How will the PHECC First Aid Response Course FAR affect your business?

The Health & Safety Authority have issued a statement stating that the new PHECC First Aid ResponseCourse FAR will be the only recognised First Aid standard in the workplace from the 1st of September.

This article will update you on the new standard of First Aid and how the changes will affect you and your service in relation to First Aid Training.

The course content of the new PHECC First Aid Response Course - FAR and the current QQI Occupational First Aid course is broadly similar.

There are however other major differences which will have financial implications for your business or service. I have summarised it in the table below.

QQI Occupational First Aid Course (OFA)

First Aid Response Course  (FAR)

 Full course 3 days   


 Full course 3 days   


 Refresher Course 1 day  every 2 years  


 Refresher Course 2 days  every 2 years   


 Instructor Ratio – 1 Instructor : 10 participants  


 Instructor Ratio – 1 Instructor : 6 participants  


 Certified by QQI   


 Certified by PHECC  


 External Examiner   


 Continuous assessment and exam with instructor        



So how will the above changes affect you?

Full 3 day Course

The full course is 3 days for both courses. The new FAR course is 1 instructor to 6 participants which means you will now only get 6 people trained for what it costs for 10 at present.  This almost doubles the cost of the 3 day course.  

Refresher Course

The new FAR PHECC First Aid Response refresher course is now a two day course instead of a one day course. This doubles the financial cost from the outset. This also doubles the time for participants will be required from one day to 2 days.  This doubling in time and cost will be a heavy burden on both workplaces and participants attending.

The ratio is 1 instructor to 6 participants instead of the current 1 instructor to 10 participants. Again this practically doubles the cost of the new FAR course.

The current OFA refresher course is certified by the provider at minimal cost. The new FAR course is certified by PHECC at a cost of approximately €20 per person which again is an extra cost.

Please note that all current Occupational First Aid Certificates will be recognised by The Health & Safety Authority until their 2 year renewal date is due. This means that there is no need to re sit the First Aid Response course if you have just completed the QQI Occupational First Aid Course or you have a current QQI First Aid Response cert.

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