Is it possible to organize First Aid training during corona times? This is a question being asked in many companies. The FPS ELSD (Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue) has proposed a number of adjustments and guidelines related to this.
As long as the mandatory teleworking measure remains in force, the theoretical portion of the training should in principle be given remotely (e.g. via Teams) or by means of e-learning. Placing a Power Point presentation online is not equivalent to e-learning. The FPS ELSD advices that the document which serves as proof of completion of the training states that the training was completed entirely remotely.
At least some of the practical lessons must be carried out in the physical presence of the trainees. The following options apply to this:
If the teleworking principle is mandatory, it is recommended to postpone the practical portion of the training which requires the physical presence of the trainees.
It is possible to give the theoretical portion via Teams, Skype etc. and to split the practical portion of the training into one part which is given remotely (1 hour – not via e-learning) and one part which is given in the physical presence of the trainees (1 hour). The physical, practical lesson then focuses on what is strictly necessary (e.g. CPR). This option is primarily intended for employees who must be physically present during the period of mandatory telework. It is best if the certificate of completion states that the training was given in the limited, physical presence of the trainees.
As soon as telework is no longer compulsory, training can be given with the physical presence of the trainees. This should also be stated on the training completion certificate.
If the practical lessons are to be carried out in (the partial) physical presence of the trainees, then the necessary measures must be taken (social distancing, mandatory mask requirements, hygiene, ventilation etc.). The logical extension of this, of course, is that direct manipulations may not be carried out by the trainees on each other. Organizational measures should also be taken (number of participants, circulation plan etc.). For this purpose, the FPS ELSD refers to the generic guide for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 at work.
In the event that all the corona measures are lifted, the next First Aid training that is given must focus maximally on the practical exercises which were not or could not be performed remotely.
3. Additional COVID-19 module
During the pandemic period, it is appropriate to add an extra module to the First Aid training that covers the risks of COVID-19 and the measures that the emergency responder must respect when providing First Aid to a victim.
4. First Aid basic training
The FPS ELSD asks the training authorities to explicitly state the following on the certificate for the First Aid basic training:
“This basic training course was given during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic and excluded direct manipulations”.
In this way, the organizer of the annual training knows that all practical exercises must be repeated during the training.
If you have any questions about this or you would like help organizing a First Aid training course, please don’t hesitate to contact us.