THE FEDERATION OF FIRST AID TRAINING ORGANISATIONS (FOFATO) NEWSLETTER 4 (JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2015)
Dear Training Provider,
Firstly I would like to wish our Members a Happy and hopefully Prosperous New Year.
Medical and Training Adviser
FAIB has now appointed a Medical /Training Adviser Victoria Dollard. Victoria was previously a Senior Nursing Sister with over 24 years experience both nationally and internationally in the Public and Private sectors.
Victoria is the founder and Managing Director of a Training and Care Quality Commission (CQC) Ambulance provider with a Global reach delivering all levels of First Aid, Medical, Security, Health and Safety and Teacher Training.
Victoria currently holds a 1st Class Honours Degree in Education and a Certificate in Education. Victoria is currently studying for a Doctorate in Education, exploring the concepts of Health Education and Health Literacy particularly focusing on health curriculums for Educational establishments, or health centers as clinics or rehabs, like the one at https://www.eliterehabplacement.com/Missouri.
Victoria has sat on International Committees who have been researching and developing a number of Re-Training programs.
Victoria will also give assistance to FOFATO.
Accreditation for FAIB (Lets get the facts correct)
We wish to put the record straight in relation to the information being given to our Registered Training Providers (from various sources with the Industry including HSE and Ministers).
Following a meeting with the Minister (and HSE) in 2013, the minutes of the meeting show that FAIB were told that the options were 3 options, (1) seek our own accreditation, (2) seek accreditation directly or third party through the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) or (3) through Ofqual.
Following discussions with our Advisory Panel (and the fact we had to make a quick decision because HSE had already agreed to review their guidance to Employers once FAIB had accreditation) we took up option 1 with a Body called the Quality Care Academy (QCA). The main reason being was that they worked within the Healthcare Sector.
FAIB was monitored twice by QCA and we agreed to a 1 year accreditation because (as will always be the case) we wanted to give our Training Providers the opportunity to express their opinions at our next Conference on 2014.
HSE however decided that this was not suitable because the QCA was an “unaccredited body”. Unfortunately QCA went into liquidation late in 2014 due to changing of rules from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) with whom they were seeking accreditation.
Despite HSE changing the goalposts (and achieving all we ever wanted “THE LEVEL PLAYING FIELD”), FAIB must and have moved forward very quickly so that we are able to force the issue with HSE over suitable guidance as quickly as possible.
FAIB is now seeking a third party accreditation with UKAS, which we hope will be achieved in the very near future.
Inhalers in schools
Guidance has been produced in England by the Dept of Health (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/341902/Department_of_Health_response_to_asthma_consultation.pdf)
and in Scotland by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (http://www.sign.ac.uk/pdf/QRG141.pdf)
The FAIB and FOFATO National Trainer/Assessor Register and Professional Code of Conduct
We are now moving forward with the introduction FAIB/FOFATO Trainer/Assessor Register with a Professional Code of Conduct which has been welcomed by the Minister and HSE.
Many Trainers/Assessors in this Industry work for several Training Providers and we would like our Training Providers to share this information and so therefore save time and money. We would of course want to see fairness across Training Providers to the extent that the workload of monitoring is shared.
In relation to the register we would like our Training Providers to share information on the Trainer/Assessor Monitoring (which under FAIB rules must be conducted Annually) on every Trainer/Assessor. This should be more efficient, save time and money and avoid duplication of monitoring which has occurred under the HSE system. FAIB will make available a generic monitoring form available to all Training Providers which will also be used by our Inspectors.
We would also ask our Training Providers to encourage their Trainers/Assessors to register with us.
The cost will continue to be £20 + VAT per year and we will publish a list of Approved Trainers/Assessors with details of their e mail address.
Qualifications of Trainers/Assessors (2015 and beyond)
The National Register of Trainers also links in with a move to improve the standards and consistency of Trainers/Assessors and FAIB feel that this is critical in achieving the high standards that we want to see in this Industry.
We are aware of the moves aimed at achieving a standardised Training qualification in 2015 by the Awarding Bodies.
Within FOFATO and FAIB we already know that the vast majority of Trainers/Assessors have the required qualifications and DO NOT need to complete another Trainer/Assessor course. This is an issue that we are currently taking up with HSE and the Ministers involved.
FAIB have made very clear that we want to see competent Trainers/Assessors producing quality Training that in turn produces Confident and Competent First Aiders.
FAIB will check that Trainers/Assessors have the relevant qualifications but also that they are regularly involved in Teaching First Aid and are being Annually monitored by competent and qualified Assessors.
FAIB has also been requested (by a number of its Registered Training Providers to look at the possibility of accrediting the old HSE Lay Trainers certificate.
A number of our Training Providers still continue to run this course and feel that it is far more applicable to this Industry than generic Trainer/Assesor Awards.
FAIB is currently looking at bodies that could accredit FAIB for this purpose.
Paediatric First Aid
FOFATO and FAIB has conducted its own Paediatric First Consultation (as asked to do so by the HSE FAW Quality Partnership) which for obvious reasons was separate to that conducted by Ofqual/SQA Awarding Bodies.
We produced our own simple consultation form covering a number of options regarding the required number of contact hours for a Paediatric First Aid course. This form has been sent out to all our Registered Training Providers and consequently onto Employers .
The results have shown that the vast majority want to continue with the 12 hour classroom course however a number would like to see the option of being able to conduct part of the course as distance learning (as long as it was distance learning part was controlled by FAIB). The way that FAIB would see this operating is that 6 contact hours of distance learning (theoretical) would be conducted first then the other 6 hours (mainly practical) would be conducted in the classroom.
We of course understand that there is still an issue within Scotland because there appears to be no governing body to achieve consistency and consequently most of the course are held over 6 hours. Perhaps the introduction of the FAIB blended learning course may help.
There was no interest in extending the course to 22 guided learning hours.
The Paediatric First Aid course you are offering under FAIB is 12 hours and the content as listed on your certificate of approval.
Finally and just to make clear the Ofqual Paediatric First Aid Level 2 (as it was) and Level 3 as it is now and is now 22 Guided Learning hours but still 12 hours direct contact time and has the same content as the FAIB course.
Letters to Members of Parliament
Thank you to all of the Training Providers who have written to their own Member of Parliament and consequently the Ministers concerned with our case.
We have received quite a number of replies from Members of Parliament and from the Minister for Business Vince Cable.
Unfortunately the vast number of the replies have simply been passed from the Minister straight to HSE and response from HSE has repeated the same information as before without actually answering most of the questions put to them.
The Minister covering HSE is now Lord Freud who has responded to FAIB but again just copying and pasting the HSE letter. However one of our registered Training Providers received a response from Lord Freud inviting them to a meeting which we hope will be arranged in the near future.
Also in the latest letter from Vince Cable, he indicated that he would be interested to hear the responses from HSE. We are now in the process of replying to Vince Cable.
Social Media Forums
There is more and more emphasis being placed on social media forums to circulate information about businesses and Industries.
First Aid is no different and there is now lots of information being circulated particularly on Linked In and Facebook some of which is not factually correct.
On Linked In, there are pages for Ian Kershaw, FOFATO and FAIB. We have also created a new group called First Aid Industry Body and we would like our Training Providers and Trainers to register with this group. We can then pass on information through this forum that is not only correct but relevant to FAIB.
We have also created Facebook pages for FAIB and FOFATO but unfortunately information has been put onto these forums (from non-FAIB and FOFATO Training Providers) that is not factually correct, we ask our Training Providers to contribute with correct and relevant information. Please help us to get our views across the First Aid Industry.
Links to FOFATO website
We have now started to put links onto our FOFATO website for those that have requested us to do so. In return we ask that you put a link to our website. Training Providers can put a description of their Organisation and a link to their website. Again if any other Training Providers wish us to add links please let us know giving us details of your website.
Payment of FOFATO Annual Subscriptions
We have been asked by a number of Training Providers if the FOFATO annual payment can be made by standing order. This facility is available and would again save us valuable time. Please let us know if you wish to pay by this method.
28 Day Extension Rule
You are all aware that under HSE there was a period of 28 days beyond the expiry of the First Aid at Work (FAW) certificate where Students were still allowed to attend a 2 day FAW requalification course.
We have been receiving a lot of enquiries about this subject.
Please be aware that FAIB has continued this 28 day rule but has also given some discretion so that the Training Providers can make the final decision themselves.
Ofqual and the QCF
Ofqual has announced that vocational qualifications will no longer need to meet the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) rules in order to be eligible for Public Funding.
An article written by Professor Alison Wolf who is an adviser to the Government has written an article which is very interesting reading particularly in relation to the Ofqual system.
Professor Wolf writes “The job of Awarding Bodies, under QCF rules, is largely to determine whether candidates have ticked every box. They have no capacity to innovate. They also have no incentive to demand high quality, instead it becomes logical and tempting to compete by cutting costs and making it easier and more straightforward for candidates to pass an award”.
We have written to Professor Wolf in relation to the problems that we have had with Ministers and HSE and are hoping to have a meeting with her.
The Skills Funding Agency
A number of our Registered Training Providers have contacted us regarding the issues surrounding funding and particularly in the way that it is linked to Ofqual system.
We have held a meeting with Kirsty Evans, the Deputy Director Funding Policy Implementation for the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) on Friday 6th March 2015 (minutes available upon request).
It was a useful meeting in terms of obtaining the information we required.
The SFA confirmed that it would not usually approve funding for provision that was part of an Employers statutory responsibility. However the SFA confirmed in 2013 that following Ministerial agreement that a certain number of qualifications in fork-lift truck, food hygiene, health and safety and first aid at work would be funded on the basis that they could support unemployed learners into work.
However as suspected it was confirmed the SQA does not have any contractual relationship with Awarding Organisations but that it was Government Policy that where qualifications are offered to learners they must be regulated qualifications offered by an Ofqual recognised Awarding Organisation.
We understand that SFA can do nothing further but we do intend to take this to next level and the SFA indicated for us to contact Vince Cable or Nick Boles, Minister for Skills which of course we will do.
We will keep you informed of any progress.
The FOFATO Shop
The FOFATO shop has been off line for a period of time because we have created a new and better website.You will be pleased to know that it will be back on line in the very near future. We will sell the main products that you require and have bought from FOFATO over the past 8 years including First Aid Training Products like Mannikins, Students Packs, Books and Trainer Defibrillator units and products for your clients like Defibrillators and First Aid kits.
We have always attempted to sell our products at the best prices on the market but the more Training Providers that buy our products means we are able to negotiate better prices with the suppliers and consequently give you even better prices.
In the meantime if there are any products you require for you or your clients just let us know.
FOFATO have offered Insurance to Training Providers and Trainers over the past 8 years at very competitive rates and a good number of Training Providers and Trainers have joined our scheme.
We have always aimed at providing the best cover at the right price. We also offer the option of paying monthly (as long a the annual policy is over £200). Please contact Daryl Smith on 0800 458 3301 for a quote or any further information or simply click the link on the front page of the FOFATO website .
Finally, I wish once again to thank all Training Providers who have registered with FOFATO over the last 8 years and hope that you will do so in future years.
If there is anything more you want to see from FOFATO do not hesitate to speak to me directly.
Ian Kershaw MBE
The Federation of First Aid Training Organisations