In the previous statement of 1st June 2017, the HSA announced its intention that as and from 1st September 2017, it would only recognise the PHECC FAR standard as meeting the needs of occupational first aid (OFA) in workplaces.
Considerable progress for the transition has been achieved over the past 10 months. There is a substantial number of new FAR instructors, made up of existing OFA instructors who transitioned to FAR status by means of recognition of prior learning (RPL) and successful candidates who completed the FAR instructor course. Twenty nine PHECC Recognised Institutions (RIs) are approved to deliver FAR, including 11 at FAR instructor level. PHECC is continuing to process applications for RI status and FAR course(s) approval.
Employer groups and other stakeholders have expressed concerns to the HSA and PHECC about aspects of the FAR Education and Training Standard, when compared to Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) 5N1207 Occupational First Aid standard. The HSA has been informed by PHECC that its governance procedures regarding education and standards matters have prioritised the review of FAR for 2017.
Taking account of these concerns, the HSA has agreed that dual recognition of QQI 5N1207 and PHECC FAR will continue for a further period of 4 months, up to 31st December 2017. Thereafter the HSA will only recognise PHECC FAR.