First aid training FAQs

Understand our requirements for first aid and first aid training at Girlguiding

What you need to know about first aid training as a volunteer

If your training expired after 16 March 2020 it will remain valid until 31 October, or six months from the original expiry date, whichever is latest - up until 31 March 2021 when all retraining must have been completed.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance on first aid training extensions says that guidance people need to be able to 'demonstrate that they have made every effort to arrange requalification training as soon as possible and can explain in detail why they have not been able to do so' for an extension. So you need to book onto a course as soon as you can.

If you have previously completed a first aid or 1st Response qualification that expired after 16 March 2020 and you have completed the virtual part of the 1st Response for your retraining, you can act as first aider in your unit while you wait to complete the practical skills session part.  You can act as the first aider for up to 6 months from the date in person training returns, to give you time to book the practical session.

The e-learning needs to be completed by all volunteers doing 1st Response training.
If you have an external first aid qualification that’s accepted as an equivalent to 1st Response, then you also need to do the e-learning.

If you do not do the e-learning, your 1st Response training will not be valid. You cannot be a first aider in Girlguiding until you have completed the e-learning. You can do the e-learning before or after your training session. We recommend doing it as close to your training session as you can.

Yes, the 1st Response 6-hour course can be delivered online. But each participant will need to meet in-person with a trainer to check a number of practical skills as part of the course.

Approach and assessment and CPR on both children and adults must be demonstrated practically by the participants. Those who are not able to do this can instruct others in doing the skill.

We encourage you to try and do your skills check with a trainer within three months of your virtual session. We’re allowing flexibility on this at the moment because we know Covid-19 restrictions can make it difficult.


We recommend that you complete all training including the e-learning within 3 months of each other.

Your 1st Response qualification will be valid once all elements have been completed, including attending any in-person practical sessions, and completing the e-learning. However, your qualification will expiry 3 years from the date you complete the main session- either in person or virtual. If you are doing the virtual session then your expiry date will be from when you complete the virtual session, not when you do your practical skills session.

1st Response training is locally organised so speak to your commissioner or county to find out when sessions are running and how you can attend.

Take a look at the 1st response e-learning module on our website.

The course book is still available in our online shop but it’s not a requirement of the course to buy a copy. It will stay on sale until the end of 2020.

We have several downloadable resources to support the training. These will be kept up-to-date so you always have the correct information available.


Volunteers who are under 18, including young leaders, cannot be the named first aider in the meeting place or at an event or activity.

We require a qualified first aider at all unit meetings. If this is not possible please speak to your commissioner to see if first aid cover can be provided by another member in a one-off situation.

If it happens more often, your commissioner should arrange a 1st Response course to make sure that more than one volunteer has up-to-date training.

The 1st Response course is an attendance-based courses so it is not possible to 'fail'. If you can't physically demonstrate aspects of the training such as CPR, then you will be required to show that you can instruct others in how to perform these techniques.

Any adult over 18 with a valid 1st Response or equivalent external first aid qualification can be the first aider at a residential event. A parent helper can be the first aider, for example.


The same content is delivered by Girlguiding certified Trainers in 1st Response courses throughout the UK to ensure consistency and high standards.

This course is a permit to carry out first aid duties within Guiding and Scouting. It is not recognised or transferable outside of our charities.

Yes. Girlguiding does joint 1st Response training with the Scouts and the content of the course covers the same topics as The Scout Association courses.

First aid qualifications, including 1st Response, and external awards, are entered on Go! by the local Commissioner as 'First Aid'. They are shown as valid for three years from the qualification date.

When volunteers complete renew their external award, the Commissioner will update the first aid qualification ‘qualified date’ on Go! to the date this renewal was completed. This will then re-validate the qualification for a further three years.