All employers are required to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to protect the health and safety of their employees. Aside for the moral or legal requirements, it is good business; the right first aid can help reduce sickness absence by dealing with an illness or injury correctly.
The key piece of legislation is the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 which requires business of all sizes to assess risks and provide appropriate cover for their staff and where appropriate service users. Employers have to provide information about first aid provision to all their employees and for childcare providers, uses of their service.
Following an independent review of health and safety legislation, Parliament agreed to remove the requirement for HSE to approve the training and qualifications of appointed first aiders; these changes took effect on the 1st October 2013.
Employers still need to provide equipment and facilities, but when providing first aider training they will be able to use the provider of their choice as long as the provider meets certain standard.
What this means is that under the old scheme HSE approved training providers, under the new scheme, they won’t. So the employer will need to be sure that the training provider is competent to deliver the required standard of training.