Validity of Certificates during COVID-19
The Department for Education has updated its guidance regarding the expiry of Paediatric First Aid certificates and the requirement for Early Years Providers to have trained First Aiders onsite. The Department for Education has stated:
Paediatric First Aid expiry dates:
If Paediatric First Aid certificate requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with coronavirus (COVID-19), or by complying with related government advice, the validity of current certificates can be extended to 25 November 2020 at the latest. This applies to certificates which expired on or after 16 March 2020.
If asked to do so, providers should be able to explain why the first aider hasn't been able to requalify and demonstrate what steps have been taken to access the training. Employers or certificate holders must do their best to arrange requalification training at the earliest opportunity.
Requirements of trained First Aid personnel
The requirements in the EYFS on PFA certification have been modified and the EYFS: coronavirus disapplications guidance has been published setting out what this means.
The existing requirement remains in place where children aged 0 to 24 months are on site. Paragraph 3.25 and Annex A of the statutory framework for the EYFS set out the requirements, including that 'at least one person who has a current PFA certificate must be on the premises and available at all times when children are present, and must accompany children on outings.' The existing requirements also remain unchanged for childminders because they are already required to have full PFA certification.
The requirement is modified where children aged 2 to 5 are on site (with no children aged below 24 months) to a best endeavours duty to have someone with a full PFA certificate on site. If all steps set out in the guidance have been exhausted and settings cannot meet the PFA requirement, they must carry out a written risk assessment and ensure that someone with a current First Aid at Work or emergency PFA certificate is on site at all times. New entrants (level 2 and 3) do not need to have completed a full PFA course within their first 3 months in order to be counted in staff to child ratios.
Please note this guidance and extension is only for the following qualifications:
FAA Award in Emergency Paediatric First Aid
FAA Award in Paediatric First Aid
All other First Aid qualifications, such as EFAW and FAW, remain with an extension until the 30th September 2020 only and will expire on the 1st October in England. For Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland we are still awaiting further updates from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) as they have this under review.