General first aid compliance requirements

We understand first aid compliance and are here to help

In New Zealand first aid compliance requirements are not straightforward and we understand that it can be difficult to find clear information for your situation. One reason for this is that the risk of injuries and medical emergencies occurring differs among workplaces and organisations and therefore a one-fits-all approach would not be appropriate. Another reason is that requirements and guidance for first aid training are provided by several regulatory bodies, including WorkSafe, NZQA, the Workforce Development Council Toitū te Waiora as well as some industry-specific bodies.

While first aid compliance requirements differ among industries, sectors, and individual workplaces, there are some common requirements, general guidance, and best practice that we have collated for you below. We have also compiled industry- and sector-specific requirements here.

What you need to know to identify your first aid compliance needs

Here is all you need to find out what first aid compliance requirements apply to your workplace, organisation, or individual circumstances and how you can decide what first aid training you need:

  • WorkSafe provides guidance on how to determine what first aid training workers require and how many first aiders a workplace needs. You can access this guidance here. The core component of this guidance is a workplace-specific first aid needs assessment. We are happy to explain how to do that and help you conduct a needs assessment for your workplace – just get in touch with us.
  • WorkSafe recommends that first aid training is delivered by an NZQA approved provider. While this is ‘just’ a recommendation, you would need to carefully think about whether it’s ok for your workplace to go against a WorkSafe recommendation. Practical Training Solutions is  an NZQA approved provider.
  • Toitū te Waiora, the Workforce Development Council responsible for first aid together with the Association of Emergency Care Training Providers (AECTP) have published the First Aid as Life Skill document, which outlines requirements for training providers, learners and employers in regards to first aid training and revalidation. Practical Training Solutions complies with the First Aid as a Life Skill document.
  • The Association of Emergency Care Training Providers (AECTP) provides a useful FAQ related to first aid training requirements on their website, which you can access here. Practical Training Solutions is a member of the AECTP and therefore always up-to-date and engaged in first aid industry developments.
  • As we explain here, completing first aid training with an NZQA approved provider and choosing first aid courses that result in unit standard-based certificates meet compliance requirements of most industries and sectors. This means that by completing our Workplace First Aider or First Aid Revalidation courses, you meet compliance requirements of most industries and sectors.
  • Several industries and sectors have stipulated specific first aid training needs (click here for information). If you work in these areas, you need to ensure that your first aid training meets these requirements. Practical Training Solutions offers all first aid unit standards required by industries and sectors and we are happy to work with you to tailor first aid training to meet any additional industry or sector requirements.
  • Most first aid certificates are valid for 2 years. To maintain a valid first aid certificate and refresh your first aid skills and knowledge you need to complete revalidation training within 2 years and 3 months of the date of your previous certificate.

How can you tell if a first aid course meets your compliance needs?

Once you know what your compliance needs are you should find out about the specific content of the first aid course you are considering and, if you require NZQA unit standards to be covered, whether it includes assessment or revalidation of unit standards.

Almost all first aid courses cover basic life support skills, such as CPR, and general first aid knowledge (covered under unit standard 6402). The key difference among courses are the type of injuries and medical emergencies covered (most are covered under unit standard 6401), the complexity of simulated emergency situations (complex and multi-patient emergency situations are covered under unit standard 6400), and the general setting of first aid emergencies. Standard first aid courses, including unit standard-based first aid courses, focus on ‘common’ first aid emergencies in settings expected to occur in cities or townships where emergency assistance is relatively accessible and where environmental conditions are of low concern. If you require first aid training for workplaces or activities outside these ‘common’ conditions, for example for a farm or remote location, you should seek first aid training that covers these specific conditions. Practical Training Solutions can help you with this and tailor training that meets your needs.