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How Often Do You Need to Take First Aid Training?


First aid training is a crucial skill that can make a significant difference in emergency situations. Whether it’s assisting someone who is choking, providing CPR, or tending to a wound, knowing how to react quickly and effectively can save lives. 

However, if you are planning to be the designated first aider in a workplace you might wonder, how often you need to take first aid training. Here, we will explore the validity of first aid training certificates, the importance of first aid refresher courses, and when specialised first aid training might be necessary.

Validity of First Aid Training Certificates

When you complete a first aid training course, you will receive a certificate. This certificate serves as evidence that you have successfully acquired the necessary skills to provide basic first aid. However, these certificates have expiration dates. The validity of first aid training certificates can vary, but they usually range from one to three years.

The reason for certificate expiration is to ensure that individuals stay updated with the latest techniques and guidelines in first aid. Medical procedures and protocols may change over time, and it’s essential for first aid providers to be aware of these updates, even if your first aid skills are still sharp.

Therefore, it is crucial to keep track of the expiration date on your certificate and be prepared to renew your training when it expires.

First Aid Refresher Courses

To address the need for updating first aid knowledge, First Aid at Work Refresher courses are available. These courses are designed to review and refresh the skills and knowledge acquired during the initial training. First Aid at Work Refresher Courses are shorter in duration compared to the full First Aid at Work training but focus on key techniques and procedures.

Frequency of Refresher Courses

A First Aid at Work Refresher course can be taken at any time before the expiry of your current 3-year First Aid at Work certificate expires. However, a number of factors determine whether you might choose to refresh your knowledge more frequently. These factors include the type of certification you hold, your job or daily activities, and personal preferences. 

For individuals whose jobs involve regular exposure to potential emergencies, such as care professionals or lifeguards, annual refresher courses may be advisable to keep your skills sharp and your knowledge up to date. On the other hand, someone who rarely encounters situations requiring first aid may opt for a less frequent schedule, only undertaking a refresher course before your current certificate expires.

To determine how often you should take first aid training, consider the following:

  • How frequently do you use your first aid skills?
  • Has your certificate expired?
  • Are there specific risks in your environment that require specialised training?

Specialised First Aid Training

While basic first aid training is essential for everyone, there are instances where specialised training is necessary. Specialised first aid courses are tailored to specific situations or environments, such as outdoor first aid, paediatric first aid, or advanced life support. These courses go beyond the basics and provide in-depth knowledge and skills for particular scenarios.

For example, individuals who enjoy outdoor activities like hiking or camping in remote areas may benefit from outdoor first aid training. Likewise, childcare providers will find paediatric first aid courses invaluable for both their skills and confidence. The need for specialised training arises when you have a higher likelihood of encountering unique emergency situations.

Workplace Requirements

Many workplaces have specific requirements regarding first aid training for their employees. This is especially true in industries where employees are more likely to face workplace injuries or illnesses. Employers may mandate that their staff undergo first aid training and refreshers at regular intervals. It’s essential to be aware of your workplace’s policies and comply with any training obligations.

Failure to meet workplace requirements for first aid training can have legal and safety implications. In emergencies, having trained individuals on-site can be a critical factor in minimising harm and providing immediate assistance.

Different Types of First Aid Training

First aid training comes in various forms to cater to different needs:

How to Find Suitable Training Programs

Finding the right first aid training program is crucial. Look for courses accredited by recognised organisations such as the HSE. Check reviews and ask for recommendations to ensure you receive quality training.


First aid training is not a one-time endeavour; it’s an ongoing commitment to being prepared for emergencies. The frequency of training depends on various factors, but most important is the length of your certificate. By regularly updating your first aid skills, you can enhance your ability to provide immediate assistance in critical situations. 

The knowledge and confidence gained from first aid training can make a significant difference in saving lives, so to book your place on any of our courses, please get in touch.