HSA Statement regarding the Transition from OFA to FAR and what this means for First Aiders.
Following the most recent Statement from the Health & Safety Authority regarding the transition from OFA to First Aid Response (FAR) with the September 1st deadline, this obviously has implications going forward for all existing First Aiders and workplaces.
What this means is that :
  • The QQI OFA Cert will no longer be recognized by the HSA  as meeting the needs of Workplace First Aid after Sept 1st 2017
  • All future courses from Sept 1st must have FAR and not OFA delivered.  
  • People who currently hold a QQI / OFA Cert will have to transition over to the new FAR Award when their Cert is up for renewal.  
  • Anyone who has recently completed an OFA Refresher Programme or does so before Sept 1st will be recognized until their Cert is up for renewal in 2 years time but must then transition across to the FAR Standard. 
  • The old system of a Trainer providing OFA and submitting to OFAAA for Certification through QQI will no longer be an option.
  • All existing OFA Instructors must transition across to train as FAR Instructors, and will only be able to offer Certification if they have become affiliated with an existing Pre Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) Registered institution.  
  • The new FAR Standard is not currently on the National Framework of Qualifications and PHECC have no plans to do so. 
  • It is expected that the existing QQI L5 Award in OFA will be removed from the system once the demand reduces for it. 
  • All FAR holders will need to re-Certify every 2 years like before with OFA but will in future need to attend a 2 Day Refresher Course as opposed to 1 Day for OFA, and all refresher Certs will be issued by PHECC not by the Training Provider. 
We in Maltings Training have been involved in the provision of First Aid Programmes and Emergency Care since 2001 and continue to do so both privately and with a number of ETB’s Nationwide. We currently provide both Cardiac First Response (CFR) and the New First Aid Responder (FAR) Programme
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