First Aid Industry Reference Committee recommendations in regard to delivery of First Aid training impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
Over the past few weeks, many training providers have contacted us asking for advice on continued training activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, we have been unable to provide any advice on this matter. on Wednesday 25th March, the following information was distributed to RTOs by SkillsIQ on behalf of the First Aid Industry Reference Committee, of which NIFAT is represented.
Many RTOs have raised concerns about the ongoing delivery of First Aid training during COVID-19. RTOs must comply with State and Federal Health Authority directions. RTOs should perform a risk assessment, when deciding whether or not to continue to provide First Aid training, taking into account the following:
- State, Territory and Federal Health Authorities advice (www.health.gov.au)
- The Australian Resuscitation Council’s recommendations and guidelines (www.resus.org.au)
- SafeWork Australia’s advice (www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au)
- ASQA’s advice (www.asqa.gov.au).
Specific concerns have also been raised about the transmission of the virus while performing ventilations on mannikins. The potential for transmission of the virus is significantly reduced if proper infection control procedures are followed, which involves excluding anyone who shows symptoms of the virus. The Assessment Requirements are clearly stated, and the performance of compressions and breaths must be demonstrated on a mannikin in order to make a determination of competency. It cannot be a demonstration of compressions only.
A reasonable adjustment may apply where a student states they will not put their mouth on the mannikin during breaths (even with a barrier device in place), in which case the student is required to demonstrate all aspects of giving breaths (i.e. head tilt and blowing to the side of the mannikin) while not actually blowing into the mouth of the mannikin. This reasonable adjustment is to only apply at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic and only if the student requests exemption (i.e. on an exception basis only).
Further information may be found as follows:
- The First Aid Companion Volume on page 11 clearly states that reasonable adjustment can be made to the assessment procedures, and RTO’s should ensure that ‘the integrity of the Unit of Competency and/or qualification is upheld’.
- In the case of ventilations used while performing CPR, the ARC guidelines found at ANZCOR Guideline 5 – Breathing are specific in the need to provide ventilations as well as the control of transmissible diseases during CPR.
- RTOs should comply with the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare (2019) and support the use of resuscitation barriers and other PPEs as required.
Should you require further information please don’t hesitate to contact SkillsIQ for further advice.