First Aid training in the workplace is not only a legal requirement in South Africa, according to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act 85 of 1993, but is also a life-saving skill that everyone should know in order to assist the injured or ill in an emergency! There are many training providers who are not able to offer accredited first aid training though and fraudulently issue first aid training certificates. Everyone who enrols in first aid training must ensure that their provider is registered and offering accredited first aid training courses. Should you choose to make use of an unaccredited training provider remember that the certificates are illegal and fraudulent as per the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Amendment Act 12 of 2019.
What is accredited first aid training?
The General Safety Regulation (GSR) Section 3 of the OHS Act states that employers have to make use of accredited first aid training providers. It further states that accredited first aid training providers includes the SA Red Cross Society, St John’s Ambulance, the SA First Aid League, or an organisation approved by the Chief Inspector for this purpose. The Chief Inspector who is employed by the Department of Labour (DOL) will only approve providers to offer accredited first aid training if they have already been given SETA accreditation. If your training provider can only provide either their DOL or their SETA accreditation letter then they are not fully accredited as per the law, both certificates have to be produced.
Many of the SETAs offer accreditation against one or more of the first aid unit standards although the Health and Welfare (HWSETA) is the main SETA for this purpose. The following unit standards are the ones that first aid training providers need to have:
Accredited First Aid Training Provider Standards:
|1||119567||Perform basic life support and first aid procedures|
|2||120496||Provide risk-based primary emergency care/ first aid in the workplace|
|3||374680||Provide first aid as an advanced first responder|
The importance of using an accredited first aid training provider
To be a SETA accredited first aid training provider there is a long list of prerequisites a training provider must meet. Some of these prerequisites include an approved training venue, subject matter experts, accredited facilitators, assessors and moderators, adequate equipment, approved training material etc. It is a long process and there are many non-accredited training providers who don’t bother with this and choose to take the easier route because they will never meet the requirements of the SETA for various reasons.
What do you get when use a provider who is not an accredited first aid training provider?
- Substandard training – These providers have not been verified by the SETA or DOL and therefore their level of training can not be guaranteed. The SETA requires a minimum amount of information that has to be included when you are accredited against their unit standards to ensure a certain standard of training is delivered;
- Incorrect information – Many unaccredited providers are not subject matter experts and are just regurgitating information they found on the internet. Receiving the correct information is critical and can be the difference between life and death in an emergency.
- Incorrect equipment – Unaccredited providers often don’t bother to purchase training equipment like CPR dolls, AEDs, torniques, bandages, etc as it is expensive. An accredited first aid training course should include a lot of practical components as these assist candidates in understanding how to deal with emergencies. When CPR is simply discussed verbally there is no way that it can be applied in real life when it is needed and the money spent on training would have been a waste!
What happens if you choose an un-accredited training provider?
Unaccredited training providers are often a lot cheaper than accredited first aid training providers because they don’t have to carry the costs of facilities, appropriate training staff, or the required equipment. These providers are often selected by companies as it is a save on training expenses. But what is really the implication to the employer for using an unaccredited provider over and above what was listed above?
The GSR 14 states that employers who fail to use accredited first aid training providers, as is requested in GSR 3(4), will be liable to a fine or imprisonment for a period of up to 6 months! Addition to this penalty employers will also be liable to a fine of R200 for each day that the offence continues or an additional imprisonment of one day for each day that the offence continued for a period of up to 90 days. In the long run it is cheaper to use accredited first aid training providers as it is an investment in the health of your staff and it gives you peace of mind of not contravening the law and ending up in prison for it.
Accredited first aid training by Absolute Health Services- your trusted first aid training provider
Absolute Health Services (AHS) holds both DOL and HWSETA first aid accreditation against all 3 first aid unit standards as listed above. Our instructors are all qualified paramedics registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). They are also qualified facilitators and assessors holding HWSETA first aid accreditation. AHS’ KZN and Western Cape Managers hold BTech degrees in Emergency Medical Care and Rescue and between our Management team we hold 72 years’ worth of combined prehospital emergency experience!
AHS is a national accredited first aid training provider with offices in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. We are also registered with the Resuscitation Council of Southern Africa and offer 2500 Vitality points for Discovery members. We are experts in First Aid and emergency procedures and can offer you training unrivalled by our competitors! Invest in the health and safety of your employees today and choose AHS as your trusted accredited first aid training provider!