How to become an accredited first aid trainer

a first aid instructor teaching a class about resuscitation using a defibrillator

Becoming a fully-accredited first aid trainer is a fulfilling experience, and can form the basis of a rewarding career. However, with rules and regulations changing in recent years, the qualifications required to teach first aid are not the same as they once were.

For this reason, if you want to start a new career in this field, it’s important you know exactly what skills and qualifications you need to pick up to become accredited.

In this guide, we take a look at how to become a first aid trainer. We explain exactly what qualifications you need to gain and how long this process might take. Finally, we look at what insurance policies you may need to have in place before you can get started.

How to become a first aid trainer

Although there are many ways to prevent accidents from happening, the truth is that some are simply unavoidable. This is why first aiders are so important. These skilled individuals have the ability to provide immediate care to someone who is ill or injured. In some cases, the presence of a first aider at the scene of an accident or emergency can very literally be the difference between life and death. However, in order for these first aiders to exist, they need to receive expert training from a qualified first aid instructor.

While the thought of becoming a first aid trainer may seem daunting, with a little dedication and enthusiasm anyone can do it. So, if you have a passion for helping people and are looking to kickstart a new career, this could be the path for you. Becoming an accredited first aid trainer is a two-step process. These steps are discussed below.

What qualifications do you need to teach first aid?

When it comes to qualifications, there is a minimum of two qualifications you need in order to teach first aid. These are: 

1. An entry level teaching qualification
In order to pass on your expert first aid knowledge effectively, you need to be able to teach. The best way to do this is to sign up for the Level 3 Award in Education and Training qualification. This classroom-based course takes only three days to complete. It covers everything from the fundamental roles and responsibilities of teaching to effective lesson planning. Once you have successfully passed this nationally accredited course, you have the ability to teach any subject you have experience in.

2. First aid training qualification(s)
Once you have a qualification that proves your competence as a teacher, you then need something to demonstrate your first aid experience. The best way to do this is by obtaining the Level 3 First Aid at Work qualification. Passing this qualification allows you to teach the below courses as an accredited first aid trainer.

- Basic life support training
- First aid at work
- First aid at work refresher
- Emergency first aid at work

As well as the First Aid at Work qualification, it’s also a good idea to complete the Paediatric First Aid Course. This allows you to specialise as a first aid trainer in industries/environments involving children. This can include giving first aid classes to school and nursery staff.

How long does it take to become an accredited first aid trainer?

The amount of time it takes to become an accredited first aid trainer depends on which approach you take to gaining qualifications. For example, if you do both your Level 3 Award in Education and Training qualification (three days) and Level 3 First Aid at Work qualification (three days) in a face-to-face classroom environment, you can be qualified in a week. However, if you opt for part-time, distance learning courses, it can take as long as 12 months. 

What equipment do I need as a first aid trainer?

After you have qualified as a trainer, you will need to buy the equipment needed to teach. This includes:

- CPR manikins and replaceable ‘lung bags’ (we would recommend one manikin per three students)
- Manikin wipes - to disinfect the mouthpieces after use
- Bandages - to demonstrate how to dress wounds
- Tourniquet/haemostatic dressings - to demonstrate how to control serious bleeding wounds
- EpiPen trainer - to demonstrate how to use an EpiPen in an anaphylactic emergency - Choking vest trainer - to demonstrate how to do the Heimlich manoeuvre safely - Disposable gloves

What insurance do I need as a first aid trainer?

First aid trainers need to take out public liability insurance. This will protect you in the event that a member of the public accuses you of causing personal injury or property damage. It’s also a good idea to take out professional indemnity insurance. Professional indemnity insurance covers you if a class member accuses you of making a teaching mistake that leads to an injury. Here at Markel Direct, we offer specialist first aid trainer insurance that can be tailored to cover you in both of these respects.

Business insurance from £5 a month