First Aid

How Long Does A First Aid Certificate Last

Ricky Kambray
Ricky Kambray

One popular question among people taking first aid training is, How long does a first aid certificate last?

The main concern is whether a first aid certificate is still valid and stands up to scrutiny, not simply how long it lasts.

People commonly ask how to requalify their workers when the expiration date is drawing close or when the certificate itself has expired since they are occasionally uncertain when first aid certificates are valid. 

However, it’s more challenging than scheduling your first aid staff on the same course when your organization’s first aid at work certifications are about to expire.

It’s a time when you must think and take into consideration other factors, such as:

  • Should you conduct refresher training?
  • What credentials does your company require now?
  • How do you do the due diligence to fulfil your responsibilities?

A female nurse is carrying a first aid box


How Long Does a First Aid Certificate Last?

According to British Red Cross, since 2013, first aid certificates have been effective for three years after the course is finished. For example, if you attend your requalification course two weeks early, your new certificate will be dated from the last day rather than your initial training. 

However, there is no longer a requirement for expiry retention where requalification courses maintain the original expiry date if completed early.

The 28-day time limit, which allowed first responders to requalify if they were unable to before expiration, is also no longer in effect. During that time, the qualification filled coverage gaps in certificates for up to 4 weeks. 

As a result, the first aider will only be considered competent to operate as a first aider once the certificate has expired and they have completed a further course.

A man is holding up his graduation certificate


How Long Do First Aid Skills Last?

Like any skill, they could diminish if you don’t use them. The HSE also suggests that first aiders have yearly refresher training and ongoing access to their course materials.

You can decide which type of refresher training is most appropriate for your career, whether in a classroom setting or online. 

The skills to recall abilities in an emergency and the confidence to act can both be improved by regular training. It also allows participants to stay informed of any changes that may have occurred, keeping them up to date.

If you need a refresher training course, enrol immediately in the First Aid at Work (FAW) Refresher Training Online Course. You’ll learn the skills you need to improve in your first aid career with the help of this course.

Male engineer suffers injury in his leg in an accident while working in a factory


Types of First Aid Certification

The four different first aid certifications are as follows.:

  • Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support

ACLS first aid certification covers the most recent CPR technique for those working in the medical industry. Aside from that, there are also doctors, nurses, paramedics, and respiratory therapists.

A girl is holding her certificate and cheering on her successful graduation


  • Basic First Aid 

First aid certification courses are usually taken in person. However, you can also get this certificate by taking online courses. For example, you can take this Basic Life Support and Paediatric First Aid Certification Online
course from the comfort of your home.

  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program

Specialized healthcare professionals should pursue NRP certification. Those who assist in childbirth are eligible for NRP. In-person classes and self-paced online training are the two possibilities. Usually conducted in person, with a qualified instructor.

  • Paediatric Advanced Life Support

Medical personnel and healthcare workers that deal with pediatric emergencies should get PALS course certification.

Selecting a First Aid Training Provider

You are responsible for making the best training provider selection for your needs. However, you must look into the facts below concerning the training provider you selected.

  • The educational requirements for trainers and assessors.
  • What processes are in place for quality control and monitoring?
  • Teaching first aid principles of conduct.
  • The sufficiency of the syllabus content.
  • The legality of the certificates.


The certificates issued to students must contain all the information specified in the Health and Safety (first-aid) rules of 1981 guidance. Which includes:

  • The training organization’s name.
  • The leader’s name.
  • The qualification’s name.
  • A three-year validity period starts from the completion date.
  • A statement stating the certifications were granted by the 1981 Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations.
  • The certificate should include a list of the topics covered, typically in the form of an appendix if the qualification is neither first aid at work nor emergency first aid at work.

A doctor wearing the medical uniform, holding a first aid box


There you have it, folks! Now you have all the information regarding how long does a first aid certificate last. A first-aid certificate’s most significant benefit is that you can use it anywhere.

It is appropriate for use at home, in the workplace, and public. For example, a first aider must take immediate action while helping someone who has sustained an injury or an unforeseen illness.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

How often should first-aiders update their skills?

According to every three years, most first responders should take renew their training. It will support first aiders in maintaining their essential skills, staying current with legal developments, and maintaining their confidence to act in an emergency. 

How long is a first aid course?

According to HSE, First aid training courses last at least three days and at least 18 hours of instruction.

Can you administer first aid without a certificate?

No. Anyone who has received training appropriate to the situation qualifies as a first-aider. Either a current certification in first aid at work or general competency is required.


Why do first aid certificates expire?

All first aiders are advised to renew their first aid certifications regularly. However, since first aid procedures are not varied skills, your understanding of them may diminish. So that’s why first aid certificates expire.

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Ricky Kambray

Hey this is Ricky Kambray an award-winning first-aid trainer with over 20 years of healthcare and teaching expertise. Highly certified general nurse regularly appears in the press discussing accident prevention and first aid advice.