First aid, even at the most basic level, is a skill every mother should learn. It shouldn’t matter whether you’re in the workplace or not – first aid is something that can be applied anywhere at any time, as a mother or father of your child, a friend, a sibling, a stranger or a work colleague.

There is nothing worse than feeling helpless and stressed in a situation, that otherwise could’ve been avoided. What do you do when someone needs first aid and your skills are the difference between helping to ease the pain whilst waiting for an ambulance, to the possibility of it all going terribly wrong?

First aid – and the knowledge and skills you learn provide you with lifesaving tools that are simply irreplaceable. It also gives you the confidence and calmness to attend to an emergency situation, provide help and keep someone you love safe and comfortable. Thinking about getting your first aid qualifications? Here’s everything you need to know.

1.  Senior First Aid is now Provide First Aid

Previously, the workplace approved first aid course was called Senior First Aid. These days however, with some slight changes in place the first aid approval is now issued to the Registered Training Organisations (RTO) and titled Provide First Aid (HLTAID003).

Provide First Aid, also referred to as level 2 covers all aspects of training in ‘Provide Basic Emergency Life Support’, as well as specialised training for the treatment of additional emergency incidents.

2. Senior First Aid is the Standard Requirement in Most Workplaces

Employers have a legal duty to keep their staff and work environment safe. Whilst the standard requirements for senior first aid vary between workplaces and states, all businesses should be first aid compliant to establish a safe duty of care. In Western Australia, the standard office workplace should have at least one staff member qualified to perform level 2 first aid to meet the WA Worksafe requirement as outlined in the Code of Practice.

The Compliance Code for First Aid in the workplace offers employers two options on how to comply. Option one, the prescribed approach; includes the number of first aid officers and their required duties and training, and how many first aid kits should be made available. This approach is suggested for workplaces with 10 or more staff members, or for high risk jobs with less than 10 employees. Low risk workplaces should have one senior first aid officer for 10-50 workers and two for 51 – 100.

The second option to comply with the Act is the risk assessment approach. This involves assessing the workplace and the hazards involved, and making the appropriate decision as to what first aid requirements are needed.  The minimal acceptable level of training for workplace first aid is the senior first aid certificate (also referred to as level 2 first aid qualification or provide first aid).

3. Basic First Aid will Teach You 3 Essential Criteria’s

Learning basic first aid techniques is the best way to help you cope with an emergency – whether it be in the workplace, or the comfort of your own home. It can help to keep a person breathing until an ambulance arrives, keep them comfortable by reducing pain and minimises the consequences of the injury worsening.

Basic first aid (provide cardio resuscitation) teaches you to:

  1. Respond to an emergency situation by recognising the condition, assessing the casualty and seeking assistance from emergency response services.
  2. Perform CPR procedures in accordance with Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) guidelines, display respectful behaviour to the casualty and operate an automated external defibrillator (AED) should it be required.
  3. Communicate the details of the incident and what was done to help to workplace supervisor and emergency response team.

4. Senior First Aid will Teach You 4 Essential Criteria’s

The differences between basic first aid and senior first aid, is basic first aid is about providing CPR in an emergency situation. Senior first aid will teach you this, as well as prepare you for other possible life threatening situations like poisonous bites, airway management, seizures and bleeding.

Senior first aid (provide first aid) teaches you to:

  1. Recognise and respond to an emergency situation.
  2. Apply appropriate first aid procedures including CPR and AED, shock management, airway management (asthma, chocking, severe allergic reactions and hyperventilation), cardiac emergencies, bleeding and wound care, bites and stings, seizures and convulsions, burns, extreme heat and cold, toxic substances, muscle injuries and abdominal injuries.
  3. Communicate the details of the incident and what was done to help to workplace supervisor and emergency response team.
  4. Evaluate the incident and own performance.

5. Basic First Aid is a One Day Course, Senior First Aid can be Two

In order to be qualified in basic first aid, you’ll be required to complete a one day course. This will primarily cover life-threatening emergencies that can occur in the workplace, home or public and prepare you for a risk assessment and to perform CPR.

To complete a senior first aid course, this can be done as a one day or extended over two – depending on where you go. On successful competition, you will be issued with a nationally recognised Statement of Attainment that will show you’re qualified to perform the four sections mentioned above.

It’s important though, regardless of which first aid qualifications you get, that you refresh your qualifications as needed. Basic first aid should be refreshed every 12 months, whilst senior first aid (provide first aid) is every 3 years. This will ensure you’re up-to-date with any course changes, and remain confident and qualified to perform the tasks at hand.

Do you have your first aid certificate? SHARE with us in the comments below.

Main image source: Shutterstock

  • On a.of my workplace once put me through the senior first aid course as well as that safety however much has changed since then and I would really like to do it again.


  • I complete my CPR course every year, I have to. But I haven’t done the First Aid course for years. Hopefully I will never have to use either.


  • yep every body should know this. it is vital to know first aid with kids around


  • I wish they didn’t have to always change the names of things.


  • Such a great thing to have and you never know when you just may have to put it into motion.


  • I don’t have a First Aid Certificate and it’s something I should do. My husband has the very highest level and is constantly updating his. He is always so calm in any crisis and has handled many situations with First Aid. I always defer to him. My teen son will also have to complete First Aid next year as part of one of his VCE subjects, so I guess I need to get onto it too.


  • I should do a refresher course !


  • I did my first aid course with St Johns some 50 years ago – have had to use twice when my children were little [some 40+ years ago] and never had to use it since. I do know that Staying Alive is the best song to remember while doing CPR but don’t think I’ll ever need it again. My hubby is very ill, but his heart is so strong he won’t die from that. And kidney dialysis or cancer can’t be resuscitated in the home environment.


  • Some businesses have a certain number of staff who have senior first aid certificates. They are sent for refresher courses on a regular basis. Some businesses pay the entire cost of the courses. Some also pay the employees an allowance each pay regardless of whether they do first aid on a staff member or not.


  • Target sometimes runs free “caring for kids” first aid course, delivered by St Johns. It’s a god intro.


  • I did a refresher course last year.


  • I don’t have mine but it is important to know how to save a person’s life.


  • I redid my Senior first aid last year. So important for people to have basic knowledge that could save a life.


  • I have my CPR as that is required for my job


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