Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Questions (137)

Clare Daly


137. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 919 of 16 January 2018, if there is a review by PHECC to resolve the ongoing problems with non-recognised institutions or instructors of first aid training as a result of its prohibition on advertising by unrecognised and smaller providers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25878/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) is the statutory body responsible for standards, education and training in the area of pre-hospital emergency care. In 2014, PHECC developed the First Aid Response (FAR) education and training standard, building on its foundational Cardiac First Response course.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) is responsible for the enforcement of Occupational First Aid (OFA) provisions of Part 7 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007. I understand that since September last, FAR is now recognised by the HSA as the recognised standard to meet occupational first aid needs in the workplace. Both the HSA and PHECC issued joint communications to inform OFA providers and instructors, recognised institutions, students and employers of the key activities and milestones over the course of the transition from OFA to FAR.

Training institutions/individuals who wish to conduct courses and award PHECC qualifications must comply with and meet the PHECC Education and Training standard commensurate with the particular course they wish to conduct, and certificate they seek to award. Therefore, training organisations, including sole traders, who wish to deliver FAR and FAR instructor training are encouraged to become Recognised Institutions (RI) with PHECC. This involves an application process and a commitment to adhere to Council rules for RIs and the Quality Review Framework.

There is no prohibition on any training provider being recognised by PHECC to deliver training, provided that they meet the standard set by Council. In the interest of protecting patients and the public, only approved organisations and individuals are permitted to advertise PHECC approved courses or use the PHECC logo on promotional material.

PHECC provided 5 regional information sessions earlier this year for FAR instructors, OFA instructors, other individuals and organisations interested in its standards and model of course provision. In addition, it has launched online portal to stream line its application process for RI status and course approvals.

I have been assured that PHECC has and will continue to meet organisations and/or individuals to address any issues or concerns that have arisen in relation to the transition from the OFA to the FAR standard.