In March 2020, British Canoeing recognised the difficulty that instructors, coaches, leaders, guides and providers of qualifications and awards may have in accessing an appropriate first aid course. Following the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines, we provided a free online course that would extend a first aid certificate up until 31st March 2021.
As it currently stands, the HSE have clearly indicated that further extensions are unlikely to be given. Further information can be accessed here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/first-aid-and-medicals/first-aid-certificate-coronavirus.htm
First Aid courses are taking place across most of the UK, and are possible within the current restrictions, subject to careful adjustments.
Impact for British Canoeing Course Providers
As we are unable to issue any further extension to first aid, from the 31st March 2021, all Providers of British Canoeing qualifications and awards must have a valid and in date first aid certificate on their National Association record to be able to deliver British Canoeing training and assessment programmes. The normal requirements of suitable membership, safeguarding and CPD update continue to apply.
Impact for Wider Paddlesport Activity
Recognising the current backlog of individuals who are required to attend/update their first aid training and the reduced availability to first aid training courses, until 31st July 2021, it is possible for instructors, coaches, leaders, guides and their deployment organisations to carry out a first aid needs assessment if the individuals own first aid has expired. This will identify a suitable way to ensure first aid cover is in place for the activity. This could involve team teaching or having appropriate first aid trained and certificated persons covering the session. If such an approach is to be adopted, organisations should consider their first aid needs assessment, as well as specific risk assessments to ensure appropriate first aid cover is suitable and sufficient.
This is a temporary adjustment to the British Canoeing Update Scheme until 31st July 2021.
By 31st July 2021, British Canoeing would expect that anyone leading paddlesport activity has accessed appropriate training, gained certification and added this to your National Association record.
Impact for candidates of British Canoeing qualifications
Any learners that are struggling to gain a first aid qualification prior to an assessment can contact their National Association asking for approval to attend an assessment and their certification held until a first aid qualification is gained. British Canoeing would expect that anyone in this position should gain their first aid qualification by the 31st July 2021 and added to their National Association record.
If anyone would like to discuss further or have specific questions, please do not hesitate in contacting your National Association.