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Difference between first aider FAW and emergency first aider EFAW.

First Aider is an individual who has undergone an approved training course and holds a certificate for ‘first aid at work’. There are two forms of certified first aider – first aider and emergency first aider.


The essential difference is:

• The FAW certified individual is trained to be able to make an assessment of causation [injury or disease] and respond appropriately. Such trained individuals would be required in many laboratory areas, some field trips etc.

Ultimately it is the risk assessment that determines need. The following highlights the difference in training recognised by the HSE:

FAW (First Aid At Work) course 

To hold a FAW certificate a candidate must successfully complete the equivalent of 18 contact hours, which includes the final practical assessment.

a. Courses will be provided as 3-day courses or 1 day per week for 3 weeks.

b. A certificate lasts 3 years.

c. Refresher courses occupy 2 days and must be completed prior to the certificate expiring otherwise a full 3 day course must be completed for recertification.

d. Annual refresher courses are strongly advised but not compulsory. They are of half a day duration.


On completion of training, successful candidates should be able to:

  • Provide emergency first aid at work;
  • Administer first aid to a casualty with: injuries to bones, muscles and joints, including suspected spinal injuries; chest injuries; burns and scalds; eye injuries; sudden poisoning; anaphylactic shock;
  • Recognise the presence of major illness and provide appropriate first aid (including heart attack, stroke, epilepsy, asthma, diabetes).

EFAW course ( Emergency First Aid at Work)

For a candidate to hold the EFAW certificate they have to successfully complete the equivalent of 6 hours practical training. No final exam is undertaken. The trainer uses continuous assessment by observation during the course. The  course will be provided over one day.

Certificates last 3 years. A requalifying course must be successfully completed before expiry of the certificate for continuous cover. Annual refresher courses are strongly advised but not compulsory. Such courses are of half a day duration.

On completion of training, successful candidates should be able to: understand the role of the first aider including reference to: the importance of preventing cross infection; the need for recording incidents and actions; use of available equipment; • assess the situation and circumstances in order to act safely, promptly and effectively in an emergency;

  • Administer first aid to a casualty who is unconscious (including seizure);
  • Administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation;
  • Administer first aid to a casualty who is choking;
  • Administer first aid to a casualty who is wounded and bleeding;
  • Administer first aid to a casualty who is suffering from shock; • provide appropriate first aid for minor injuries (including small cuts, grazes and bruises, minor burns and scalds, small splinters).

Assessment guidelines can be obtained HSE

How can we help?

We are Pulse Medic. We offer high quality training courses for the workplace. Our courses are specifically designed to equip you with both the knowledge and confidence to deal with both minor and major incidents and emergencies at and in around your or your employees workplace.

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254 Reviews
ILS went really well thank you. Just to give some feedback, Martin the course trainer was brilliant. I have been on ILS courses before and have found the trainers to be a little full on and not really understand care giving and emergencies outside of acute NHS Hospital trusts. Martin understood the skills (and resources available) of nursing staff working in primary care in independent sectors and the situations that they may face.
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Martin was so nice and lovely he was the best