Issue 1 - Unpacking the key elements of Regulation 136
First Aid Qualification Requirements
Changes apply to First Aid qualification requirements for all childhood education and care providers from 1 October 2017, following amendments to the Education and Care Services National Law and Regulations.
For centre-based services: the approved provider of a centre-based service must ensure that:
- at least one staff member or one nominated supervisor of the service holds a current approved first aid qualification, and has undertaken current approved anaphylaxis management training and emergency asthma management training
- the staff member or one nominated supervisor must be in attendance and immediately available in an emergency at all times that children are being educated and cared for by the service
- if the staff member or nominated supervisor with first aid qualification is not on the premises or is on leave, another person with a first aid qualification must be in attendance and immediately available in an emergency at all times that children are being educated and cared for by the service
For services on school sites: It is sufficient if one staff member of the school is in attendance at the school site and immediately available in an emergency if they hold a current approved first aid qualification, and have undertaken current approved anaphylaxis management training and emergency asthma management training.
For family day care: The approved provider of a family day care service must ensure that each family day care educator and family day care educator assistant engaged by or registered with the service holds a current approved first aid qualification, and has undertaken current approved anaphylaxis management training and emergency asthma management training.
National Quality Standard Quality Area Two: Children's health and safety
Ensuring that first aid arrangements at your service are up-to-date and comply with the Regulations is an important aspect of safeguarding children’s health and safety, minimising risks and protecting children from harm, injury and infection (Quality Area 2, National Quality Standard).
First Aid courses are a minimum requirement . It is important to remember that most first aid courses are designed for adult emergencies. Services should ensure that course content includes training, discussion and consideration of requirements when managing emergencies with young children.
Definition of ‘current approved’ Qualifications
First aid qualifications must always be up-to-date and not past expiry to comply with Regulation 136.
Your first aid qualification certificate will state the course completion date, and the qualification expiry date. The first aid training provider will also be able to advise you on the requirements for refresher training.
The industry standard is that first aid qualifications should be renewed every three years and refresher training in CPR should be undertaken annually to maintain current status.
A list of approved first aid qualifications, anaphylaxis management training and emergency asthma training is available on the ACECQA website here:
Benefits of the revised First Aid Qualification Requirements
Prior to the change on 1 October 2017, only educators could be responsible for holding the appropriate qualifications and administering aid when required.
The new requirements allow the service more flexibility in its staffing arrangements, without compromising the health and safety of the children in their care, by allowing other staff to be the qualified First Aid certificate holder, including administrative staff.
Providing Evidence of First Aid Training
Services must be able to demonstrate that relevant staff have completed the approved first aid training courses. Evidence of first aid training must relate to, and be appropriate for, children, including:
- emergency life support and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation
- respiratory difficulties
- management of severe bleeding
- injury and basic wound care
- administration of an auto-immune adrenalin device
Evidence of asthma management training must relate to, and be appropriate for, children including:
- asthma symptoms and triggers
- recognizing asthma emergencies
- medication and devices
- asthma first aid
Evidence of anaphylaxis management training must relate to, and is appropriate for, children, including:
- anaphylactic symptom and triggers
- recognition and management of anaphylactic shock reaction
- risk minimization and management strategies for allergic reaction and anaphylaxis
- administration of adrenaline (e.g. Epipen and Anapen) and resuscitation
- first aid management of service allergic reactions and anaphylaxis
First Aid Kits
An appropriate number of first aid kits should be kept at a service and suitably equipped relative to the number of children being educated and cared for (Regulation 89).
First aid kits must be easily recognisable and readily accessible to all staff within the service. Procedures about the administration of first aid to children must be in place at the service (Regulation 168).
Staff should be reminded that first aid kits should be taken when leaving the premises of the service for excursions, regular outings or emergency evacuations.
Services should consider the risks inherent in the service and excursion environment when determining the contents of first aid kits.