When deciding on a First Aid course, you need to know what you want to learn and why you want to get certified. Are you trying to get work certified, are you trying to refresh your CPR, or are you working with (or going to be working with) children in childcare? Asking these questions will help you decide what course will benefit you the most. To find the right training, you have to know what they cover.   

Standard First Aid training

Starting with basic first aid, the course with the widest variety of assistance is called Provide First Aid. Every course has a code so that it can be identified and certified by the government; the course code for the Provide First Aid course is HLTAID011. This course includes training in:

  • Determining how and when someone needs first aid 
  • How to get consent from the casualty when at all possible 
  • Treating bleeds 
  • Managing anaphylaxis and asthma attacks 
  • How to bandage injuries
  • How to help with choking 
  • How to deal with shock 
  • Helping people who have had or are having a seizure 
  • CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) 
  • How to use or work a defibrillator (or an AED)
  • Burn treatment 
  • Wound treatment 
  • How to convey information to emergency services 
  • How to fill out an incident report 
  • How to identify psychological impacts on self and other rescuers and when help is needed.

This course is the standard for workplace first aid certification. This means that when employers ask you if you have first aid training, this is normally what they’re talking about. It’s important to know what options for courses you have available to you. Fortunately, organisations like First Aid Course Experts and First Aid Pro run training nationally, so there’s generally options available in your area to get qualified and work-ready - or to refresh your training.

It should also be noted that, like most first aid training, this course needs to be refreshed every three years - so make sure you stay up to date!

CPR Training

Another kind, of course, is CPR. This training is called Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation and has the course code HLTAID009. This course covers CPR, and it focuses on the guidelines of the Australian Resuscitation Council (or ARC); these are what keeps the course at government standard. When training in CPR, to be officially certified you must understand and show you have a working knowledge of:

  • The risks of doing CPR 
  • Compression timing
  • Defibrillation or how to use an AED

You should note that CPR certifications only last a year, even if it’s included as part of another certification which is valid for longer (such as the Provide First Aid course). So it is important to book yourself into a refresher for CPR training once a year. It’s a good thing to put it in the calendar so you remember.

First Aid for teachers and childcare workers

The next course that could be useful is called Provide First Aid in an education and care setting, also known by the course code HLTAID012. This training focuses on treating and caring for young children if they need first aid. This type of training is mandatory for anyone who works one-on-one with young children on regular bases. This training includes:

  • Performing CPR on a smaller body 
  • Conveying information to emergency services and parents or guardians
  • Reporting details to appropriate workplace or site procedures
  • How to treat asthma or anaphylaxis in children 
  • How to stop choking in infants or young children 
  • How to treat burns 
  • How to bandage injuries
  • Management of seizures
  • Managing eye infections  
  • Dealing with injuries like fractures, dislocations, sprains and strains
  • Treating heat exhaustion or heat stock  
  • Treating panic attacks 
  • How to communicate and calm the child in the emergency
  • How to calmly explain the situation to the child   

When working with or treating young children, it is important to remember that they are often quite emotional about their medical needs, so try to calm them and inform them about your actions before and as you treat them.

It’s worth knowing this course needs to be updated every three years to remain valid. This certification must be current for anyone working in childcare, so you’ll need to book into a refresher course before your certification reaches its end date.

Choose the right course for you

When choosing a First Aid course, you need to start with what you want to be qualified for, so you make your choice to suit that criteria. Courses vary in the specifics of what they cover, so check the course information on your trainer’s website before choosing a course. Remember to check what you need to complete the course, and when your certificate will need to be refreshed, to get the most out of your training.