Occupational First Aid transition to First Aid Response

PHECC and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have been working together to examine the future of occupational first aid training (OFA) in Ireland. Currently the HSA recognises the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) OFA Level 5N1207 training standard for meeting the needs of OFA. It has recently been agreed between PHECC and the HSA that the PHECC First Aid Response (FAR) Education and Training Standard (introduced in 2014) will replace the current OFA Level 5N1207 course as the established standard for OFA training.

This will be a gradual process of withdrawing the QQI OFA over a defined timeframe, soon to be finalised between the organisations. PHECC has met with HSA representatives to identify key issues and plan the introduction and implementation of this transition. This collaboration has also included recent meetings and communication with the Occupational First Aid Assessment Agency*. 

 To inform the establishment of the PHECC/HSA project plan for the OFA to FAR transition we have undertaken the following activities:
  • establishment of a working group between the two statutory agencies with terms of reference
  • a mapping exercise between our FAR standards and the OFA standards for provider and instructor courses
  • engagement with our respective stakeholders (such as the Department of Health, QQI, PHECC Recognised Institutions (RIs) and OFA training providers) to ascertain their view
  • consideration of current quality assurance and monitoring processes and mechanisms within PHECC and HSA for FAR and OFA courses. An example is PHECC’s Quality Review Framework for RIs.

We are currently drafting detailed FAQs and information resources regarding this project to share with providers, RIs and instructors. Timelines, steps involved and key milestones will be addressed in this communication. We encourage you to check our website regularly for updates. 

*Occupational First Aid Assessment Agency is appointed by the HSA to assess and maintain a register of OFA training providers and facilitate learners receiving their QQI OFA certificate. At present the existing system as run by OFAAA remains in place and remains so for the foreseeable future.