Updated - Friday 29 January 2021

Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) have provided information about training during lockdown, this can be found below

Updated – Friday 15 January 2021 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) confirmed the following on Friday 15 January 2021.

First aid training in England

The policy position of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is that first aid training required to comply with health and safety or other legislation can continue to take place under relevant coronavirus restrictions in England. All possible measures must be taken to ensure that both training activities and the environment are COVID secure.

Under current restrictions, some premises are closed to the public or are prohibited from carrying out their normal business.  These premises can be considered for use as training venues, providing the conditions outlined above are adhered to.

All businesses and individuals should adhere to current regulations and follow relevant Government guidance here.

HSE’s current guidance on first aid certificate extensions covers all of GB and remains unaltered and can be found here.


First aid training in Scotland

The Scottish Government has informed HSE that first aid training can be permitted under the current coronavirus restrictions, given the following considerations:

  • The training is a required part of the work or operation of the business commissioning the training (e.g. is necessary for compliance with health and safety or other legislation)
  • Other requirements for businesses and individuals under the current restrictions are met
  • All controls necessary are in place to comply with relevant regulations and guidance published by the Scottish Government here and any additional measures necessary to ensure the training activities and environment are COVID secure are taken.

Under current restrictions, some premises are closed to the public or are prohibited from carrying out their normal business.  These premises can be considered for use as training venues, providing the conditions outlined above are adhered to. 

HSE’s current guidance on first aid certificate extensions covers all of GB and remains unaltered and can be found here.


First aid training in Wales

The Welsh Government has informed HSE that first aid training can be permitted under the current coronavirus restrictions, given the following considerations:

  • The training is a required part of the work or operation of the business commissioning the training (e.g. is necessary for compliance with health and safety or other legislation)
  • Other requirements for businesses and individuals under the current restrictions are met
  • All controls necessary are in place to comply with relevant regulations and guidance published by the Welsh Government here and any additional measures necessary to ensure the training activities and environment are COVID secure are taken.

Premises required to close for normal business under coronavirus restrictions may be considered for use as training venues, providing the conditions outlined above are adhered to.  Authority to open premises for first aid training can be obtained from the relevant local authority or appropriate department of the Welsh Government.

HSE’s current guidance on first aid certificate extensions covers all of GB and remains unaltered and can be found here.


First aid at work training in Northern Ireland

The current policy position of the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is as follows:

First aid at work training required to comply with health and safety or other legislation can continue to take place under relevant coronavirus restrictions in Northern Ireland.

All possible measures must be taken to prevent the transmission of coronavirus, in relation to training activities and the environment, subject to a suitable and sufficient risk assessment, putting in place appropriate controls, taking into account public health advice found here Risk Assessment during the COVID pandemic – HSEGB

Under the current restrictions, some premises are closed to the public or are prohibited from carrying out their normal business. These premises can be considered for use as training venues providing all applicable legislation is adhered to. Coronavirus – covid -19 - Current Restriction, NI - indirect website  

HSENI’s current guidance on first aid certificate extensions will remain unaltered - 31 March 2021. HSENI - first-aid-during-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak


The HSE stated that first aid training should be determined using sensible and pragmatic decisions made by employers, based on maintaining adequate first aid provision in the workplace.

Please note, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Department of Education (DfE) have not relaxed their rules on maintaining adequate first aid provision in the workplace. Therefore, whenever an employer needs to maintain mandatory first aid provision by sending a first aider on a relevant first aid training course (whether on furlough leave or not), this should be the primary driver behind ATC/Ps continuing to deliver training courses during the lockdown period.

Can training and assessments continue during the lockdown measures imposed from Tuesday 4, January 2021?

As per the response from the HSE, training can continue until informed otherwise, however, there are several questions to ask yourself before being able to answer this question. Below you will find clear steps to help you to determine if training and assessments can take place.

Reasonably necessary – Other means to provide training have been exhausted or would be ineffective under the circumstances.

** Remote learning - Remote delivery is providing teaching using an online web conference or webinar service tool. Only theory training can be delivered remotely, more details can be found here.

*** Assessments cannot take place remotely.

**** Training could be delayed until just prior-to permitted opening. Consideration should be given, to the possibility of lockdown restrictions being extended.

Please note - if you intend to deliver training and assessments within swimming pools, you should seek clarification and authorisation from your local authority (EHO).

If you are based in the Republic of Ireland, you can find guidance here