 'Approved by Ofqual' on the bottom, a Regulated Qualification. The HSE inspector will know that all the checks I mentioned above, plus a few more, have been done by an awarding organisation, who in turn have been checked out by Ofqual and the HSE. You'll get the right things taught to you, by a qualified teacher who has the same qualification (at least) as the one he or she is teaching you.
So when does all this start then, when do these changes take effect?
You will need to think about what you are going to do from October this year. This is when there will no longer be any HSE approved companies. If anyone tells you they are HSE approved after October, they're telling fibs. You can use the BIG guys like St John Ambulance, Red Cross etc. but even then, you may need to use some diligence when they offer you a course. You could use the company that you know has been around for years, but that does not mean that they have been doing 'it' right for all that time.
Play it safe and use a company who is not only going to offer a regulated qualification from October, but a company who has been doing so since January, with some great results, and for some very happy customers. Customers who know that their training is bang up to date, and the right training for their needs.
Who is this company then?
Please! You have to ask? Just click on the last remark, the bit where it says "Excellent tutor too!!"