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Changes to legislation in effect from 1st October 2013
– how it impacts your business

On 28th November 2011, Professor Ragnar Löfstedt submitted a report called ‘Reclaiming Health and Safety for all’ – this was an independent review commissioned by the government on Health and Safety regulation and formed part of their plans to reform Britain’s health and safety system.

Following this report the decision to remove HSE approval has been accepted by Government and HSE – this will come into effect for every business on 1st October 2013.

The approval of Professor Löfsted’s report has led to a number of risk and evidence-based changes aimed to:

    • lesson  the regulatory  requirements on business where they do not lead to improved health and safety outcomes, and
    • remove pressures on business to go beyond what the regulations require, enabling   them to reclaim ownership of the management of health and safety.

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The Good News

Greater flexibility – Training providers will no longer need to be approved by the HSE allowing businesses to choose a training provider suited to their particular workplace.

Reduced Costs – Through being able to choose training providers, this increased flexibility may lead to a reduction in costs.

Which courses are affected by these changes?

Currently HSE require accreditation for three work based first aid courses, these are

    • Emergency First Aid at Work (1 day course)
    • First Aid at Work (3 day course)
    • First Aid at Work Requalification (2 day course)

These are all positive changes right?

With these changes, whilst bringing more flexibility and a possible reduction in costs, comes a word of caution.

These changes now open the field to more organisations and independent providers to be able to offer ‘First Aid at Work’ training – even better I hear you say!

Well yes, but this has its risks.  This means that anyone can obtain a training qualification and become a provider of first aid training.

This could lead to individuals with reduced overheads offering ‘cheaper’ training options, whilst not necessarily having the depth of experience and expertise to offer the best possible advice to the customers they consult.

With no legislation that directly enforces business to appoint a certain standard of training provider, problems or improper advice/consultation will only come to light when it’s too late – it will happen after an event that could have been prevented through proper advice and training.

As an employer or training provider there are a number of options you can consider;

    • Self Regulation
    • Request training is provided through a recognised industry body
    • Request training is provided through an OFQUAL approved organisation

How these changes have affected Acorn

In preparing for 1st October we have already taken steps to ensure continuity of delivery and the continued provision of high quality first aid training.

We can offer both existing clients and future customers a choice of training approved by OFQUAL or an industry body.

This is just part of our ongoing commitment to our clients and our future clients as we strive to remain as one of the leading Health and Safety consultancies in the UK.

What to do next

Decide what is right for your business environment and adopt measures to suit your particular workplace – if you are not sure where to begin, Acorn can help you with this so please get in touch.

The true impact of these changes will only be felt after a period of post-deregulation.

If you are unsure of exactly how these changes may affect your business, if you have a question or if you need an unbiased and honest view of your options, we would be happy to offer some advice.
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From 1st October any reference to HSE accreditation needs to be removed from all documentation, online profiles and other collateral, such as;

    • First aid risk assessments
    • Materials used in marketing and promoting training   courses
    • Documentation used in tendering and procurement
    • First aid, resuscitation and similar policies

Whilst HSE will no longer approve training providers and qualifications, it will continue to manage the standard for first aid by which all courses should be set.

See Professor Ragnar E Löfstedt’s full report ‘Reclaiming Health and Safety for All’