FAQ’s Training

I am an employer, what are my obligations regarding first aiders and COVID-19 in relation to returning to work?

On 9th May of this year, the government, in conjunction with Health and Safety Authority (HSA), the Health Services Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation published a “Return to Work Safely Protocol”. This protocol guides employers to help safeguard their workers when returning to the workplace. 

This protocol advises:

Workers with a specific role in acting as first responders should be provided with updated training on infection prevention and control principles including performance of hand hygiene and appropriate use of personal protective equipment when delivering first aid

In light of this protocol and the ongoing pandemic, St John Ambulance Ireland has developed a 1.5-hour online instructor-led course that will equip first aiders with the up-to-date information and procedures on Covid-19 for first aiders.

Further details on this course can be found on our courses page by clicking the link https://www.stjohn.ie/first-aid-courses/firstaidcovid-19-2/

I am a first aider, how do I treat or manage someone with COVID-19?

In light of COVID-19, St John Ambulance Ireland has developed a 1.5-hour online upskilling course. This course is instructor-led and will equip first aiders with the up to date information and procedures on Covid-19 for first aiders. Further information on this course can be found on our courses page https://www.stjohn.ie/first-aid-courses/firstaidcovid-19-2/

What training do you offer?

We offer training in first aid, manual handling and fire safety.

What kind of first aid courses do you offer?

We run first aid courses developed by St John Ambulance:

  • 1-day Emergency First Aid
  • 4 hour Baby & Toddler course

We also run first aid courses that were developed by the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC):

  • 4 hour Cardiac First Response Community (CFR-C)
  • 3-day First Aid Response (FAR) – replaced the OFA course
  • 2-day First Aid Response-Refresher – (FAR-R)

Do any of your first aid courses include CPR and AED training?

All of our first aid courses teach CPR and AED training with the exception of our Baby & Toddler course which teaches CPR only.

I am an employer, which first aid course is appropriate for my workplace?

The specific requirements for first aid provision at work depends on several factors including:

  • Size of the workplace
  • Numbers employed
  • Potential hazards
  • Type of work involved   e.g. office vs. construction
  • Location of the workplace
  • Distance and how long from the medical services e.g. in a city beside a hospital or 50 miles from the nearest hospital etc.

These factors are generally considered when forming the risk assessment section of your Safety statement. It is up to the employer to determine which first aid course is most appropriate based on the risk assessment conducted. The Health & Safety Authority offers guidance on the recommended number of occupational first aiders required for different types of workplaces. This can be found on the Health & Safety Authority website.

How many of my employees are required to or should have a first aid qualification?

Again, this will be assessed in your risk assessment.

What is the difference between the First Aid Response course and the Occupational First Aid course?

The FAR course replaces and improves on the OFA course and it is the recognised standard meeting the requirements of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 (S.I.No. 299 of 2007).

If I have an occupational first aid certificate, can I do a FAR-R Course?

Yes, if you have a valid OFA cert you can complete the FAR-R course.

What happens if my FAR cert is out of date?

Refresher training should be completed on/before the expiry date of your previous certificate. A grace period of 30 days applies only in exceptional circumstances.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, PHECC (Pre-hospital Emergency Care Council), has allowed a short grace period to allow people to re-certify.  If your First Aid Response (FAR) certificate expired on or after the 1st March 2020 you will have until the 31st October 2020 to complete a FAR-refresher course. If you do not complete a FAR-refresher course by the 31st October 2020 you will need to complete the 3-day FAR course in order to hold a FAR certificate.

How long is First Aid Response Refresher course?

The PHECC FAR refresher course is 12 hours of instruction & assessments over 2 days

I have limited time, can I do the FAR refresher course in 1 day?


Can I attend one of your refresher courses if my previous training was with another provider?

Yes. The 2-Day Refresher course is open to anyone who currently holds a valid Occupational First Aid or First Aid Response Certificate which is due for renewal. Please provide a copy of your certificate at time of booking for validation purposes.

I have done an OFA/FAR course with another provider but do not have my cert, can I attend a FAR-refresher?

We will need to view a copy of your FAR/OFA cert before booking the course. Where you do not have copy of your certificate, please contact the first aid provider and they will be able to email you an electronic copy of the certificate that you can forward to us.

How long is the OFA/FAR cert valid for?

2 years

How long is the FAR-Refresher cert valid for?

2 years

I completed a 3-day occupational course abroad, is that recognised in Ireland?

No, there are no mutual recognition agreements between Ireland and other countries on occupational first aid. Therefore occupational first aid certificates obtained in other countries are not transferable and are not valid in Ireland. In order to be a valid occupational first aider in Ireland, you must do the training in Ireland.

I have a St John certificate from Canada, can this be used for my workplace in Ireland?

Again, there is no mutual recognition agreements between Ireland and other countries on first aid certificates. In order to be a valid first aider in Ireland, you must do the training in Ireland.

Can those under 18 years complete the first aid courses?

Only those over 18 years of age can participate in our public courses. If you have a group under 18s, we can train them separately.

Can I bring my baby / toddler to the Baby & Toddler First Aid course?

No, only adults can attend the course.

Do I need to pay for the course in advance?

Yes, to secure the course booking you need to pay before the course date.We accept payment via paypal or if you don’t have an account we accept credit cards, cheque

Do you offer group discounts?

For most courses we offer discounts if 3 or more people attend a course, please email [email protected]

What is your cancellation policy?

Cancellations made 5 working days or more before the course commencement date will be entitled to a full refund/credit

Cancellations of less than 5 working days may incur the full cost of the course.