Recent Changes to Occupational First Aid (OFA)
What were the main changes to OFA on 31st October 2016?
The HSA ceased the operations of the Occupational First Aid Assessment Agent (OFAAA) on 31st October 2016. This means instructors could no longer go to OFAAA for assessment and that the OFAAA website was no longer in operation.
From 1st November 2016 to 31st May 2018, the HSA recognised both the QQI OFA Level 5 5N1207 and the PHECC FAR (first aid response) learner standards as meeting the needs of OFA training in workplaces.
What changed on 1st June 2018?
As and from 1st June 2018, the HSA only recognises PHECC FAR as meeting the needs of OFA in workplaces. This means that learners who undergo training from 1st June 2018 must complete a PHECC FAR full or refresher course.
However any QQI OFA training which took place prior to 31st May 2018 will be recognised for the full 2 year duration from the date of training.
What do the changes mean for existing OFA instructors?
Existing instructors if they have not already done so, should become familiar with the PHECC FAR standard and instructor requirements. They should then apply to a PHECC FAR Instructor recognised institution (RI) to become a FAR instructor by recognition of prior learning (RPL).
What do the changes mean for those wishing to become instructors for the first time?
Those wishing to become FAR instructors should visit the PHECC website and become familiar with the FAR standard and requirements to become a FAR instructor. They should then apply to a PHECC FAR Instructor recognised institution (RI) to become a FAR instructor.
What do the changes mean for learners?
The HSA recognised both the QQI OFA and PHECC FAR learner standards up to 31st May 2018.
Any learner who completed a QQI OFA full or refresher course up to 31st May 2018 will be recognised by the HSA as an occupational first aider for the full 2 year duration of their certificate.
From 1st June 2018, learners should only complete a PHECC FAR full or refresher course in order to be recognised by the HSA as an occupational first aider.