Thank you to Bradley for submitting the following question:

Is there required formal training for the use of an AED?

Reply by Andy Panes – NIFAT General Manager

Hi Bradley, thank you for your question.

Students undertaking any of the following units will receive training and assessment in the use of an AED. HLTAID001 – HLTAID007. There are also a number of short courses in Automated External Defibrillation.

As to whether you need any formal training to use an AED in an emergency, I have copied and pasted an extract from ARC Guideline 7 ‘Automated External Defibrillation (AED) in Basic Life Support (BLS)’

AED use should not be restricted to trained personnel. Allowing the use of AEDs by individuals without prior formal training can be beneficial and may be life saving. Since even brief training improves performance, (e.g. speed of use, correct pad placement) it is recommended that training in the use of AEDs (as a part of BLS) be provided. 2 [Class A;LOE II, III-1, III-2, IV, extrapolated evidence]

The use of AEDs by trained lay and professional responders is recommended to increase survival rates in victims with cardiac arrest. 2 Implementation of AED programs in public settings should be based on evidence of effectiveness in similar settings. Because population (e.g. rates of witnessed arrest) and program (e.g. response time) characteristics affect survival, when implementing an AED program, community and program leaders should consider factors such as location, development of a team with a responsibility for monitoring and maintaining the devices, training and retraining programs for those who are likely to use the AED, coordination with the local Emergency Services, and identification of a group of
paid or volunteer individuals who are committed to using the AED for victims of arrest.2 [Class A; LOE I, II, III-1, III-2, III-3, IV]

I hope this provides some clarification.

If you have any further queries please let me know.