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** NOTE: Training for this course is available for delivery via a blended Online / Face to Face (F2F) model. Call to check for funding eligibility**


What is first-aid? First aid is the immediate care that is administered to someone who is ill or injured. The goal is to stop the condition from getting worse and to save life until professional emergency medical services arrive. CPR (short for cardiopulmonary resuscitation)  is a first-aid technique that is used when someone’s heart has stopped or they are not breathing properly.


WHS laws can require that your business provide certain kits, facilities and staff training in order to prepare for potentially life-threatening illnesses or injuries.


Here’s a summary what you need to know about the legal requirements of first aid at work.


First Aid Training in the Workplace in Canberra – why do you need it?


First aid in the workplace is the first aid plan that an organisation has put in place to prepare for workplace accidents. The latest SafeWork Australia model Code of Practice from 2019 (click here to download): First Aid in the Workplace and the Australian Resuscitation Council recommend that first aid skills are renewed every three years, and resuscitation skills (HLTAID009/HLTAID015) are renewed every 12 months.


No matter what size or industry a business is in, it should have at least a basic first-aid kit. These kits usually contain bandages and tweezers as well as pain relievers. They also include antiseptic wipes, cold packs, gauze and tweezers.


For larger operations, a dedicated facility may be required. These facilities can include stretchers and upright chairs as well as couches and storage compartments.


If the location is large or has multiple floors, it may be necessary to have multiple facilities and additional staff that are trained in first aid.


What is the format of our First Aid Courses?


Training for the theory is conducted online for both HLTAID011 Provide First Aid Course and/or HLTAID009 CPR Training via the AlertForce Learning Management System. The length of time the training takes to complete depends upon your previous knowledge and skills. The online training tests you for your knowledge and you are required to get a score of 80% or more to successfully complete the course modules. Once that training is completed, you print off a Certificate of Completion (Verification Certificate) and you are then required to attend a practical training session at our Mitchell Training Facility for our assessor to assess your skills. Once you are deemed competent, AlertForce issue you with a Statement of Attainment which is used as your evidence that you have successfully completed the course.


Is there funding available for First Aid Training?


Funding for ACT workers is available providing they meet certain TFA (Training Fund Authority) eligibility requirements. HLTAID011 Provide first aid is $195 but comes down to $45 for approved participants. Theory training is done online prior to your practical training session. You need to bring evidence that you have completed your theory training by bringing in your Certificate of completion that you are able to download once you have completed the training online. 


For HLTAID009 Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation the full price is $95 but this also comes down to $45. The same price applies for the Annual Refresher. Again you need to bring evidence that you have completed your theory training by bringing in your Certificate of completion that you are able to download once you have completed the training online. 


What does the law say about First Aid?


According to the Work Health Safety laws, under WHS regulation 42, employers have a legal Duty to provide first aid as well as maintain a reasonably safe working environment. Employers must always put the health and safety for every worker first.


In a nutshell, first aid kit requirements are incorporated into the duty of care principles that an employer/PCBU must follow.


The WHS laws also require employers to provide access to first-aid equipment and facilities for workers. Businesses must also provide access to first aiders who are appropriately trained.


The Model Code of Practice for First Aid in the Workplace provides practical guidelines to help businesses comply with the Code.


The code of conduct outlines the first aid requirements of an organisation and its recommendations. This includes ensuring that practical risk assessments are conducted, equipment is readily available and suitable, and that first aid officers are identified.


The guidelines provide two options to comply with safety regulations. Employers can use either the ‘prescribed’ approach or a ‘risk assessment’ approach.


The main difference between the two options is the way businesses determine their various duties under the WHS Act. Employers who use the prescribed approach follow detailed recommendations based upon the size of their workforce and type of work. The risk assessment approach allows businesses to complete their own assessments, and implement their own controls that best suit their business.


Prescribed Approach


The prescribed approach includes specific guidelines. It begins with the categorisation and classification of low-risk and higher-risk workplaces.


Employers should also consider the size and composition of their workforce. The prescribed approach makes a series recommendations based on these two criteria. The recommendations include the required number of first aid officers, first aid kits, and facilities.


The code of practice recommends that in a location where there is a low risk of injury, one kit should be provided for every 10-50 employees. The company should provide an additional kit for each 50 employees, up to a maximum of 200 workers. After 200 employees, they should provide another kit for every hundred workers.


First aid kits are required in higher-risk areas. Some industries require first aid training modules that address injuries more likely to occur. Workers who are exposed to chemicals, for example, may require specialised equipment if a chemical incident occurs.


Risk Assessment Approach


Businesses must complete their own risk assessments to determine whether they need emergency aid equipment, facilities and first aiders. The assessment includes a detailed examination of the following factors.


  • The type of work performed;
  • The potential hazards
  • The size and location of the building;
  • The number of workers.


Employers must determine their own first-aid requirements based on the above information. Employers can choose the location of the aid facilities and the required number of kits.


Employers must keep records of all treatments given to workers, regardless if they use the prescribed approach or the risk assessment method. The officer will complete a first-aid incident report after an emergency.


What is the role of first aid officers?


A first aid officer (or designated worker) is a person who has received the necessary training in first aid. Officers must earn a certificate of achievement from a nationally recognised registered training organisation (RTO).


The code of conduct recommends that businesses larger than a certain size hire first aid officers. It also categorises companies based on the inherent risk of their job duties.


Banks, offices, libraries and retail shops are all low-risk workplaces. Businesses with fewer than ten workers are not required to have a first aid officer in these industries. SafeWork Australia recommends that larger businesses:


  • One for companies with 10 to 50 employees;
  • Two for 51-100 workers;
  • For every 100 additional workers, an additional officer is required.


Construction sites, hazardous materials plants and mines are all high-risk workplaces. The risk of injury is higher for workers who are at risk of electric injuries, falls, spinal cord injuries, or serious lacerations. The recommendations include:


  • One for each of the first 25 employees;
  • Two for 26 to fifty workers;
  • For every 50 additional workers, one additional officer is required.


Workers must earn a senior first aid certificate to meet the minimum training requirements. In higher-risk environments, officers may be required to complete advanced training in first aid.


First Aid Course Canberra


Before enrolling in any training program, workers must ensure that the training organisation is registered. AlertForce is one example. RTOs offer online and in-person courses.


First Aid Training includes instructions on how to deal with a variety of emergency situations. During the training you can reenact and simulate first aid for issues such as:

  • CPR;
  • Shock;
  • Bleeding;
  • Poison;
  • Bites;
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Extreme temperatures


The risks are often dependent on the workplace. Office workers are less prone to suffer a serious injury at work than a miner.




Summary: Every employer must provide a safe working environment for their employees. This requirement applies to a wide range of businesses, from retail, professional services and construction, to the ‘higher risk’ industries such as mining and retail.


Retail shops and offices are low-risk locations that may only need a basic kit of emergency supplies. A first aider is required for 10 or more employees. Some businesses require specialised facilities to treat injuries or illnesses.


Consider the size of your workplace and the nature of the work you do, and then choose between the two approaches.

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