First aid training during COVID-19

Information about changes to first aid training during Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

In light of COVID-19 related restrictions. The Australian Skills Quality Authority has released advice for training providers to consider adapting practices. These are including changing delivery modes, re-sequencing delivery of units or components of units. And delaying workplace practical assessments.

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.

These are much more challenging. In the first instance.

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. Also, detail any outstanding requirements of the course. They must complete in order to obtain the qualification.

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’).

The industry standard is that first aid qualifications, anaphylaxis management training. And emergency asthma management training should be renewed every three years. 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, anaphylaxis management training and emergency asthma management 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.  Particularly those applications supported by evidence. of having actively sought training opportunities and/or completed the theoretical aspects of the training.

Statement on the delivery of First Aid Training: Updated advice from the Australian Industry and Skills Committee
  • RTOs that are delivering cardiopulmonary resuscitation within the associated First Aid units must ensure a risk assessment is completed before delivery. They must comply with State and Territory Health requirements and any local restrictions as advised.
  • In areas where no local transmission of COVID-19 has been reported, RTO’s who wish to resume training and assessing breaths directly into a manikin may do so.
  • RTOs must follow all manufacturer’s instructions regarding the cleaning and infection control processes, including any specific guidance on their use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In local areas where community transmission of COVID-19 has been reported, or where an area has been declared a hot spot, RTOs are permitted to continue providing reasonable adjustment during the CPR assessment process and have students perform breaths to the side of the manikin.
    • Assessors are to use their professional judgement in assessing the competence of a student’s capacity to perform CPR under these circumstances.
    • RTOs must still assess students against all other aspects of CPR as per the unit of competency requirements set out in the HLT Training Package.
    • All other Assessment Requirements, including the Assessment Conditions, must also be met.
  • RTOs who decide to resume training and assessing breaths directly into a manikin must allow reasonable adjustment. This is outlined above, for students who choose not to provide breaths directly into a manikin because of concerns about COVID-19
RTO’s should consider: 
  • State, Territory and Federal Health authority’s advice (
  • Australian Resuscitation Council’s recommendations and guidelines (
  • Safe Work Australia advice (
  • Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 (
  • These flexibility provisions will be reassessed, and further advice provided pending the COVID-19 vaccination roll out.
Other Industry regulators
  • If an RTO advertises and delivers a training product to lead to an occupational or licensed outcome with an industry regulator, the RTO must ensure that delivering with these adaptive measures will continue to enable a student to meet industry regulatory requirements.
  • RTOs should also contact industry regulators, where appropriate, regarding any additional changes to their requirements around first aid training during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Further information may be found as follows:

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