Update on PHECC Responder level certification (24 February 2022)

PHECC is the statutory regulator responsible for developing education and training standards for a suite of responder level courses such as First Aid Response (FAR) and Emergency First Response (EFR). Recognised Institutions (RIs) and Approved Training Institutions (ATIs) are authorised by PHECC to deliver, examine and issue joint PHECC/institution course completion certificates to successful students.
PHECC has never approved or authorised RIs/ATIs to open during the various stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.  This decision rests solely with the RIs/ATIs based on their risk assessment and ability to comply with current government advice and public health restrictions. The requirement to hold FAR certification does not originate from PHECC, it comes from the HSA, Tusla and other institutions.

In March 2020, considering the challenges on training during the ongoing pandemic and public health restrictions, Council permitted an extension of the defined ‘grace period’ for a person seeking to recertify on a PHECC responder course. Council never extended the expiry date on responder certificates, but rather extended the grace period, on an interim basis, to allow individuals recertify (colloquially known as ‘refresher’ training) by undertaking the shorter re-certification course.
During 2021 Council reconsidered and updated this arrangement based on the evolving government advice and public health restrictions. The updates were all published on the PHECC website, and all institutions were notified by email.
On the 24 February 2022, Council agreed to discontinue the interim arrangement for responder recertification from the end of 2022, subject to public health guidance at that time. For clarity, from the start of 2023 the following arrangement shall apply to all ATIs and RIs. It will apply to all responder level courses.
The institution may allow a short grace period if a person’s responder certificate has lapsed, and they are seeking recertification.  This grace period should be restricted to extenuating circumstances and be considered on a case-by-case basis.  This decision rests with the institution’s course director. PHECC considers a maximum of 30 days to be an appropriate grace period.
Failure to recertify within the 30-day grace period means that a person must undertake a full duration certification course.