As a member of the First Aid Awarding Organisation Forum, Training Qualifications UK have been given some important advice and guidance in regards to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation across the UK and the provision of regulated first aid qualifications.

How to make first aid training “safer than going into the office”

Class induction process:

1.  On arrival check all learners and exclude anyone exhibiting respiratory virus symptoms (cough, cold, flu). Discuss with your centre how to manage learners who are turned away or self-exclude from training due to illness.

2.  Check that no learner has returned from, or been in close contact with a person who has returned from a category 1 location. If someone has been in contact with someone who has returned from a category 2 location who is showing symptoms of fever they should also self-exclude. See this government info here for more details.

3.  ON ARRIVAL, give each learner an alcohol wipe/gel and ask them to thoroughly sanitise hands. Instruct them that if they need to cough/sneeze this should be done into a tissue that is disposed of immediately. Failing that they should cough into a bent elbow (better than a bare hand) and NEVER cough/sneeze without covering their mouth/nose. If someone coughs on their hands or uses a tissue they should use alcohol wipes/sanitizer immediately. Use peer pressure to ensure that everyone adheres to this throughout the course.

4.  Show learners the videos below on how Covid-19 spreads and how to wash your hands:

a.  How it spreads
b.  How to wash your hands

5.  Explain clearly that no one should touch their mouth, nose or eyes unless they have just washed their hands or sanitised. Explain what you have available for sanitising hands (e.g. sanitising gel or alcohol wipes) and where they can wash their hands.

6.  Prior to CPR practise, explain to learners that the bigger risk by far is passing germs from hands because there are lots of protections in place to prevent infection during CPR practise. Give learners information on measures taken which are:

a.  Frequently replaced lungs/airways/valves
b.  One way valves to stop air coming back out of the manikin mouth
c.  Alcohol/sanitising wipes between learners (should be used with an emphasis on scrubbing)
d.  Anti-surfactant wipe (e.g. Trionic wipes) after each session (removes any bio-films as well as germ-killing)
e.  These steps alone are sufficient to prevent infection and that is normally used on most first aid courses. Explain that the Health and Safety Executive and Consultant Microbiologists at NHS England have approved these measures as being sufficient, however, in the current climate, you are also issuing each learner with a personal CPR face shield to provide a double fail-safe to existing protective measures
f.    Learners must use the face-shield facing the same way up each time. Check for the writing is the correct way up for example
g.  With a filter face-shield, gently tucking the filter part of the shield into the manikin’s mouth helps keep it in place. Nip the nose as usual through the face shield

7.  Between learners, use alcohol/sanitising wipes on the manikin face and also wipe the forehead and chest where hands were placed (to prevent hand to surface/surface to hand contamination). More than one wipe may be required. Allow the sanitiser/alcohol to dry naturally before the next person uses the manikin.

8.  Keep one manikin to the same small group of learners all the way through the course to prevent the possibility of course-wide infection spread.

9.  At the end of every theory session, ask learners to sanitise or wash their hands.

10. Before and after each practical session, ask learners to wash their hands.

You can print and store a copy of this guidance for your records by clicking here. If you have any further questions regarding the provision of first aid training at this time, please get in touch with us by calling 03333 583 344 or email account.managers@tquk.org.