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First Aid extension

British Orienteering wants to reassure members who may have concerns about licensing, returning to coaching and instructing when the current restrictions are lifted.

We recognise that these are extraordinary circumstances and it is important that you know that British Orienteering will work with each of you to make sure that you can continue to deliver great sessions and competitions. We value your continuing support and we will support you.

Due to the current Covid-19 lockdown in the UK, we have made some temporary changes to what is required to become or remain a licensed coach or be the recognised First Aider at an event.

Can I do a first aid course?

The answer is still technically ‘Yes,’ where circumstances allow. Theoretically, a private course could still be run with mitigation measures in place if there was a specific and critical need. The continuing ability to provide essential training such as first aid is seen as a priority by government agencies such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

First aid providers have resumed first aid training and assessment. If your first aid qualification is out of date, it is our advice to book onto a course as soon as possible. Although practical training is recommended to be assessed face to face, British Orienteering supports online refresher training.

However, we are aware that due to periods of lockdown, there remains a backlog or limited availability.

HSE Guidance

First Aiders should take account of the specific guidance on giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from the Resuscitation Council UK.

If first aiders are unable to access annual refresher training face to face during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, HSE supports the use of online refresher training to keep their skills up to date.

HSE still strongly recommends that the practical elements of actual First Aid at Work (FAW) , Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) and requalification courses are delivered face-to-face, so that competency of the student can be properly assessed.

First aid certificate extensions

First Aid at Work (FAW) and Emergency First aid at Work (EFAW) certificates requalification

FAW or EFAW certificates that expired after 16 March 2020 can remain valid until 31 October 2020 or six months from date of expiry, whichever is later. All requalification training for these certificates should be completed by 31 March 2021 (next review date by HSE is 29 January 2021).

For those with the Outdoor First Aid certificate, British Orienteering will also apply the same timelines outlined above.

Licensed Coaches

If your First Aid Certificate has expired on or after 16 March 2020, you will be insured to continue to deliver coaching activities until 31 March 2021 providing you have completed the Educare online module – see below or similar programme approved by British Orienteering.

First Aid at Competitions

When the restrictions are lifted and competitions allowed, First Aid certificates that have expired on or after 16 March 2020 will remain valid until 31 March 2021 providing you have completed the Educare online module – see below or similar programme approved by British Orienteering.

It is important for clubs to note that when organising an orienteering activity/event, club officials are confident that they can provide appropriate first aid coverage and designated First Aiders work within their most recent level of qualification.

Educare online First Aid module

British Orienteering is able to provide an online first aid module for British Orienteering licensed coaches whose first aid certificate has expire since 16 March 2020 plus one other member per club, whose first aid expired after 16 March 2020 and has been unable to secure a place on a course line with HSE requirements. On completion, this module would only provide an extension to 31 March 2021 subject to further review.

There are limited places available, to secure one, contact Peter Brooke on


The position is obviously fluid and we will further amend these guidelines as and when required. However, they represent the minimum position, licensing requirements will not become more onerous when lockdown restrictions ease.

This document will be reviewed following the next HSE review which is due on 29 January 2021.

For further details and additional guidance for the safety of the First Aider at an event, please read the document below. 


First Aid update