Taking first aid training courses and certification in Australia can be very beneficial both personally and professionally. Employers are always on the lookout for someone who can bring additional skills and qualifications to the table! However, given the sheer variety of available courses, it can be difficult to narrow down which ones a person should or might want to take. Below, we break down some of the most common first aid training courses available and outline who they’re for. This way, you can make an informed choice before signing up.

First aid training

Level 1 First Aid Training

In Australia, Level 1 First Aid is also known as Provide CPR or Provide Basic Emergency Life Support. It is a comprehensive introduction to emergency response and provides a vital foundation of skills for individuals who have no prior knowledge or experience in administering first aid. During a typical course, students can expect to learn how to identify and respond to respiratory or cardiac emergencies or an unconscious person, manage their airway, and perform unassisted and assisted cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and artificial respiration to an infant, child, or adult. It also covers how to manage bleeding, shock, and anaphylaxis.

To qualify for the course, you must be at least 14 years old and able to successfully complete a short questionnaire. After successful completion, you will be awarded HLTAID001 certification, which is valid for 12 months.

Level 2 First Aid Training

Level 2 First Aid is also known as Provide First Aid Including CPR, Senior First Aid, or Level 2 Workplace First Aid. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to complete a Level 1 First Aid Training Course before signing up for Level 2. A Level 2 course usually integrates everything an individual could learn from Level 1 and adds skills such as properly operating an automated external defibrillator (AED), identifying head and spinal injuries and using immobilization techniques to prevent further injury, and treatment of common soft tissue injuries such as dislocations, fractures, sprains and strains, among others.

The qualifications to enter a Level 2 First Aid Training Course are the same as with Level 1. After successfully completing the course, you will receive Statements of Attainment for HLTAID001, HLTAID002, and HLTAID003. Many workplaces require a portion of their workforce to successfully complete Level 2 First Aid Training Courses in compliance with work health and safety laws. Certificates are valid for 36 months after the course has been completed.

Express Training

An HLTAID001 or HLTAID003 express training course is a refresher program for individuals who already possess the aforementioned certifications and are due for renewal. During these courses, they will reacquaint themselves with all of the knowledge and skills they gained while attaining HLTAID001 or HLTAID003 qualifications in a shortened format.

After successfully completing the course, a student will receive a Statement of Attainment for HLTAID001 that is valid for 12 months, or for HLTAID003 that is valid for 36 months. Those who do not currently possess Statements of Attainment for these certifications cannot enrol into express training courses.

There are also first aid training courses specific to certain settings and situations such as childcare or education, remote areas or wilderness, initial management of injuries incurred during sports, and many more. While general first aid training courses can teach you the necessary fundamentals, it is always in your best interest to sign up for the ones that are relevant to your situation, career path, or aspirations.

Some first aid training courses do not award you with nationally-recognized qualifications, but the skills you learn in them could still prove useful in a home or community setting. Learning how to administer first aid could be one of the best decisions you make in your life.

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