A guide to choosing the right course

Deciding which first aid course you need is not an exact science

We cannot provide an exhaustive list of job titles against first aid courses. However, individual course descriptions do include a list of suggested occupations. If you are still unclear which course is for you after reading this guide, please contact us and we can make recommendations based on your individual circumstances.

Before we begin…

When deciding on a first aid course, one must consider a combination of business size, risk factors, nature of industry, workplace needs, mandate and personal preference.

Mental health and physical health needs are of equal value. This is referred to as parity of esteem.


The legal bit

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 set out the essential aspects of first aid that all employers must address. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), have legal powers to prosecute employers’ unions, trade associations, professional bodies, academics and others. They will use them when serious risks are not managed sensibly. Not having adequate first aid provision is a serious risk.


Size matters

The size of your organisation, in conjunction with risk and industry, will dictate how many first aiders you will require. If your workers operate across multiple sites this must also be accounted for.

A factory with 500 employees on one site will have a different requirement to 500 field sales staff.

Use the first aid calculator below to determine your first aid requirements. We also give additional guidance for the childcare sector given its unique mandate.

First Aid at Work Calculator

An interactive tool to decipher the numbers of first aid personnel and what level of training is required for your business.

If you work within the childcare sector

Refer to our dedicated page 'childcare providers' for additional clarity if you work with children.

Your risk assessment

What is a risk assessment?

A risk assessment is a legal requirement. Every employer and self-employed person must make an assessment of the health and safety risks arising out of their work. The purpose of the assessment is to identify potential risks and sensible mitigation measures, such as providing first aid training and equipment, to control the risks in your workplace.

You do not need to be a health and safety expert to carry out a risk assessment.

A risk assessment includes risks to both employees and the public. When thinking about your risk assessment a hazard is anything that may cause harm. These can be hazards to physical health such as chemicals, electricity, working from heights, or hazards to mental health such as stress and workload.

Workplace Health Needs Assessment (HNA)

A Health Needs Assessment (HNA) describes the process of gathering information about the health of a company’s workforce. It helps employers to understand where to focus investment in staff health and well-being, especially beyond the basic legal health and safety requirements.

A HNA should include mental health needs because parity of esteem between mental and physical health is a goal amongst modern organisations.

A thorough HNA will not only help identify what training is required, but it can also have a positive impact on a company’s bottom line.


Assessment resources to download

Risk assessment template

Use this template to help you keep a simple record of who might be harmed and how. Outline what you’re already doing to control the risks, what further action you need to take to control the risks, who needs to carry out the action and when the action is needed by.

Tackling mental ill health at work

This step-by-step workbook, produced by the HSE, helps you to track common causes of mental ill health at work. It offers help in tackling work-related stress using the management standards approach.

Workplace Health Needs Assessment (HNA)

A Health Needs Assessment describes the process of gathering information about the health of a company’s workforce. It helps employers to understand where to focus investment in staff health and wellbeing.

Your Industry

If you work with a specific demographic such as under-ones, children, or the elderly, then you must adhere to the statutory requirements for that setting. If you work or volunteer in sports, then the specific sports disciplines ‘Sports governing body in England,’ will advise on a mandatory minimal requirement or best practice.

Industries that associate specific hazards (risks)

Within most high-risk industries such as forestry work, or the building industry, a first aid course assessment criteria is tailored to accidents more likely to happen in those specific industries. Forestry workers’ first aid covers the additional topics (hazards) required by the Forestry Commission such as severe bleeding, crush injuries, hypothermia and Lyme disease.

The Football Association (FA) has its own physical first aid course accreditation scheme, although the EFAW courseEFAW course delivered by the Bridge First Aid is recognised as a prerequisite for The FA Level 3 Emergency Medical First Aid.

If you work with animals, you may choose to take an animal first aid course. However there are clearly also risks to the individual when working with animals hence a physical first aid course may also be required.

If you work in an office environment then chances are there are fewer hazards therefore a lower risk.


Our pricing policy is fair and transparent so your budget should not be a limitation in meeting legal requirements.

Some course fees have been increased for the fist time in years because of the shortage of larger venues needed for safe social distancing and the cost of additional PPE.

Refreshers and personal career development

Annual refresher training is not mandated but is popular

We offer one-to-one training to those who would otherwise not be able to attend an open course. Our bespoke training option will cater for all personal preferences without compromising on content, quality or duty of care.

Personal preference and our course catalogue

Many of our students take courses out of personal interest rather than as a mandated requirements. The simple skills we teach can be life changing and many of our clients recognise this.

It’s a question of motivation. Most decisions in life are made because of a deficiency mindset or a growth mindset. It depends on your own frame of reference and lived experience. We aim to satisfy both.

Delivery style

With the recent pandemic changing the landscape, it may be that in future regulators allow some assessments to be completed live online via a video link up. Given our March 2020 survey results, 94% of personal preference involved some element of face to face training.

We offer socially distanced face to face classroom, blended and online training. In-house training, or on site training will require a risk assessment. We can deliver on site at your school, college, place of work or private home.

Regulated or mandatory training such as the First aid at Work (FAW), Emergency FAW, and Paediatric courses must be face to face or blended and cannot be taken 100% online.

Visit our pick n mix page for choice