1st Response training

Training for all volunteers to give first aid and manage emergency situations

1st Response is Girlguiding's own first aid course

It will train you to provide first aid to members in emergencies - in or outside of your unit meeting place. The course was created specifically for members of Girlguiding and The Scout Association.

What will I learn?

  • Gain simple life-saving first aid skills that are relevant to your role.
  • Develop the confidence and skills required to cope with emergency and first aid situations.
  • Understand how to manage these emergencies.

See the full 1st Response syllabus for details of everything the course covers.

What you need to do

You will need to attend a local training session for 1st Response and complete the 1st Response e-learning.

The 1st Response training session can be delivered both in-person or virtually using an online platform. The training is six hours long and can de delivered in one day or split into three 2-hour sessions. Anyone attending a virtual training will need to meet a trainer in-person to complete some practical elements. 

The e-learning can be completed before or after the full training course, and must be completed in order to be recognised as a first aider in Girlguiding. 

Start the e-learning

start the e-learning

Start the e-learning

Covid-19 update

We encourage you to do all elements of 1st Response within three months of each other.

During the current Covid-19 restrictions, we understand that this will not always be possible.  We want to reassure members that the virtual part of the course will not expire. The in-person skills checks with trainers can be done when the current restrictions ease and when individuals feel comfortable to run and attend these sessions.

Your 1st Response training will only be valid once all elements have been completed, including attending any in-person skills check and completing the e-learning.
The 'completed on' date in GO should be the date you attended the main six-hour training session or the date you attended the third of the three 2-hour sessions. Your 1st Response training will expire three years from this date, not from the date you complete the practical skills session.

Update 13 April 2021

Volunteers whose 1st Response course has expired since 16 March 2020 can continue to act as a first aider at a unit meeting as long as they've attended the virtual part of the 1st Response course (refresher or full).

They can act as the first aider for up to 6 months from the date the face-to-face training resumes (please see dates below), so they have time to attend a practical skills session to complete their qualification. If the 6 months passes without the volunteer completing the practical session, then they can no longer act as the first aider. They can access the practical session at a later date as the virtual part is valid for 3 years.

The 1st Response course should be marked on GO as ‘In Progress’ once the virtual training has been attended and marked as ‘Complete’ once a trainer has approved this through a face-to-face skills check session. The 'completed on' date in GO should be the date you attended the main 6-hour training session or the date you attended the third of the three 2-hour sessions, or the date of the refresher. Your 1st Response training will expire three years from this date, not from the date you complete the practical skills session.

This will not apply for those who have never completed first aid training or for residential events.

Update 14 June 2021

The dates are as follows:
England 12 April- valid until 11 October
Scotland 17 May- valid until 16 November
Wales 3rd May- valid until 2 November
Northern Ireland- 3 May- valid until 2 November

Who should take this course?

Everyone in a volunteer role with us is encouraged to complete 1st Response training. It's especially useful for commissioners, leaders, young leaders, unit helpers and unit occasional helpers. Rangers can do the course as part of their personal development.

The following members are required to attend the training:

  • Volunteers completing the Leadership qualification without a valid equivalent first aid qualification

One person at every unit meeting must have a valid first aid qualification. Find out more about requirements for named first aiders in your unit.

If you already have a first aid qualification, you may not need to attend our 1st Response course. Find out what external first aid qualifications are accepted by Girlguiding as equivalent to 1st Response.

For some outdoor activity qualifications you will need to complete a 16 hour first aid course. See the individual pages for outdoor activities  for more details.

How long will it take?

  • E-learning: 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Training session: 6 hours or 3 x 2-hour sessions.

Keeping your skills up to date

Your 1st Response training is valid for three years. You'll need to redo the full six hour training course and e-learning in order to make sure your training is up to date to keep all members safe. Six months before your training expires, you'll be sent a reminder so you can redo the course.

After you've done the training

Your GO record will show you’ve done it.

How much will it cost?

The cost of the course will vary from area to area and training may be free in some places. You can claim these costs back from your unit.

Speak to your unit leader, commissioner, training adviser or Leadership qualification mentor for advice about paying for your course.

How do I apply?

If you are interested in attending a 1st Response training, speak to your unit leader, commissioner, training coordinator or Leadership qualification mentor, who will be able to let you know what upcoming training events are planned in your area. Alternatively trainings may be listed on your county or region website

1st Response refresher course

Girlguiding previously had a 2-hour refresher version of the 1st Response course. This option ended 31 December 2020 so that we're consistent with other standard first aid providers.

When the refresher course was an option, volunteers were eligible to attend a refresher course instead of the full course for 6 months after their training expired. After that they would need to redo the full course.

The refresher course is no longer an option for volunteers. Some volunteers may have completed the virtual course before the end of 2020 and are still waiting to complete their practical skills check. There's no time limit to when you must complete your practical skills check, but you have not fully completed the qualification until you have done this. Your expiry date is from the date you completed the virtual session.

Because of the impact of Covid-19, we currently allow volunteers to act as the first aider for their unit for a period of 6 months (from when in person training resumes in your area. 12 April for England but unconfirmed for other nations) with the virtual part of the course only, to allow time to access a practical session due to the back log caused by Covid-19.

If, after 6 months, a volunteer has not completed the practical part, they can no longer act as the first aider, but they have up to 3 years to access the practical part to complete the qualification. Your virtual part of the refresher course, does not expire because refresher courses are no longer an option.