ACECQA issues advice about managing First Aid qualifications during COVID-19
In light of COVID-19 related restrictions, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has released advice for training providers to consider adapting practices, including changing delivery modes, re-sequencing delivery of units or components of units, and delaying workplace practical assessments.
These adaptations will be of particular interest to those working in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, with First Aid being an important component of remaining compliant with the National Regulations. As such, the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) has issued advice about how services may manage lapsed First Aid qualifications during this time.
While theoretical aspects of first aid training could be reasonably covered through online training, other more practical aspects – in particular the performance of CPR on a manikin – are much more challenging. In the first instance, ACECQA said, educators should discuss any available options offered by training providers.
In instances where the full requirements of the course cannot be met, training providers are expected to issue documentation to students confirming that they have completed the theoretical aspects of the course and detail any outstanding requirements of the course they must complete in order to obtain the qualification.
For example, a First Aid training provider may issue a list of the theoretical components of First Aid training which have been completed by an educator, or teams of educators, which clearly outlines the remaining requirements, such as a practical demonstration of CPR technique on a child size mannequin.
Unlike the requirements to initially obtain competency, requirements for refresher training are not defined in the National Regulations (beyond the requirement for the training to be ‘current’), ACECQA said.
The industry/sector standard is that first aid qualifications should be renewed every three years and refresher training in CPR should be undertaken annually, generally by attending an approved training course.
Education and care service providers and educators are encouraged to pursue all available options to complete first aid refresher training, including completing only the theoretical aspects of the training, if necessary.
State and territory regulatory authorities will consider waivers relating to the requirements for refresher training, ACECQA noted, particularly those applications supported by evidence of having actively sought training opportunities and/or completed the theoretical aspects of the training.
Further information is available on the ACECQA website, here.