Following the HSE announcement (2012) that they intended to withdraw from approving First Aid Training providers, the Institute for Outdoor Learning consulted with a range of Outdoor First Aid stakeholders to establish the current need and to consider what minimum standards for the content and delivery of Outdoor First Aid training and assessment might look like. The HSE guidance on the content of generic First Aid qualifications lays out the basic requirement for an employer, though has a limited amount to assist outdoor practitioners. Some NGB's do provide further guidance on the content of First Aid training to meet the needs of their own awards, though some leave this to the discretion of the practitioner.
It is apparent that many of the currently recognised courses delivered by outdoor practitioners for outdoor practitioners contain appropriate content and do so at a variety of levels. From both an employers and a practitioners point of view, there is scope to make things clearer by standardising minimum content for these courses. There is also a definite need to provide more certainty around the way in which course content is delivered to ensure skills are developed and assessed in an appropriate environment, as well as acquisition of knowledge. Finally, there is also a need to build on the HSE's guidance on minimum trainer competency to ensure Outdoor First Aid trainers understand the needs of outdoor and remote environments and that they access appropriate CPD to maintain the currency of their skills and knowledge
The Institute's initial consultations led to a proposed framework, a copy of which is attached and the working group behind this is now seeking wider feedback. The framework is designed to support maintenance and development of standards in Outdoor First Aid provision and to provide reassurance to employers looking to fulfil their due diligence obligations.