Accepted first aid qualifications

Get details on how to determine if an external first aid qualifications is accepted as equivalent to 1st Response

Check if your external first aid qualification is suitable for guiding

If you hold a valid full external first aid qualification you may already have the training you need to provide first aid support in guiding.

Which other training will count?

A full first aid qualification is provided and accredited by an organisation or governing body like St John Ambulance, British Red Cross, British Canoeing, the Football Association or the Health and Safety Executive. The course must take at least 6 hours.

If part of the 1st Response syllabus is not covered in your training, you'll need to also attend the relevant 1st Response session.

The three sessions are:

Life support

  • Approach and assessment 
  • CPR for an adult 
  • CPR for a child 
  • Use of AED (automated external defibrillator) 
  • Choking 
  • Causes and level of unresponsiveness 
  • Recovery/safe airway position 

Trauma and injury

  • Shock
  • Bleeding
  • Fractures and sprains
  • Head injury
  • Dental incidents
  • Burns

Major illness

  • Asthma
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Seizures
  • Diabetes
  • Sepsis/Meningitis

If you are a doctor, nurse or other health care professional you'll need to provide evidence that, in the past year, you've done training such as BLS, ILS or ALS. 

1st Response e-learning

If you have a qualification or you have prior learning that has been accepted as an equivalent, you will still need to complete the 1st Response e-learning which covers the policies and procedures you need to know when you are a first aider at Girlguiding. You will need to complete this e-learning before your qualification is recorded on GO. 

Process for checking equivalency

All recognised prior learning or external courses will need to be verified by your local commissioner. You will need to work through the 1st Response syllabus, checking that everything has been covered in your external training. This is a conversation based on trust, but wherever possible share your certificates with your commissioner.

Buying in external first aid providers

In some cases, external first aid providers may be brought in by a local guiding team to deliver a first aid course for members. The external course must cover the full syllabus as outlined above to be counted an approved external course. External providers should be delivering their own course material, not the 1st Response course material. External providers are responsible for the content, quality and issuing of any relevant certifications. External courses do no need a Girlguiding trainer in attendance and we do not have responsibility for how the session is delivered. We would treat this course the same as an individual who has accessed a course independently from Girlguiding and assess its suitability against the outlined criteria. We would recommend using well recognised first aid providers such as St John Ambulance or the British Red Cross and ensuring their course covers the full syllabus in advance of booking.

If you have any questions please email [email protected] who will be able to assist.