First aid training - Covid-19 update

As restrictions continue to ease and we learn to live safely with coronavirus COVID-19 we need to continually review government and industry guidance, venue availability and customer demand to ensure we are offering the best possible Covid safe training experience.

Updated: 1 May 2022

How do we ensure our training is Covid-19 safe?

We have introduced measures and processes to ensure the safety of our learners and training team. These measures are continually being reviewed as new research and guidelines become available, please check this page for updates.

  • We will ask anyone who is unwell with symptoms of Covid-19 to not attend the course.
  • At some venues windows need to remain open slightly to increase ventilation and ensure we comply with the most up to date government recommendations. In cooler months keeping windows open can be challenging and we would advise that you turn up for your course wearing suitable clothing and are sufficiently layered up to help you stay warm.
  • Learners will be provided with fluid resistant surgical masks that meet the standards required for PPE. Everyone attending the course, including the trainer, is encouraged to wear the mask provided.
  • Face-to-face contact will still be minimised where it is feasible but will still be necessary when undertaking close-contact activities for the purpose of assessment and learners working in the same small groups where possible.
  • We encourage regular use of hand washing facilities and provide alcohol-based hand sanitisers in each training room for regular use.
  • One manikin will be provided per learner. We have also significantly increased stocks of manikin faces and face shields and adhere to rigorous cleaning and sanitising procedures.
  • All equipment is cleaned regularly.

What courses are currently available?

We continue to offer a range of workplace first aid and health and safety courses for those who are still in the workplace or are completing training in readiness for their return to the workplace.

Face to face training:

Due to the practical nature of first aid, it is not possible to deliver training or assess learners for a qualification remotely. 
First aid at work (3 day)
Emergency first aid at work (1 day)
First aid at work requalification (2 day)
Paediatric first aid
First aid for adult
First aid for baby and child

Important information

Please be aware that: Although we have removed the necessity to wear a face mask, we will still supply, support and encourage their use.

Virtual training:

Some of our courses can now be delivered via an online virtual training room as well as face to face in a classroom setting. Our trainers will host the session and ensure the training continues to be engaging and interactive. Ask for details:
Fire marshal
Mental wellbeing
First aid annual refresher

If you don’t see the course you need listed above, please contact our sales team by email rctsales@redcross.org.uk or call 0344 871 8000 to discuss your requirements.

Where can you train?

Training locations continue to be available across the UK and we continue to monitor the situation to ensure that the adaptations to our training delivery continue to offer the safest and best possible training experience for our learners, as well as meeting government and industry guidelines.

Visit our where we train page to find your nearest available training location.

We continue to offer training at your premises Find out more in our blog >

If you have already booked training or have any questions about the venue or course, please email rctsales@redcross.org.uk or call 0344 871 8000

Training and assessment

We believe that combining rescue breaths with chest compressions is best practice when performing CPR on someone who is unresponsive and not breathing which requires learners to briefly remove their face masks to practice the skill.

We are confident the extensive safety and hygiene measures we have put in place will continue to mitigate risk.

Wearing of face coverings and masks in RCT face-to-face training

What is the difference between a face covering and a face mask?

Face coverings are made of cloth or other textiles. People are asked to wear them in public spaces such as supermarkets or when social distancing may not be possible, in some cases this is a legal requirement. Wearing a face covering helps to prevent virus particles spreading from the person wearing it to others. They provide very little protection to the person wearing them.

Face masks are classed as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). They are usually a fluid resistant surgical masks such as those provided by Red Cross Training on first aid courses, but could also refer to a filtering face piece (FFP) such as a respiratory mask. These types of masks provide a level of protection to both the wearer and others around them.

Do learners have to wear a face covering or face mask?

Learners will be provided with fluid resistant surgical masks that meet the standards required for PPE. Everyone attending the course, including the trainer is encouraged to wear the mask provided.

Do our courses include Covid-19 specific content?

Courses now routinely include information about how first aid can be performed safely during the current Covid-19 pandemic, following current guidance from Resuscitation Council (UK). Click here to read our blog, highlighting some of the additional first aid information that will be covered on first aid courses.

Do I still have to provide first aid cover as Covid-19 restrictions are eased?

The Health and Safety (first aid) regulations 1981 explain that businesses should be carrying out a first aid needs assessment to determine what first aider provision and equipment is required. Most businesses will need to revisit the first aid needs assessment they had in place prior to the pandemic as it is likely the workplace, working processes and even the workforce within it have altered, e.g. some of the workforce may still be working from home, shielding or isolating.

You can find out more in our blog: Do employers need to review first aid provision in light of the Covid-19 outbreak

However, the HSE recognises that temporary arrangements may be necessary such as sharing provision with another business. Find out more in our blog or visit the HSE’s coronavirus page for more information.

How can first aiders protect themselves from Covid-19 when giving first aid?

Providing first aid to someone who is unresponsive and not breathing is crucial in making sure that they have the best chance of recovery. However, it is also important that you take measures to protect yourself from Covid-19 . In order to reduce the potential risk of infection when giving first aid. Find out more in our blog >

How else can I get practical first aid advice during this period?

We have a number of resources available to help keep your first aid skills refreshed including:

Visit our first aid skills page for members of the public.

***Please be aware that our online First Aid Annual Skills update course is not certified, but it can help you refresh your first aid knowledge

First aid for members of the public

We are taking bookings for face-to-face public training courses at the following locations:

This specifically relates to our face-to-face courses for First aid for baby and child and First aid for adults. We will continue to monitor the situation and advise when our face to face public courses will resume at other locations.
However, there are still many ways that members of the public can still learn first aid skills without attending a classroom-based course which are easily accessible.

Learn with apps

The free British Red Cross First Aid app and Baby and Child First Aid app can give you first aid at your fingertips. Both apps are packed with useful videos, animations and tips, plus first aid quizzes to test your knowledge.

Learn online

Learn via our first aid skills page for members of the public. with videos and simple steps for a wide range of scenarios. You can also attend one of our free digital workshops to learn essential first aid skills.

What can a first aider do to help during the Coronavirus outbreak?

If you have been trained in first aid you may be wondering how you can put your skills to use to support people in the community and whilst at work during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. Find out more in our blog >