Thank you to Brad for submitting the following question:

‘I have had a couple of trainers assessing adult CPR while the manikin was on a desk top. Is this acceptable and is there documentation stating where it should be done for assessment?’


Response by Andy Panes – General Manager (NIFAT)

Hi Brad, thank you for your question.

I will base the response on HLTAID001 (release 5, 06 Aug 2015) , which is duplicated in HLTAID002, HLTAID003, HLTAID004, HLTAID005, HLTAID006, HLTAID007

Bullet point one in the performance evidence of the unit states the following,

Followed DRSABCD in line with ARC guidelines, including:

  • performed at least 2 minutes of uninterrupted single rescuer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) (5 cycles of both compressions and ventilations) on an adult resuscitation manikin placed on the floor

This is a clear definition of how the assessment must be conducted – ‘on the floor’. Due to this specific requirement it would not be reasonable to conduct the assessment on a desk top or any other raised surface. 

Further information is contained in the First Aid Guide (Companion Volume Release 1.3 January 2015) I have copied the relevant section below.

It is important to note that the HLTAID competency standards do require a level of physical ability to meet the evidence requirements for assessment. These standards relate to the level of performance required to provide resuscitation and respond to an emergency situation where there may be risk to life. Due to the potential risk to health and safety where a nominated first aider, or worker with duty of care, does not have the ability to perform resuscitation and/or first aid to the performance standard it is not appropriate to issue a statement of attainment to students who are physically unable to meet the assessment requirements.

In cases where a student has attended a resuscitation or first aid course but is unable to meet the full requirements of the competency, an RTO may wish to provide that student with a certificate of attendance, or similar, as an indication of their participation in the course.

Using reasonable adjustment as a defense for allowing a learner to demonstrate CPR on a raised surface would not be appropriate as it does not uphold the integrity of the unit.


At the time of writing, adult CPR must be demonstrated on the floor for a period of two minutes.